The Blue Heeler may sound a little like a cocktail but I assure you it’s a dog breed. This more exotic-sounding pup is yet another addition to the Poodle cross family.
Read on in this article and we will fill you in on what you need to know about this mix and whether it could be just the pup for you. Spoiler alert, if you are looking for a slow pace this is not the pooch for you, but if you’re happy pounding pavements this just may be your perfect match.
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Blue Heeler History
Possibly one of the more bizarre dog names out there, the Blue Heeler also sometimes goes by the monikers of Australian Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog. The “blue” part merely refers to the coloring that this dog displays including blue, blue mottled, or blue speckled. There is another variation referred to as the Red Heeler which has a similar history but displays red coloring
This is a high-energy breed that originated as far back as 1840 in, yep, your guessed it, Australia. The Blue Heeler became established over many years due to the progressive mixing of the native wild dog – the Dingo and imported herding breeds such as Collies.
The Blue Heeler combines the tenacity of a wild Dingo with the intelligence and work ethic of the Collie. This makes them accomplished working farm dogs and great guard dogs. Some more active families have reported the breed to make lively and loyal domestic pets too. However, they will need oodles of exercise so not a family pet for the faint-hearted.
Build wise you can expect a Blue Heeler to be compact, solid, and stocky. They will have rounded heads with pointy expressive ears, they have muscular legs, and curved tails that hang down.
The Poodle itself has its roots as far back as the 15th Century as a working water dog, popular throughout mainland Europe where it retrieved game from waterways and ponds during hunts.
Athletic, strong, and with stamina for days, the breed made the perfect working dog. Their loyal nature and alertness also saw them used as watchdogs in country estates.
By the late 18th and early 19th Century, the Poodle became less prolific as a hunting dog and instead became coveted by the wealthy and royals of the time who found the Poodle could make for a delightful companion dog. The Poodle’s natural intelligence meant they could be taught to demonstrate all manner of pleasing and amazing tricks.
The large build of the traditional Poodle was less practical for a domestic companion and as such breeders intentionally sought to match those dogs who were on the smaller end of the scale in order to develop a smaller variation. This eventually led to the Miniature and Toy varieties we see today.
Of course, the largest Poodle variation, the Standard has a stalwart of dedicated fans and remains popular for those looking for a larger dog.
What do you Call a Blue Heeler Poodle Mix?
I think I’ve actually found it, my favorite Doodle cross name. The Blue Heeler Poodle mix is affectionally referred to in owners’ groups as the Blue Cadoodle! This comes from the Blue Heeler’s alternate name as a Blue Australian Cattle Dog.
While this may be pretty self-explanatory for those who have this hybrid, in real-world terms, they are fairly rare therefore most people refer to it as a Blue Heeler Poodle mix to give people a better idea about the dog mix.
Why is the Blue Heeler Poodle Mix Being Bred?
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when Blue Heelers and Poodles began to be actively bred as a cross. Realistically there were likely common accidental mixed litters in Australia due to the popularity of both parent breeds. Like many Doodle hybrids, there has been a steady increase in the intentional breeding of Blue Heeler Poodle crosses from around the early 2000s onwards.
One of the key reasons some breeders explored this cross was due to the perceived similar nature of both the Blue Healer and the Poodle. Both are intelligent, energetic working dogs with similar traits in loyalty and stamina. The benefit of introducing Poodle genetics is that it has the potential to reduce the shedding associated with Blue Heelers.
As working Blue Heelers generally are kept outside in kennels, shedding was never considered an issue. However, as people fell in love with their nature and moved them to domestic pets the heavy shedding associated with their coat could be off putting. By crossing with a Poodle there is the potential to have a hybrid with a single curled to wavy coat which will not shed anywhere as much.
Is the Blue Heeler Poodle an Ethical Cross?
There are many Poodle enthusiasts who will disagree with any hybrid breeding. Blue Heelers by comparison already have fairly mixed genetic lineages of wild dingo and a variety of herding dogs, therefore, this community is perhaps a bit more laid back about the concept of crossing them further.
Dog breeding, in general, can be a controversial topic however often the key marker of whether a cross is ethical is whether the breeder takes the time to select healthy well-balanced parent dogs from each line.
There is some criticism that crossing a dog with such an extreme work ethic as a Blue Heeler with a Poodle in a drive to make a more balanced family pet is undesirable. However, as there are instances of individuals training Blue Heelers to be domestic pets this appears to already have been happening. Many dogs have a strong working history and have made the leap to domestic pet, the Poodle being perhaps the best example of this.
The Benefits of a Blue Heeler Poodle Mix?
One of the biggest benefits, as mentioned above, is the potential to massively reduce the amount of shedding associated with a Blue Heeler alone. Given the big difference between the Poodle and Blue Heeler coat type though, be warned it is unlikely first-generation crosses will jump magically to low shedding. Breeders however actively back breed Blue Heeler Poodle mixes to a purebred Poodle in subsequent generations which increases the chances of that soft and curly Doodle coat type.
Another perceived perk of the Blue Heeler Poodle Mix is that it combines two super-intelligent breeds but the Poodle side softens up the more serious and driven aspects of a Blue Heeler. Blue Heelers are known to be protective of their owners but are unlikely to seek out a cuddle. Poodles on the other hand are selective about who they bond with however, once attached can seek affection, bordering on being needy from their owners.
Mixing a Blue Heeler and a Poodle has the potential to get a balance of the two e.g., a lower maintenance Poodle and a more loving Blue Heeler.
The Cons of a Blue Heeler Poodle Mix?
If you’re uncomfortable with taking a bit of a gamble, this is probably not the dog type for you. As with any hybrid, it is incredibly difficult to predict with certainty what side your pup may take after more. They have the potential to have a completely Blue Heeler type temperament, be nearly all Poodle or fall somewhere on the spectrum between the two. As the Blue Heeler and Poodle differ quite markedly in personality traits that is quite a spectrum that you would need to be comfortable with potentially taking on.
The other point to consider is that a Blue Heeler Poodle mix has the prospective to be smart, very smart! Both breeds have a bit of a reputation for mischief-making, stubbornness, and the posibilty to manipulate their owners to their own ends if not trained effectively. While having a double helping of smarts can make for a dog who is capable of all manner of cool skills and tricks, it also has the potential to keep owners constantly on their toes. But hey, who wants a quiet life really?
What to Expect from a Blue Heller Poodle Mix
Size and Weight
The biggest contributor to whether your Blue Heeler Poodle mix is on the small or large side is what size of Poodle parent was utilized.
While the Blue Heeler only comes in one size and will weigh in at between 35lbs and 45lbs and 17″ to 20″ in height, the Poodle comes in three widely recognized sizes; the Toy, Miniature, and Standard Variations.
The Poodle sizes roughly come in comparably at:
Toy Poodle: 10″ in height or less and weighing between 6lbs and 9lbs
Miniature Poodle: 10″ to 15″ in height and weighing between 15lbs and 1lbs
Standard Poodle: 18″ to 24″ inches in height and weighing 45lbs to 75lbs
As you can see this throws up some options about what Poodle pairing might be best for the Blue Heeler. Anecdotally it appears most breeders choose a Miniature Poodle on the larger side or a smaller specimen of the Standard Poodle. This creates a Blue Heeler Poodle mix that will be somewhere in the region of 15″ to 20″ in height and approximately 35lbs to 55lbs.
The reason Toy Poodles are not routinely used is that a Toy Poodle parent would likely be too small to carry Blue Heeler pups. The alternative would be to use a Blue Heeler mother however given the big gap both in height and weight it is likely a resultant litter would be extremely variable.
Color and Coat Types
The Poodle parent brings the potential for a low shedding, single-layer, hair-like curly coat. The Blue Heeler by comparison brings a double layer, moderate to high shedding, coarse coat. This makes it difficult to fully determine a first-generation Blue Heeler Poodle cross coat type. It will likely be lower shedding than a pure Blue Heeler however, still has the potential to retain an element of undercoat. There can be variation across a litter and it is near impossible to determine in puppyhood what an adult coat may look like.
Either way, this mix is likely to need regular brushing to ensure they remain matt free. If they take more after their Blue Heeler parent, their coat may be longer. Many owners will elect a regular professional grooming program to keep their coat shorter and more manageable.
Color wise the Blue Heeler brings its trademark blue tones in both speckled and spotted marking patterns. This tends to be passed on resulting in Blue Heeler Poodle crosses which are lighter shades including greys, blues, and whites.
Generally, the Blue Heeler Poodle mix is considered a healthy cross breed. They benefit from the “hybrid vigor” phenomena where mixing two purebred lines allows the opportunity to dilute health issues that may have become prevalent in both.
As a result, a Blue Heeler Poodle mix may be comfortably expected to reach the ripe old age of anywhere between 12 and 15 years old.
There are some health issues common to both the Poodle and the Blue Heeler however that may still show up in the hybrid pups. These include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Some eye problems
- Luxating patella
Of course, this is not definitive that your Blue Heeler Poodle mix pup will inherit these conditions. Equally they could pick up another illness. The good news is generally they are considered healthy overall.
Predicting the temperament of a hybrid breed is not guaranteed at all. That being said there are some almost guarantees for a Blue Heeler Poodle mix and that is this mix will be smart. Like verging on outsmarting the humans smart, so consider yourself warned! This dog will need mental exercise just as much as physical to prevent them from turning their brain power to more mischievous pursuits.
If we assume they will be a blend somewhere on the spectrum of both parent dogs then we can expect a Blue Heeler Poodle mix to be eager to please, responsive and energetic. While the Blue Heeler is not a cuddle monster , the Poodle genetics will make the cross more affectionate.
A Blue Heeler Poodle mix will not be for those seeking a lap dog. This high-energy cross will need somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours of high intensity exercise a day as a minimum and would quite happily throw in a hike or agility practice for good measure.
They are best suited to active families or singles and a good size outdoor space is vital.
While a Blue Heeler Poodle mix will be a mid-size dog, its muscular build and high activity nature means it will need some serious calories. This means it might attract a higher than expected food bill. A good quality kibble would be recommended and it is wise to budget for as much as 3 to 3.5 cups a day over two meals.