If you are looking for a keen, strong, independent, stubborn, firm, vigorous and energetic dog, then the Australian cattle dog is for you. if you have one already, you must take a lot of thought on how to train such a dog.
“How to train an Australian cattle dog?” must have crossed your mind. You are probably thinking that training a blue heeler is way harder than training other dogs. In this case, we got you. we gathered some of the best tips and methods of training a blue heeler.
The ACD, aka Blue Heeler, is keen, strong, independent and stubborn. However, the blue heeler is also an affectionate, protective, and devoted dog. The ACD will thrive when given a job to do.
Let’s get to know the ACD. The ACD is one of a kind. The blue heeler is among the most responsive and obedient of breeds. It is the most suitable partner for adventure. It can hold up to challenging mental exercises as for physical ones, on a daily basis.
These traits make the blue heeler an excellent companion. Yet, you must know that you should be able to meet up their energy needs. In addition, the Australian cattle dogs are bad yard dogs.
Another point you must keep in mind is that once you and your blue heeler get close so many changes are going to happen. Although it is an independent dog, you must know that once you guys get close, you gained a shadow that follows you all around the house. I hope you don’t mind this.
Since Australian cattle dogs are bad yard dogs, house training your puppy must be your top priorities.
How to train an Australian cattle dog?
Persistence and consistency are the most important things to keep in mind when training your Australian cattle dog. You need to take your blue heeler out in the morning, after meals, naps, and play, and before bed.
In addition, you must make a schedule to keep track of feeding and watering your Australian buddy. This way you know your dog’s intake of water and food. As a result, you can easily predict when your blue heeler has to go. If not, you might not be able to avoid bad incidents in your house.
Due to the Australian Cattle Dogs’ intelligence, training will not take very long. They are known for being one of the fastest breeds to be trained. For this extremely intelligent and enthusiastic breed, you have to consider positive reinforcement training. As a matter of fact, it is a must.
To guarantee a submissive, sociable, lovely pooch, you must provide your dog proper socialization and the right training as a puppy. However, this doesn’t mean adult dogs can’t be trained. But training a dog at an early age is much more easier.
Some of the most effective ways to train an Australian cattle dog.
Basic commands training :
There are five essential commands you must teach your dog. It is very important to train your Australian cattle dogs to understand the basic commands. This would help you proceed with training your dog in whatever skill you want.
In addition to being able to communicate with your pup. Communication is vital when it comes to dealing with behavior problems. Here are the five basic commands.
- Keep holding still a treat close to your Australian cattle’ nose.
- Start moving your hand up, making his head follow the treat. This will make him lower his bottom.
- Once the dog is finally in a sitting position, say “Sit.” Then hand him the treat. Finally, praise him and share affection.
- Set a leash and a suitable collar on your blue heeler.
- Stand far away from him a little bit.
- Sit down to his level and say “Come,” while softly pull on the leash.
- Once he comes to you, reward him with praise and a treat.
- Get you a mostly good smelling treat. Hold it in your fist and close it.
- Raise your hand up to your dog’s nose. Once, your blue heeler sniffs it, lower your hand down to the floor. He will follow your fist.
- Sway your hand along the ground in front of your pup. This will encourage the rest of his body to follow his head.
- when he’s in the down position, say “Down,” reward him with praise and a treat.
In order to teach your dog, the command stays you much have established already the command sit. Both of these two commands are similar.
- Command your dog to “Sit.”
- Open the palm of your hand in front of you, then, command your pooch to “Stay.”
- Take few steps back. Reward him with a treat and praise, once he stays.
- Slowly increase the steps you take before handing the treat.
- Even if your pup stays just for a few seconds, always reward and praise him.
- Leave it:
- Place a treat in both hands.
- Show him the treat inside your closed fist, then say “Leave it.”
- Ignore all sort of behaviors he will do to get the treat. He might lick, sniff, mouth, paw and bark.
- when he will stop trying, hand him the treat from your other hand.
- Repeat until your dog will move away from that first fist once you say “Leave it.”
- Finally, hand your blue heeler the treat only once he looks up at you as he stays away from the first fist.
Repeat, but now put the treat on the floor.
Potty training :
3 Methods for House Training a Blue Heeler Puppy :
1- The “Every Hour” Method :
To potty train your blue heeler, you can opt for the easiest method. Lead your Australian Cattle dog/ puppy to their potty spot as much as you can. In this case, you can use a lot of positive reinforcement.
- Make sure to take your Australian cattle dog outside to her or his potty spot. Do this every hour.
- Whenever you notice that your Australian hound is about to pee or poop, say your cue word as a sign.
- Whenever your blue heeler does its stuff in the potty spot, make sure you offer him/her a praise/reward. This point is very important.
You must be careful not to give your puppy the reward later or when you are in the house. Give her or him the reward immediately. This way you train your Australian cattle dog to associate the reward with doing her or his business in the potty spot. This point is crucial.
- Go back to your house if your pooch doesn’t do her/his business in 5-10 minutes. But try again later.
- Technically, sniffing, circling, and wailing are signs that tell you when your pooch wants to go. Watch for these signs and take the puppy outside.
- Maintaining such a potty-training schedule seem time-consuming and hard, but it will give fast pleasing results.
- It trains your Australian cattle that she/he by getting rewarded for going outside, not inside. This will help to prevent accidents in the house.
2- The Crate Method :
One mistake that most dog parents usually do is giving their dog complete freedom to wander around the house. Yes, your Blue Heeler puppy should be allowed to wander in your house. However not when you are not there.
When you are outside, you obviously can’t watch your Australian cattle baby. This would lead ultimately to having accidents in the house if not dangerous ones. You will go back home to a mess you would want to avoid.
You must establish teach your blue heeler that the house is off-limits. As a matter of fact, The more freedom you give to your dog to circle around the house the harder it is to establish your goal. Here comes the role of the carte.
There is a common mistake among dog parents of perceiving crating puppies as cruel and evil. It actually is more beneficial and safer for your puppy.
Crates are supposed to be your puppies’ own house. It is your Australian cattle’s safe place. your puppy can have some me-time. Just like us human beings, dogs need some quality time and a place to run to during stressful times.
Another magnificent thing crate training can offer is teaching your little buddy patience. It trains the Australian cattle dog to hold their bladder. This way they won’t discharge the exact moment they get the urge to do so.
The thing is that your blue heeler’s crate shouldn’t be too large. In this case, your Australian puppy will just sleep on one side and disregard the other.
The crate must be large enough for your dog to sleep and turn around comfortably.
Now that you got the crate and have introduced it to your furry friend, here is what to do:
- Whenever you aren’t around to watch over your Australian cattle dog, place them in the crate.
- Even if you have only crated your dog for a couple of minutes, take them to their potty spot when you get them out of the crate.
- When you notice that your puppy is about to discharge, say your cue word.
- Once your blue heeler does his business, make sure to praise and reward him.
- If your Australian cattle pup doesn’t do his business, try to go for a short walk or get back inside. Then, try 10-15 minutes later.
- Don’t put beddings or water inside the crate. As long as you are house training your Australian cattle dog, you shouldn’t do that. Except, if you’re going to be gone for long.
- Putting beddings and water might encourage your Australian pooch to pee and poop inside the crate.
3- The Spray Method :
If the other methods didn’t give results, although it is impossible. Then you might want to use a potty-training spray. This would encourage your puppy to do their business in a specific area:
- Use the potty-training spray on the designated potty spot.
- Take your Australian cattle dog to the spot and wait. If your blue heeler doesn’t discharge in 10 minutes, go back inside. Then, try again in 15-30 minutes. Notice the signs of a full bladder.
- Again, don’t forget to use the positive reinforcement method. Make sure to praise and reward your pooch when they do their business outside, in the right place.
Common Mistakes to Avoid :
To cover training Australian cattle dogs’ topic on whole we have gathered for you some of the dangerous mistake people usually do. It is important to avoid these common Blue Heeler house training mistakes:
- Don’t punish your Blue Heeler if you find any “accidents.” Australian dogs as dogs in general don’t associate the punishment to the “crime”. All that punishment does is making your dog scared.
- If your dog discharges inside the house, say a firm “No!” or clap your hands. Then get your pup outside.
- Make sure to clean any accidents carefully. Removing the smell is very important. Or else, the smell will entice your dog to discharge around the house. It will increase the likelihood of unpleasant accidents inside.
- Don’t feed or water your Australian cattle dog two hours before bedtime. At the same time, try to increase the bathroom breaks. in case your dog keeps soiling the crate at night.
- Remember to set realistic expectations and goals. Untrained dogs can’t hold their bladder for a long time. In one way or another, they will have an accident when you’re not there to let them out.
Fun Facts About Blue Heelers :
- According to Guinness World Records, the current oldest dog ever is Bluey. This dog is an Australian Cattle Dog. The Blue Heeler pup, Bluey have lived for 29 and a half years old.
- Blue Heelers are most often born totally white.
- Both actors Owen Wilson and Matthew McConaughey are famous for their Australian Cattle Dogs.
- Both movies Mad Max and Brokeback Mountain include Blue Heelers.
Frequently Asked Questions :
- My heeler seems to get bored with his toys really easily. What have you done to combat this? Any advice on what to do?
You should basically rotate toys technically over and over again on a daily basis. In addition, you must buy him new toys every few weeks. This would help to keep the spark alive.
- Do cattle dogs generally get along with cats?
Not all CCD tolerate cants. However, some Australian Cattle Dogs get along with cats pretty well. Others, never give up the urge of chasing cats down.
- Are Australian Cattle Dogs aggressive?
As a matter of fact, most owners will say that Australian Cattle Dogs are NOT aggressive. However, they are very courageous and will stand their ground if it’s necessary. So, the answer is NO.
- Are Australian Cattle Dogs easy to train?
Australian Cattle Dogs are very smart. They would catch on very quickly to the reward system. Actually, if the reward is food, CCD will learn incredibly fast. CCD are very easy to train. As a matter of fact, they tend to do whatever to please their owners.
- Do Australian Cattle Dogs bark a lot?
The answer will make you so happy. The Australian Cattle Dogs are not much of a barker. Blue heelers just don’t bark that much only if there is a good reason to do so.
You were wondering how to train an Australian cattle dog? Well, we provided you with the necessary and basic training. We hope these tips and methods would help you get your ACD on track.
We know how easy it is to get frustrated with you have a dog to train. Especially when you find out that your Blue Heeler left you a wet puddle in the house. However, following the above-mentioned method and consistently repeating them would get you and your furry friend on cool terms.