The Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix is an appealing dog that draws from two increasingly popular larger breeds to create an attractive, friendly, and highly energetic dog.
This unique breed possesses many traits that make it an excellent option for the right person.
Like with all pets, though, there are some challenges that you need to prepare for when buying one.
Thankfully, we’re here to help.
One of the best things about owning this dog is its potentially attractive style.
People buying a Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix get a nicely shaped dog with the overall size and look of both the Catahoula and Blue Heeler combined with the simple head and tail shapes of both breeds.
The soulful blue eyes common in the Blue Heeler should appear in most mixed breeds of this type.
Expect a reasonably hound-style shape with this canine companion, including a long and well-proportioned body.
The snout is typically quite wide and long, giving your mix plenty of breathing room.
Shorter snouts are uncommon in this breed, which helps them stay energetic and lively.
Expect either pricked or floppy ears, depending on your dog’s lineage.
If you want a relatively large dog, this may be the breed for you.
The Catahoula Blue Heeler can stand between 19 and 22 inches, with a few taller dogs popping up from time to time.
Depending on your pup’s lineage, you might see this breed get as high as 23-24 inches.
However, that height is rare, so expect a dog just under two feet tall.
That should be more than enough for most dog owners.
As for weight, you should get a dog about 30 to 60 pounds, depending on a few factors.
Like many big breeds, this mix is prone to obesity if not exercised properly.
They have been bred to have enormous appetites to help power their busy lives.
As both the Catahoula and Blue Heeler are work dogs, their strong food drive may turn them into plump pups if you aren’t careful about regular exercise.
Some individuals in this breed may also be wider than others or tend towards a heavier frame.
Please pay attention to their lineage and know whether they’re likely to be plump or trim.
Your preference here will vary based on what dog types you enjoy.
Make sure that you talk with their breeder about these factors, including potential coat colors and textures they may develop.
Coat Color and Texture
Both parent species of this mix are very colorful dogs that include multiple patterns and tones.
That’s one thing that makes this such a fun breed: you’ll never be sure what to expect with them!
Some might have a single-color coat with a few spots of other colors.
You might also get a merle pattern with multiple spots and splotches that include a myriad of different colors and textures.
For example, you can expect black, red, blue, and white colors in this breed.
You might see one pattern emerging more heavily or get a pretty even mix of multiple colors and textures.
While this dog is not hypoallergenic and will shed a little, their coats are still reasonably easy to manage.
Weekly brushing and occasional baths should help keep them relatively attractive and minimize unpleasant smells.
While the Blue Heeler and Catahoula are lovely temperamentally, mostly, they have a few concerning traits.
They are closer to a wild heritage than other dogs, which means they often have a brilliant and independent streak.
However, they typically need a lot of attention to keep them on task and avoid any problematic behaviors.
Just like any intelligent dog, the Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix loves pushing their boundaries.
They’ll constantly test your patience by doing things they know they shouldn’t, just to see how you react.
It would help if you had patience and consistency with this breed to train out these traits.
Thankfully, an obedience training class should help them behave more appropriately and avoid these concerns.
Extremely High Energy
If you’re interested in this breed, make sure that you either have a large yard where your pup can run or will work with your dog for a few hours every day.
The Catahoula Blue Heeler is a highly active dog with a lot of energy.
Remember: both breeds are work dogs, and this mix only brings out these tendencies even more potently.
They love having some “work” to do, even if you’re just throwing them the ball and having them fetch it for you.
Even this simple act is enough to stimulate their mind, burn some energy, and satisfy their need to work with you.
If possible, try to find things they can do around the house, such as bringing in the newspaper every day (they can quickly learn this trick).
When not working, the Catahoula Blue Heeler will need a lot of exercise and fun activities.
Their active minds get bored quickly and, without attention, they may start misbehaving.
Some might even get depressed and begin overeating or struggling to get up in the morning.
This behavioral pattern makes them a hard dog to suggest for first-time owners.
The Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix is a family-friendly dog because they naturally crave a pack-like social connection.
Both were bred to herd animals and enjoy having other pack members around.
As a result, they’ll typically fit into just about any family and are very patient with children. In their eyes, children are like the sheep and cattle they were raised to herd.
Unfortunately, that means that you might find your Catahoula Blue Heeler lightly “nipping” at your children.
They aren’t trying to hurt them with this action at all. Instead, it’s an instinctive herding behavior that they use when handling cattle and sheep.
As a result, it’s typically better to only introduce these animals in a home with older children who are less likely to swarm the dog and cause them discomfort.
Once they find a splendid home, this mix is very loyal to their family and even protective.
They work well as guard dogs in many houses.
However, this breed bonds to one person over others and may be very protective of that individual.
After all, both breeds follow the rules and guidance of a cattle herder, meaning they often get a single-minded focus on that individual.
It is possible to train them out of their nipping and excessive bonding behaviors.
Remember: they are pretty smart and take to training very well.
The one concern is that they have a high drive towards dominance and independence.
They may become quite stubborn if you or their trainer don’t establish alpha status quickly. Keep that in mind when training this pup.
Expect this dog to live 12-16 years, depending on many factors.
For example, this dog is prone to hip dysplasia and many other larger breeds.
You’ll need to take them to the vet regularly to help spot this problem and manage it properly.
Medications and regular physical exercise may help minimize this condition, but there is currently no cure.
If your breed has a lot of white in its coat, particularly around the eyes and ears, consider regular hearing and vision screenings.
Dogs with white coats are often prone to blindness and deafness.
Regular screenings can help you prepare for these concerns and make training your pup easier.
It can also help you learn alternative communication methods, like smelling and touch.
It would help if you also brushed your Catahoula Blue Heeler at least once a week and every day during heavy shedding periods.
Doing so helps keep their coat free of matting and stains.
Trim their nails when you hear them clicking on your floor to keep them from injuring their foot.
Last, brush their teeth at least twice a week or even daily, depending on their propensity for oral health issues.
Making the Right Choice
Do you live an active life in an enormous home and plan on working with your dog regularly?
This breed might be an excellent option for you.
If you feel uncomfortable working with a dog or want a simple companion pup who will relax with you every day, steer clear of this option and look elsewhere.
Their beautiful colors won’t be enough compensation for the hassle you’ll likely experience.
For the right person, though, this breed is a dream.