Also called an Alaskan cattle dog, the blue heeler is a medium-sized dog that usually weighs no more than 45 pounds. They get their name from the blue specks located on their coats.
These dogs are intelligent and very loyal, and if you’ve ever asked yourself, do blue heelers get along with other dogs, the answer is “yes,” but they get along with them much better if they are already socialized and comfortable around other dogs.
Do Blue Heelers Get Along With Other Dogs?
Blue heelers can indeed get along with other dogs, but keep in mind that they can also get a little jealous of other dogs at times. Blue heelers are very loyal, and if they’re not socialized enough, they will get jealous when their owners pay attention to other dogs or even to people.
With proper socialization, this is not nearly as likely to happen because they’ll be more used to being around other animals and they’ll realize their owners aren’t going to desert them.
If you want to ensure that your blue heeler gets along with another animal that you wish to bring into your home, the best thing to do is get another blue heeler, or at least a dog that is similar in size and personality.
Blue heelers have a lot of energy, so you certainly don’t want to get another dog that is less energetic or bigger than your heeler. This, of course, always works best if the blue heeler is already socialized and used to other dogs.
Blue heelers are active and love to wrestle and run around, and if you pair them with other heelers or similar animals, they’ll do just fine. They do not do nearly as well with dogs that aren’t a lot like them, in other words.
How to Socialize a Blue Heeler Puppy?
We’ve already determined that the best way for your blue heeler to get along with other dogs is for it to first be socialized, but how exactly do you do this?
It’s not as difficult as it seems and in fact, you might already be doing some of the things that are beneficial for socialization. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Start When They’re Young
The best time to start socializing blue heelers is when they reach 12-18 weeks of age. If you wait until they’re older, it is not impossible for socialization to take place, but it might take longer and be more difficult.
Your goal should be to get them used to other dogs and animals, people, and even different experiences. The more they’re exposed to on a daily basis, the more likely they’ll do well when placed in various social situations.
2. Take Your Dog to Many Different Places
If you’re not used to going to many places, your dog will take longer to become social. In addition to taking your dog for walks, other outings should include parks, different stores and shopping centers, beaches, hiking trails, and anything else you can think of that will put your dog into a different environment. The more variety it gets in its environment, the better.
3. Introduce Your Dog to Different Surfaces
Yes, different physical surfaces can help socialize your blue heeler. These include items such as tile, grass, carpet, and other places it’ll be walking on, even if it’s just periodically.
Even a sandy beach will be a little different terrain for your dog and help it realize that not all “floors” are covered with carpet or hardwood or laminate tiles. This can be a very effective part of the socialization process, and it’ll likely enjoy the variety without realizing it.
4. Consider Enrolling in Different Classes and Daycare Centers
A good puppy obedience or training class will not only help train the puppy the right way, but it also gets your dog used to being around other dogs. You can also utilize a good doggy daycare center periodically or even regularly so it can be in the company of other dogs for a little while.
Some pet owners utilize these methods even if they don’t work during the day, but anytime the dog is around other dogs even for a short time, it will benefit from that.
5. Place Your Dog in the Company of Humans Often
Humans have different genders, personalities, and temperaments, and it’s good to let your heeler be around as many people as possible. Most owners find this easy to do because they can bring the dog on outings with friends or make sure the dog is close by when having people over for dinner or parties.
It simply makes sense that the more personality types your dog gets used to, the more sociable it’ll be with others.
6. Get Your Dog Used to Other Animals
Your blue heeler shouldn’t be getting used to other dogs only. Make sure it also has chances to get used to other animals, including cats, birds, and anything else that people usually keep as pets.
If you have friends who have pets, try to visit them regularly, either at your home or at theirs, so your heeler can get used to a variety of animals, both dogs and other types of pets.
What Can Affect the Socialization of Your Blue Heeler?
Keep in mind that blue heelers have a very strong herding instinct, so if they’re not properly socialized, they may try to “herd” the other animals that are close to them. They can even do this to children sometimes, which is why socialization is so important.
If they aren’t socialized properly, heelers can either be timid or even aggressive around other animals. In addition, the personality of the other animal can directly affect their reaction to that animal, but it won’t affect it nearly as much if they are socialized.
In some cases, your blue heeler might act aggressive towards another animal in a reactive way. In other words, it’s not actually being aggressive but instead, it’s reacting to that animal, which can look a lot like aggression.
This is normally because the dog is a little insecure about the situation, but again, the more socialized your dog is, the less likely this will happen. A lot of aggression and negative behavior can be eliminated simply because the dog is socialized.
Finally, some blue heelers will pick up on their owner’s temperament when they’re around other animals and act accordingly. In other words, if they sense that their owner is feeling timid or unsure around another animal, they will act out simply because they want to protect the owner.
Blue heelers are protective by nature and also have a great “sixth sense,” and this sense often dictates their actions when they feel like something is wrong or their owner is being threatened, even if it’s a perceived threat only.
Blue heelers have a strong herding instinct and are also protective by nature. Early socialization is imperative if you want them to get along with other animals and with people. If you start socializing them at 12-18 weeks, you’ll have a lot more luck with them getting along with others.
In fact, any situation you can put them in that involves exposing them to many different environments is going to be beneficial in teaching them to get along with other dogs.