People with certain hobbies tend to gravitate to specific breeds. Such is the case with both the parent breeds of the Blue Heeler Corgi blend. The Blue Heeler, the Blue version of the Australian Cattle Dog, and the Corgi have been favored by horsepeople. Corgis and Jack Russell Terriers were associated with Hunters, horses ridden with an English style saddle and associated initially with foxhunting, and Blue Heelers with Western riders.
Wales has always been known for its lovely Welsh ponies, and Welsh Corgis were farm dogs well suited to move stock around on the rolling green farms of the Welsh countryside. The most famous horse lover who favored the Corgi was undoubtedly Queen Elizabeth II of England. Not only was she an avid equestrian and preserver of historic British breeds, but she was also a tremendous champion of the Corgi breed and had them throughout her life since she was a child.
As the cattle industry was burgeoning in Australia and cattle farming increased, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed to help those farmers move cattle because most breeds couldn’t handle the terrain. Whether or not the cachet of the Outback cowboy may have contributed to the popularity of the Blue Heeler with American horse people is a matter of conjecture. When an Australian Cattle Dog owner introduced a California veterinarian to the breed, he advertised them in Western Horseman, a magazine dedicated to Western-style riding.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis date back to the early 1100s when visitors to Henry I’s kingdom brought Belgian herding dogs to Wales with their masters. The Belgian dogs, similar in type to the preexisting Cardigan Welsh Corgi, were bred with the older type Corgi. Although these crosses blurred the lines between the two types, efforts to preserve the two kinds as distinct breeds increased in the 1800s, and the two breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi are still separate today.
“Heeling” is most effective when the dogs are used with a species like cattle or sheep that tends to move as one organism instead of scattering in different directions. The low-set Corgi was bred to be able to duck quickly if an angry cow decided to throw a kick in his direction. Corgis weigh up to thirty pounds and stand ten to twelve inches at the shoulder. With a foxy face and long body, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is still a favorite of equestrians.
Corgis are fearless enough to bite at a bull’s heels but are loyal and loving family dogs, too. The Pembroke’s thick, weather-proof double coat sheds daily as well as seasonally, so a daily brushing with a long pin slicker brush will help keep down the amount of hair in the house.
The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) breed, commonly called the Blue Heeler, was created to work livestock. Related to Australia’s wild Dingo, the Blue Heeler has been instrumental to the success of Australia’s cattle industry. In the 1800s, the cattle industry was beginning to grow. There grew a need for a solid herding dog to help work the cows. Although the British who had come to Australia brought their type of herding dogs, the Smithfield, the terrain and overall climate of the new country was so different the dogs weren’t handling it well.
The cattlemen began putting together a breed that could handle the high temperatures and challenging terrain while pushing the cattle in the right direction by darting or nipping at their heels. The first crosses were Smithfields bred with Dingoes, the feral dogs that had been evolving to thrive in the Australian Outback since their introduction to the continent by the earliest people to inhabit Australia. Cattle farmers bred these early crosses with other breeds, such as the Scottish Highland Collie. Later, breeders crossed Dingoes with Collies as herding dogs and added the Dalmatian and the Black and Tan Kelpie to the mix to produce a top-notch working companion that could handle the heat and rugged Australian terrain.
Blue Heeler Corgi Mix
Blending the Blue Heeler with a Corgi respects the herding instinct of each breed. The two breeds have similar mindsets and instincts but differ in body type and coat thickness, reflecting the environment they were bred to serve. The Corgi’s ancestors in Great Britain and Belgium had adapted to a very different environment than the one where the ACD had to work. Blending these two coats and body styles may produce a pup that can vary in type between extremes.
Both parent breeds have the innate drive to give chase and move cows. Your Blue Heeler Corgi mix will be a high-energy dog that needs to burn off a lot of energy. Even though they may not have the longest legs, they make great companions for an easy jog. Keep this blend securely leashed because he’ll happily give chase if something catches his eye.
Size & Appearance
Although the Corgi side of the family is short-legged, the Blue Heeler Corgi mix should have longer legs than his Corgi parent. Long legs are dominant to short, so that this blend will be longer-legged and taller than purebred Corgis. Your mix may stand as tall as a full Blue Heeler or up to about eighteen inches at the shoulder. Although the Heeler is a taller dog, both he and the Corgi are well-muscled dogs. Your blend will likely have a longer body than a purebred Blue Heeler. Both breeds have similar faces, with wide jowls and triangular ears, but the Corgi side of the family adds a hint of a smile to his countenance.
Coat & Colors
Australian Cattle Dogs come in two primary color varieties: sable, commonly called “red,” and tanpoint, better known as “blue.” Sable is dominant to tanpoint. Technically, only the tanpoint color variety would qualify to be called a Blue Heeler. Corgis come in red, sable, fawn, black, and tan, with or without white markings on their legs, chest, neck, muzzle, underparts, and a narrow blaze on their face. Sable is dominant to tanpoint, so your blend may have his Corgi parent’s coloring.
Exercise & Living Conditions
With two highly active, performance-driven breeds as parents, your Blue Heeler Corgi pup will need multiple exercise opportunities each day. Because Blue Heelers make great jogging partners and the Corgi side of your dog shouldn’t shorten his legs too much, your blend should relish some daily jogging or brisk walking through the neighborhood.
Because both parent breeds are working breeds, your blended pup does best with a “job” to do. If you live on a cattle farm, he’ll help move the cows, but you’ll need to be more creative in the city. Consider canine sports like agility to help positively channel his energy.
A Blue Heeler Corgi blend will be ready to work, but if your pup is more like his ACD parent, his work ethic is intense. Both breeds are intelligent and bred to work alongside a human partner. Any herding or shepherd dog has to be able to make his own decisions, though, so he will be decisions on his own, too. You’ll need patience and perseverance with a blend. Reward positive behavior and be sure his exercise needs are met to help him be calm in your home.
Socialize your ACD Corgi blend early with other dogs so he’ll be calm around other family members, pets, and pups. If you acquire him as a puppy, ensure he understands that cats are friends and supervise their interactions until he matures. As herding dogs, this blend may exhibit a high prey drive and willingness to chase small furries, sometimes with disastrous results.
Your Blue Heeler Corgi mix comes from two generally healthy parent breeds. There are only a few genetic predispositions to consider. There’s a lower incidence of cross-bred pups expressing negative recessive traits when two breeds with different foundation stock are blended, which is an advantage of adopting a mixed-breed dog.
Because there’s an increased incidence of some genetically linked disorders in individuals from both breeds, pay special attention to your Blue Heeler Corgi blend’s growth rates. If your pup shows gait abnormalities, ask your vet to check him. Your mix will have an average incidence rate of elbow and hip dysplasia and may inherit a predisposition for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
To keep your Blue Heeler Corgi blend healthy, feed a high-quality formula that meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards. Choose a formula designed for your best friend’s specific life stage. Feed for moderate growth during his first year to reduce the health risks associated with dysplasia. Provide portions according to the weight chart on your food brand, and keep an eye on his body condition to adjust his intake as needed. A high-quality kibble including meat protein, fiber, healthy carbs, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals will meet your high-energy blend’s nutritional needs.
A good vacuum can make life with a thick-coated pet much more manageable. To efficiently remove dog hair from floors and upholstery, use a vacuum cleaner that can take care of anything that lands on surfaces in your home or car. The best vacuum is lightweight enough to be convenient and versatile enough to tackle multiple surfaces in your home.
The Bissell Featherweight Cordless XRT is a lightweight, convertible stick vacuum with specialized pet tools. It converts to a handheld vacuum with a crevice tool and upholstery brush to thoroughly handle pet hair. This lightweight vacuum manages hard surfaces and area rugs efficiently. Carpet is a significant factor in how much hair and dander stay trapped in a room. This lightweight model may not have the power for a home with wall-to-wall carpets. For fully carpeted homes, consider the more powerful Bissell ICONPet Edge.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
Blue Heeler Corgi blends may not be the trendiest mix, but they can occur because both breeds are popular with the equestrian set. This mix is not purebred and cannot be registered, but it may be a natural product of proximity to each other. Homebred pups may be available for around $150 to $500. The price will depend on demand in the area.
Rescues & Shelters
You may be able to find a Blue Heeler Corgi cross available if you search for their parent breeds. Petfinder is always a great place to get started. If no pups are available locally, you might check in rural areas near you where boarding stables and working farms are plentiful.
As Family Pets
- Blue Heeler Corgi blend pups are great for families with older, dog-friendly children.
- This blend needs to be socialized with other dogs and pets from puppyhood.
- They may chase small animals, so they must be supervised around other small furries.
- They are intelligent and trainable but have a strong work ethic and prey drive.
- May “herd” children.
- Require plenty of exercise to keep them healthy in body and mind.
The farm-friendly Blue Heeler Corgi blend combines the best of two heeling breeds. They make a great addition to a working farm where their natural talents keep them healthy and mentally stimulated and provide invaluable family support. This highly intelligent and work-driven blend makes a super jogging companion in the suburbs and a natural sport dog candidate for agility training. You can be sure no matter how hard you work. His work ethic will match yours. Give this delightful blend a job that fits his trainable nature, and the two of you will keep each other happy for a lifetime.