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Q: Does your Blue Heeler destroy stuff?

December 15, 2008 | By Alyssa1991 | 15 answers | Expired: 2039 days ago

Alyssa1991

My Blue Heeler is a lovely dog. When we got him from the pound, the people kept warnimg us that Blue Heelers like to rip your house up. So far he has gotten a slipper and some stuffed animals, which is typical. But I'm going to adopt another and am not sure if my current Blue Heeler is a dud or if the people at the pound are right... help?!

Chosen Answer
Lkshade
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Dec 17, 2008

The best dog I ever had was a blue heeler. He was turned into a shelter when he was 6 months old because the owners said he was destructive. After seeing him at 3 separate adoption events we took a chance and adopted him. We did have some issues at first, but not from chewing, it was from getting out of the yard. He had managed to get under a fence that was poorly secured consequently he spent some time in 'doggie jail' at the local pound. Once we secured the fence and put him on a regular exercise schedule (walks and runs in my parents large yard)we did not have that problem. It also helped that we got him a friend to play with and burn off that energy.

After he turned 2 years old, he became really laid back. He was still full of energy but not like when he was a puppy. Also he was very easy to train, he listened and responded to commands. He wasn't a barker or a biter and he got along with other pets in the house (dogs & cats).

I say get the second one. You won't regret it.

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Readers' Answers (14)

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Mary  A.
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Dec 16, 2008

I agree with Jennifer R. Heelers are herding dogs and need lots of exercise. A friend of mine has a geriatric Border Collie, a breed which also requires lots of exercise to prevent household destruction, with which she made a deal early on: the dog gets one run a day in a nearby field and, in return, the dog doesn't destroy the house. The deal has worked for 11 years. A Heeler, like a Collie, requires a commitment of exercise, but if your dog receives this small commitment from you he will be a superb pet.

Also, scan the internet for entertaining dog toys. Kongs filled with peanut butter are an example, but there are other "brain toys" for dogs. And be sure to rotate the dog's toys every few days so that they seem new and exciting.

Good Luck!

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Jodi S.
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Dec 16, 2008

Any active dog is capable of ripping things up, but if you provide appropriate chew toys and crate the dog when you can't watch them it should be fine. My 9 year old ACDx still loves to shred toys and toilet paper rolls, but she's learned not to rip up everything within reach of her mouth.

If you exercise both dogs mentally and physically and do plenty of training, you can be successful with any new addition as well as the current one.

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jennifer r.
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Dec 15, 2008

They are a "working" breed. High energy is one of the typical traits and not enough exercise is the leading reason for behavioral problems with any breed. Since you have a dog with an extremely high energy level, bred for herding and not getting tired out to quickly you will need to give your new pet a ton of exercise. A tired dog is a well behaved dog, running every day and plenty of appropriate chew toys! Kongs filled with peanut butter and frozen are great and provide tons of entertainment time!

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Stephanie D.
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Dec 16, 2008

My dog is a lab/blue heeler mix and I agree with Jennifer. They are a working breed and tend to have very high energy. Dogs chew to get rid of excess energy so as long as you exercise and provide appropriate chew toys you should be fine. Also, with having two dogs they will play which will burn more energy. Try and bring your current dog to help you pick out your new one. I actually take my dog running beside my bike daily. We also give her kong with a mixture of peanut butter, dry food and a little wet food and freeze it. I don't know about your dog but mine is smart so obedience training is a good idea. More then likely your dog is not a dud you are just properly exercising him. Good luck I think heelers are an awsome breed!

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Ethel02
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Dec 16, 2008

He's not a dud, your lucky, why take a chance on another if you don't have a lifestyle that will keep them active, I always had greyhounds great house dogs but I wanted another dog and was going smaller but still wanted to rescue went to SPCA found death row and Annie she's a 90 lb Black Lab couldn't leave that face even the Vet said I was crazy when SHE drug be in the door for her new dog check, everyone told me they love to be outside will chew & drive me nuts, I lucked out it's 2 yrs now and my dud is a blessing destroys nothing and is happy with a nice walk on lead and her back yard, would I go out looking for another , don't think so I might not be so lucky, but I wouldn't trade Annie for anything.

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Kelly
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Dec 29, 2008

Ali is right. Heelers & other working breeds needs a job or a task. If they aren't provided with an activity, they create their own. They are not going to be couch potatoes.

Heelers aren't really suited to being left alone in the yard or house. They're very intelligent & become bored easily. They do really well in agility, herding & obedience trials/training. They need daily mental & physical stimulation, & firm consistent training. You didn't get a dud. You got a heeler that is bored & needs to work & expend energy.

My dog is a catahoula & she also requires a task. We take her for brisk hour-long walks every day, provide her with lots of toys & interaction & give her a large fenced-in yard to run in. We do lots of running activities with her because she's as fast as lightning & loves to run & jump. We throw balls & frisbees & we do lots of training trials with her. If we don't give her enough to do, she becomes a bit destructive as she begins creating her own "jobs".

As long as you're willing to work with the breed, I don't think you'll regret having or getting another heeler. Not being aware of their needs & not playing to their multiple strengths is what causes problems.

Here are some sites that discuss the needs of heelers/aussies. I think the second one says it all where they say, "A bored cattle dog is a destructive cattle dog." Anyway, hope these help you find some appropriate activities for you & your dog or dogs.

www.dogbreedinfo.com/australiancattledog.htm
www.cattledog.com/misc/intro.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Cattle_Dog

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Pia S.
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Dec 16, 2008

I agree with the other comments. These dogs require lots of exercise - both mental as well as physical. My first question, however, is how does the shelter know he will tear up your house? Thus far, he is being your typical dog and chewing on articles of clothing, stuffed animals, etc. He has never learned what he should be chewing on. You must teach him this by managing the environment and not permitting him access to the rest of the house without supervision. Then place a basket of chew toys in an area where he can have access and praise him every time he goes to the basket and takes one of the chew toys.

If he begins to destroy the house, however, you may be dealing with something more than just destructive behavior. He certainly is not a dud! He's being a dog.

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Kenthannah
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Dec 27, 2008

Yep, I aggree with what the others say, In general if a dog is having behavior issues it often stems from lack of exercise. Most dogs need intense exercise a min of once a day. This means the human interacts with the dog. Just putting the dog in the yard by himself is not exercise. Doggie Day care and obedience classes help keep them using their minds which is also very important for many breeds.And its lots of fun for the humans too!!

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Ali E.
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Dec 28, 2008

Blue Heelers need a job. Sounds like yours has created his by chewing your stuff. I recommend more exercise and brain stimulation. If you google games and activities for you dog there a quite a few to choose from. Adopting another may help if it is related to anxiety but if it is another heeler, it will need a job too. Good luck!

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A H.
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Dec 15, 2008

I've read that they can be destructive if they aren't exercised/challenged enough, because they're very high-energy, smart dogs. This page has some useful info:
www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/australiancattledogs.html

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