When it comes to picking the right dog for your home, there are so many things that you are supposed to consider.
There’s the temperament, which is basically the dog’s behavior (aggressiveness, calm etc.), there’s the feeding requirements and the level of activity in the dog- the list goes on.
One of the factors that we tend to overlook- during this selection and research process- is the dog’s ability to handle loneliness. It may seem like a small factor, but it’s certainly important.
Blue heelers are smart and loving dogs that we have totally fallen head-over-heels for. The dogs are just full of love and affection.
But what if you have to go away every now and then? Can you leave a Blue Heeler alone at home without drama? Blue Heelers are not solitary dog breeds and often crave for attention from their owners. These dogs are energetic and finds it too difficult to sit down idle without something to do. While they may successfully be left alone, you really have to give them toys they can lay with while you are away at work. Further in this article I will explore some tips on how you can take care of your Blue Heeler, but not before I further share with you is you can live your Blue Heeler alone at home?
So, Can Australian Cattle Dogs Be Left Alone?
Blue heelers also known as Australian Cattle dogs can be left alone, however, as working dogs, Australian cattle dogs easily get bored if they are sat idle and not busy all day. These dogs are energetic, workaholics, and like to please their owners. Blue Heelers are one of the dog breeds that are extremely loyal to their owners.
In fact, blue heelers have a tendency of getting attached to one person in the family, even though they can interact with everyone in their family.
This is the dog that always wants to be beside its owner, and can follow you around all day if they can. While this may be a good behavior, it does have its bad side.
Dogs that are fiercely attached to their owners are more susceptible to separation anxiety, and the Blue heeler is no exception.
Because of this, it is not recommended to leave your Blue heeler alone or in a confined space for a long time. Due to this, these dogs are mostly not recommended to people with a 9 to 5 job, particularly if they live alone.
Tip: The Blue Heelers are also called Red heelers. The only difference between these two dogs is the color of the markings on the coat. You may also come across the name “Australian Cattle Dog”. It is the same dog, and I’m sure it won’t confuse you.
So what can you do about it?
We aren’t all lucky enough to work from home. So what if you have to leave your dog for the whole day? Is there a way to keep your dog from suffering because you aren’t around? Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do in order to keep your dog from barking out of boredom.
To keep your dog from separation anxiety, you have to give it things to do. There is really nothing more to it. That’s what our parents did to keep us from crying every time they had to leave the room- they would give us toys.
The same system works for blue heelers, and many other dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.
You have to give your dog something to do. Toys work best. There are so many types of toys that you can buy for your dog, and most of these toys come at a very cheap price.
Once you get the toy, introduce it to your dog and teach your dog how it can play with the toy, and that should do the trick.
Plus, these dogs are very energetic, so the toy will play a good role in draining away some of the energy.
There are other type of dog toys that allow you to stuff treats inside the dog- so basically the dog will be working to get the treat out of the toy. There are tons of toys like this on Amazon. If you can get that type of toy, the better.
Toys are one way to keep your dog busy while you are away. But when you are home, you have to make sure that you give your dog the love and affection that he missed all day.
Besides showering your dog with love, you also have to keep the dog fit and healthy. If you aren’t sure how you can make that happen, this next section of the article should help.
How to keep your Blue heeler healthy
Keeping your dog fit is one essential factor that will keep it looking its best, and will help to keep your dog from becoming obese or developing any other disease associated with lack of proper care or good diet. Here’s how you can keep your dog healthy
1) Play with your dog
As I mentioned earlier, Blue heelers are very active dogs. Dogs of their type of energy need to have an outlet of their energy to keep them from being bored and ultimately launching into activities such as barking out of boredom, chewing or (their signature activity) nipping heels.
So it is important to play games with your dog to keep the dog fit and healthy. There are so many type of games that you can play. When picking games to play with your dog, make sure you go for the interactive type of games, because your dog will actively participate.
Plus, you can play the games with your friends around, and turn this into a socialization activity. In the long run, you will be helping your dog get used to having other people around, and sharing your attention with them.
Not sure which type of games you can play with your Blue heeler? Look into the ones listed below.
- Hide and seek
- Tug-of-War (heelers enjoy this one)
- Catch with a Frisbee
2) Take them for long walks
While games are effective in draining away some of the dog’s energy, they are simply not enough. You should also consider taking them for walks, but not just any walks: take long walks.
I mean sure some breeds may only need a few walks around the block, but this might not be
enough for a blue heeler. In fact, these dogs need long walks at least once or twice a single day.
These long walks help to get your dog tired while preventing them from getting bored. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “a tired heeler is a good heeler”
When a heeler is tired, he will be looking forward to nothing else but rest, and the world (your home) will be at peace. Also, if you’re a runner, take your dog with you.
3) Let the dog run off the leash.
Well, this point seems a little different. I mean, blue heelers are active dogs and they are sometimes known to be stubborn. So why should you let him run off the leash?
I won’t deny it. Leashed walks are very important. They help to keep your dog under control. But expects say that you should also let your dog run off the leash every now and then.
Still, it’s only recommended to do this if you are living in a fenced yard. You can also let them loose at the park, if you feel it’s ready for it. Letting your dog off the leash at the park will allow him to meet other dogs and socialize.
4) Enroll them into an agility class.
Agility classes are some of the best activities that you can engage in with your dog. If you are familiar with them, they are simply structured games, activities, and obstacle courses that are designed for you and your furry friend.
Above improving the bond between you and your dog, agility classes go a long way to help with your dog’s high energy, hence they are the perfect type of games for blue heelers.
The only issue with agility classes is where to find them. It is quite easy to find them, if you know where to look.
There several sources where you can find this information. Check online for any classes in your area. You can also ask your vet. He/she can recommend some classes that will suit your breed.
Lastly, you can also find this information at any obedience training school near you.
As mentioned, blue heelers or Australian Cattle dogs (which ever name you prefer) are loyal dogs that are attached to their owners, and they like to keep it that way.
Because they are so fond of having you around, they will surely miss you when you have to leave the house for a while, even if it’s just for a few hours. They will miss you, and can lead to separation anxiety if you are away for a longer time.
As such, it is important to keep your dog busy. Invest in some great toys that your dog can play with. These toys will help in keeping your dog occupied while you are gone.
I would recommend the toys in which you can stuff treats inside, because your dog will be earning a treat for playing with the toy. It’s 2 to 1. In conclusion, blue heelers can’t be left alone.
If you will be going away for a long time, you can also consider having someone around to watch your dog. This could be a sitter, a neighbor or a friend- just as long as the dog is already used to that person.