Also referred to as “Red Heelers” and “Queensland Heelers”, Blue Heelers are a breed of medium-sized herding dogs, first developed in Australia. Due to their nativity, these dogs are also known as the “Australian Cattle Dog”. As household pets, these dogs are playful and affectionate. However, many people have questions about the extent of their affection for their owners and their means to display it.
Do Blue Heelers like to cuddle? Although Blue Heelers are affectionate towards their owners, their breed is not used to cuddling and, therefore, doesn’t necessarily desire it. These dogs have their own ways of displaying affection to their owners. However, there are a few tips and tricks that might help your Blue Heeler in enjoying cuddles.
Many dog breeds out there can’t get enough of cuddling and are always waiting for you to shower them with your love and attention. However, Blue Heelers are not one of them. Today, we will tell you everything you need to know about Blue Heelers and cuddling.
The temperament of Blue Heelers
Before we start talking about the attitude of Blue Heelers towards cuddling, let’s learn a little about the general temperament of these dogs.
Like many of the other working dogs, these dogs were first developed to perform more practical tasks for humans, such as herding, assisting the disabled, etc. While they have come a long way from there, they still have an alert and active mind, are highly energetic, and are, thus, not keen on sitting or lying around, doing nothing.
These dogs also have a sharp herding instinct and often tend to herd the family members by nipping at their heels. This is how they have received the name of “Heeler”.
Are Blue Heelers affectionate?
When the Blue Heelers are brought up in a family, they learn to love and trust the family members as their own. The adult dogs get along with their owners, as well as other house pets.
They have been named “velcro dogs”, because they develop an intimate relationship with one person and tend to follow them around everywhere. However, just because they are affectionate towards their owners doesn’t mean that they would like being cuddled.
Unlike the dog breeds that crave human touches, such as Labradors, Pomeranians, or Pugs, the Blue Heelers do not need or appreciate excessive human touch or cuddles. These dogs are simply content with sitting beside their owners or playing with them.
Instances when Blue Heelers are likely to cuddle
Like we mentioned in the last section, cuddling is not a trait that the Blue Heelers have acquired with time. With that being said, there are instances when these no-contact dogs can be seen cuddling, too.
When they are cold
All dog breeds, including Blue Heelers, are instinctively pack animals and tend to huddle together in cold weather in order to get warmth.
This has been their survival instinct for thousands of years and continues to be. Therefore, if you’re sitting on your porch on a winter evening and find your pet huddling close to you, they will probably not mind if you cuddle them.
When they are scared
The pack mentality that we talked about in the last section is also why the Blue Heelers feel more secure and protected when huddled together. This is why you can cuddle your pet safely if they are displaying signs of fear or anxiety.
When they are tired
Once Blue Heelers have lived with you for long enough, they begin to let their guard down in your company and are less likely to react negatively to a cuddle. This is more probable at the end of the day when they’re spent and winding down.
Why does your Blue Heeler might stay away from cuddles?
Since the Blue Heelers are not of a cuddly nature, they will mostly act indifferent to your attempts at cuddling. However, if you notice your pet going out of its way to avoid being cuddled, it might be one of the following reasons:
An abusive history
This is most probable if you have brought your Blue Heeler home from a shelter. Many pets at the shelter have been abused by their previous owner and are, thus, extremely wary of any kind of human contact. While these dogs might learn to trust you eventually, it is best not to push their boundaries and send them into a frenzy.
Blue Heelers that do not receive proper socialization while growing up are often always on guard and can react harshly to any physical contact, especially if they are new to your family.
Injury or pain
Like most other dog breeds, Blue Heelers have a strong instinct to hide their vulnerabilities from everyone, including their owners. This instinct finds its root back in their life in the wild.
Therefore, when a Blue Heeler is in some kind of pain, they will try to maintain a safe distance from all your family members. If it seems to be the case with your pet, you should contact your vet right away to get them checked.
How to get Blue Heelers to enjoy cuddling?
Although we have established that Blue Heelers, in general, are not of the cuddly kind, it varies in degrees with every individual. While some of them don’t mind an occasional hug or cuddle, there are others that will always try to avoid it. At the end of the day, it depends on your dog’s individual personality and temperament.
However, for those of you who already own a Blue Heeler and want to get them to enjoy cuddling a little, there are some methods you can try to inspire it in them.
Play with them
As we’ve said before, Blue Heelers are highly energetic dogs. The best way to build a healthy, trusting relationship with them is by playing with them and indulging them in fun activities. You can easily notice that these dogs generally tend to be most attached to the member who takes them out the most.
Therefore, a sure shot method to get your Blue Heelers to be more open to cuddling, or physical contact of any kind, is to spend as much time as you can spare in playing with them.
It is often noticed that Blue Heelers that have been brought up with poor socialization tend to be more intolerant towards any physical gesture of affection, as we discussed in the last section.
The more you get them to socialize, the more comfortable they will feel around people. And hence, they will likely be more open towards or at least accepting of such gestures.
Pet them often
Ample physical contact with your pet is the only way to make them less wary of it. Also, the sooner you start it, the better.
For instance, if you bring home a Blue Heeler pup, it is impossible not to be overly affectionate with them. But how do you express it? Along with showering them with toys, treats, and attention, you must also pet them routinely.
While petting them, make it a point to touch the vulnerable areas of their body, such as their ears, paws, and teeth.
If the Blue Heelers get used to human touch at an early age, they will consider it normal when they are adults.
Moreover, more physical contact also leads to a stronger bond between a dog and its owner. If you live with your family, make sure the other members interact with your pet in a similar manner as well. This way, your Blue Heeler will feel more open towards your whole family.
Frequently asked questions
Do Blue Heelers shed a lot?
Yes, they do. But they have a short fur coat, which is relatively easier to maintain. Therefore, it wouldn’t pose much of a problem for you.
Do Blue Heeler pups bite?
With a history of being herding dogs, the Blue Heelers are instinctively mouthy dogs. This trait is more prevalent in the pups that are yet to learn that biting is wrong. They tend to bite or nip more easily than adults, especially if they’re not getting proper sleep. If you find your pet pup to get increasingly nippy lately, examine their sleeping pattern closely.
Do Blue Heelers like to cuddle? (summing it up)
To sum it up, if you are looking for a dog breed that is overly affectionate physically, Blue Heelers are not the most-suited dog breed for you.
These dogs have been bred and raised to fulfill more practical tasks and are, thus, not much taken to cuddling. However, it doesn’t mean that they lack affection for their owners, only that they have a different way of showing it.
They are more of a one-person dog and tend to follow their owners around everywhere. However, if you already own a Blue Heeler and are looking for ways to make them cuddly, playing with them and getting them to socialize are your best options. In case they’re still pups, you can also pet them routinely to make them used to the human touch.