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Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix: Everything you need to know

Blue heeler rat terrier mix is a terrier mixed breed dog resulting from a cross between a purebred blue heeler and a rat terrier. They are extremely lively, vigilant, and have a fantastic prey drive acquired from both parents.

Despite their vastly different sizes, both parents have remarkably similar personality qualities.

Both the blue heeler and the rat terrier make excellent farm dogs as well as loyal companions.

This essay will go through the history, longevity, size, look, temperament, common health issues, and whether this mixed breed is suited for your family.

The Origins of the Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix

Knowing a dog breed’s history may appear unimportant. Still, it can provide us with invaluable information about the dog, such as their natural tendencies, the initial aim behind breeding the dog, and their previous reputation.

Blue heeler rat terrier cross hasn’t been around for very long, and like other designer dogs, it’s impossible to say when they were first bred.

While there isn’t much information regarding this mixed breed’s history, we may look back at the parent breeds and see how their origins may have influenced the eventual offspring.

Where Do Blue Heelers Come From?

The Australian Livestock Dog, also known as the Queensland Heeler, was bred in the nineteenth century by Australian immigrants to herd cattle while journeying to distant regions. Ranchers in Australia desired a dog capable of controlling a large number of livestock in order to propel the meat business forward.

British Smithfields introduced from England were outstanding sheep herders but failed to herd cattle; as a result, extensive breeding and crossbreeding were conducted to create a tough dog capable of tolerating high temperatures, harsh terrains, and strenuous job activities.

Around the year 1840, Thomas Hall and George Elliott, who was experimenting with British Smithfields, crossed them with dingoes and Blue merle Highland collies to create a great working dog. The dynamic character of these canines grabbed the interest of Australian ranchers, who purchased the pups with the intention of raising them for herding purposes.

By combining cattle dogs with dalmatians, two brothers, Jack and Harry Bagust, hoped to improve on the existing cattle dogs. They hoped to instill in these canines the devotion and horse-friendliness of dalmatians.

Mr. Kaleski established a standard for cattle dogs, which faced numerous challenges before being accepted by Australia’s Cattle and Sheep Dog Club and the first Kennel Club of New South Wales in 1903.

The Australian Cattle Dog was authorized for registration by the AKC on May 1, 1980, and was assigned to the working group on September 1, 1980.

Where Do Rat Terriers Come From?

The dog was named for President Theodore Roosevelt, who used it to eradicate rat infestations in the White House. It is widely contested whether he was the one who chose this name.

As the name implies, the rat terrier was initially bred to hunt rats, foxes, and other vermin on farms. Farmers in the United States bred fox terriers with bull terriers and old English white terriers, and Manchester terriers to instill such an essential attribute in a dog. A rat terrier appeared in the 1930 film “The Little Colonel,” starring Shirley Temple.

Between 1910 and 1930, American farmers recognized the need to enhance rat terriers by introducing newer, stronger breeds with greater competence. As a result, rat terriers were mixed with a whippet and an Italian greyhound in the Midwestern part of America. The resulting progeny was a well-rounded and quick dog with a more proficient working ability.

Rat terriers were crossed with beagles to create a tiny dog with a keen sense of smell. Some owners chose a little dog that could fit through smaller apertures. Toy or miniature rat terriers were created by breeding rat terriers with toy fox terriers and toy Manchester terriers.

Between 1930 and 1960, the popularity of this dog gradually fell due to farmers’ use of insecticides to kill rodents. Only a few breeders kept this dog alive until it regained popularity in the late 1980s.

Around this time, the Decker Rat Terrier and the Hairless Rat Terrier were both developed.

The Decker rat terrier was designed for hunting both small and large prey, such as foxes and squirrels and cougars, wild pigs, deer, and bears.

While the Hairless Rat Terrier is smaller and hairless than the Decker RTs, they do not shed, although their coat is susceptible to sunburn.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Appearance

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Blue heeler rat terrier mix puppies may look similar to their littermates. However, we may be able to discern what precise features he inherited from his blue heeler or rat terrier parents over time.

For example, a mixed breed may get a medium-sized blue heeler or a small-sized rat terrier. They can choose between the blue heeler’s mixed black and white hairs and the various color combinations of a rat terrier.

In fact, they can inherit many additional physical characteristics from both parents, such as eye colors, muscular build, and the shape of their skulls or muzzles.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Lifespan

Rat terriers typically live longer than blue heelers, but hybrid vigor confers a slightly longer lifespan on the mixed breed compared to their parents.

A blue heeler rat terrier hybrid has a life expectancy of 14 to 18 years. This dog will undoubtedly have ample time to form a strong attachment with its owner. He could live a little longer if he were nurtured in a healthy environment and given good care.

There are numerous elements that can influence a dog’s longevity. Genetics, nutrition, weight (heavier dogs are more prone to hip and elbow dysplasia), exercise, and environmental circumstances are also factors.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Size, Height, and Weight

The size of the blue heeler rat terrier hybrid is determined by either the blue heeler or the rat terrier parent.

Blue heelers average a height of 17 to 20 inches and a weight of 15 to 22 kg.

Rat terriers are little, attractive dogs that can grow to be 10 to 13 inches tall and weigh 4 to 12 kilograms.

Considering these measurements, a full-grown Blue Heeler Rat Terrier hybrid should stand 13 to 17 inches tall and weigh 9 to 17 kg.

You can average the height and weight of the parent dogs to get a more accurate estimate of the size of any given blue heeler rat mix puppy.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Temperament

A Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix is tenacious, lively, and devoted. He must always be engaged, or he will become a destructive nuisance. He is often suspicious of strangers, yet he has a close attachment with his owner. Because both parents have highly similar personalities, there is plenty of possibility for significant overlaps in the ensuing children.

Suppose it is a blue heeler rat terrier hybrid. In that case, it may be very protective and have an incredible herding instinct if it is a blue heeler father, or it may be swift-footed, prey-driven, and fond of digging if it is a rat terrier parent.

There is no way to determine which personality traits they will receive from each parent. As a result, determining which personality is up for grabs is purely speculative. However, by examining the temperaments of both parents, we can obtain an idea of the possibilities that could manifest in the mixed breed.

Blue Heeler Temperament

Farmers utilized blue heelers to control enormous herds of cattle by biting at their heels; therefore, they are well-known for their fantastic herding ability. Regardless, they are friendly, loyal, and protective family dogs who can be stubborn at times.

Blue heelers, who have remarkable endurance and tenacity, can endure pain effectively and may continue working with the same zeal even after being injured.

They are athletic and full of enthusiasm, and they need continual physical and mental stimulation to keep them weary and out of trouble. As a result, they may not be suitable for first-time buyers.

They frequently create close bonds with one member of the family and prefer to be shown attention in the form of physical contact with the individual. They are very intelligent and playful, so they must be given enough space to express their instinctive vigor and sharp mind.

Like any other dog out there, they require early socialization and training to eliminate any undesired or potentially dangerous behaviors. This will also help children become more comfortable with strangers.

Rat Terrier Temperament

Rat terriers are energetic, fun-loving, and feisty small charming dogs with an unforgiving prey drive, which is to be expected from a dog bred with sharp feeling and speed in mind in order to locate and keep up with rats and other tiny pests in farmlands.

Rat terriers are known to enjoy digging, particularly when they are bored. Consider making a digging landscape out of your dog’s paw prints, outlined with bricks or wood.

Rat terriers are intelligent and inquisitive little gentlemen with a prey-chasing proclivity, and they, like other terriers, can demonstrate a streak of stubbornness at times. Cracking their peace freedom code is a no-brainer for them because of their intelligence and superb jumping ability.

They can be aloof and even hostile to strangers, so it may take some time for them to adjust to new visitors. It is ideal for socializing your dog at a young age so that he can be open to new people and live harmoniously with other animals.

If Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix is left alone for an extended period of time, they may develop separation anxiety, which can lead to harmful behavior. They aren’t couched potatoes, so they require continual mental stimulation as well as a well-lit environment to keep healthy and happy. Aside from being an excellent farm dog, a rat terrier also makes an excellent watchdog and a friendly and affectionate companion.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Grooming and Care

Because both blue heelers and rat terriers are low-maintenance breeds, feeding, grooming, and caring for a blue heeler rat terrier hybrid should be a breeze.

If you buy commercial dog food, keep in mind and make sure it is of high quality. Also, be certain that the food you provide them contains the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and robust. Always supplement their diet with vegetables and high-protein foods such as chicken breast.

The nutritional needs of a blue heeler rat terrier mix, like any other dog, will change as he matures into an adult. Your veterinarian can advise you on your dog’s dietary needs depending on characteristics such as health, size, and activity level.

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix coats would be a cross between the coat patterns and colors of its blue heeler and rat terrier parents. The blue heeler has a double coats that includes a dense undercoat and a short water-resistant outer coat, whereas the rat terrier has a single coat that is dense and lustrous. Blue heelers appear to have blue-colored furs, as opposed to rat terriers, which come in a variety of colors and color combinations such as white, black, red, chocolate, lemon, blue, orange, tan, or rust.

The Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix coat is likely to be short to medium in length. Both the blue heeler and the rat terrier require less grooming and shed on a regular basis, resulting in fewer headaches. Brush your blue heeler rat terrier mix once or twice a week. Bathe him or her at the lowest possible once a month or as needed. Brush their teeth 2 to 3 times per week to remove tartar and bacteria.

Health Concerns for a Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix

Though hybrid vigor has reduced the likelihood of blue heeler rat terrier mix being prone to numerous genetic illnesses and pathogenic diseases, they are still in danger of inheriting various health issues from their parents.

Not all dog pets will have any or all of these concerns, but you should be aware of them if you’re considering getting a puppy.

Blue heelers are prone to progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, deafness, and Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD). In contrast, rat terriers are prone to kneecap luxation, hip dysplasia, dental abnormalities, heart and liver disorders.

Before purchasing a puppy, you may ensure that he is free of any genetic disease by asking the breeder to show you the puppy’s health clearances. You can also examine the littermates to ensure that they are all healthy and sturdy.

The Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix Exercise And Training

A blue heeler rat terrier mix, like both parents, will be full of energy and will require more than short daily walks to stay healthy. He is not a couch potato and would want a large space, most likely a fenced-in yard, to express its natural exuberance. He should participate in canine sports such as running, fetching, agility, rallying, frisbee tossing, herding balls, and tug of war.

Fortunately, both the blue heeler and the rat terrier are intelligent and trainable. Positive reinforcement and praise will most likely benefit the mixed-breed. Regular mental and physical stimulation will be beneficial in keeping this dog happy and relaxed.

To bond effectively and live peacefully among humans and other animals, Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix, like any other breed, will require early socialization and good training. As a result, never deny him such.


If you’re thinking of getting a blue heeler rat terrier mix, maybe you’ll make the right choice after reading this.

Rat terriers are more miniature and suited for first-time owners; however, blue heelers are not as easy to handle or teach and may desire to herd little children. However, both are bright, fearless, dedicated, and good watchdogs.

Before making a buy decision, it is also vital to be aware of the health conditions that both parents are prone to and to be prepared for them.