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Why Do The Amish Love The Blue Heeler Dog So Much


Why Do The Amish Love The Blue Heeler Dog So Much

By Josh Brown

May 19, 2022

Amish Products, Amish viewpoint, Amish Way of Life, Livestock

If you have ever been around an Amish farm it's quiet possible you have noticed the Amish do love dogs. In the Amish community located here in middle Tennessee its not uncommon to just drive down the roads in Amish country and see many different breeds of dogs around an Amish home place. But, generally you see the Blue Heeler dogs around just about all the Amish farms in our Amish community. So with my inquisitive mind I just had to know why the Amish community loves the Blue Heeler dogs so much?  I did a little research on the Blue Heeler and why the Amish love this animal so much, to fill you in on why the Blue Heeler is such a great dog to have around. So sit right back for a great read, the Crockett Cooner is here again at The Amish Of Ethridge doing a little blogging about the Amish and their love of the Blue Heeler. This post is sure to get your tails wagging!!!

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The Awesome Background Of The Blue Heeler Cattle Dog

When you take a look at the Blue Heeler dog the most important thing to remember is where the breed originated. The answer to this question of the beginnings of the Blue Healer helps answer the question, why do the Amish love the breeding and many uses of the Blue Heeler so much. The Blue Heeler originated in Australia in quiet an interesting way. The Blue Heeler was created by people traveling from England with their particular pure breeds of dogs to the country of Australia and crossing the pure breed English dogs with the wild Dingo dogs found in Australia. This cross of the domesticated dogs with the wild Dingo is what gives the Blue Heeler not only its look and shape, but also its ability to live and work in harsh climates!!!

As we all know the Amish farmers many times have large amounts of livestock on their farms. So the Amish are always in need of a good herding dog to help with the Amish farms work of moving the livestock from one place to another. The Amish farmers learned the Blue Heeler had a breeding to do just that. The Blue Heeler with its genes of the wild Dingoes mixed with pure bred herding dogs that originated in England. Is what gave the Blue heeler not only the want to please man and to preform a job such as herding.  But, to also have the health and mental capabilities to withstand many different weather conditions and have the strength to move quickly and not tire while working all day.    

The Founding Fathers Of The Blue Heeler Breed

George Elliott of Queensland, Australia around the 1840's was the first person to cross the Blue Merie Collie with the indigenous wild Dingo dogs found in Australia.  Now the first crosses where successful and many of the puppies from the crosses George Elliott made where very good working and herding dogs but, the cattle farmers of Australia want more. From George Elliott's cross two gentlemen by the name Jack and Harry Bagust decided to add to the Blue Heeler cross George Elliott had made and mixed the Blue Heeler of that time with the Dalmatian coach breed of dogs. This was to help give the Blue Heeler a shorter different color coat and more intelligence when dealing with humans and guarding property. The downfall of the first crosses made by the Bagust's was the first Blue Heelers crosses made in this way lost some of their working and herding abilities. 

Gaining the intelligence though for companionship and guarding that was sought after from the cross of the Dalmatian and Blue Heeler. The Bagust's then changed their focus to bring the herding genes back. The Bagust's decided their Blue Heeler pups still needed more breeding to produced a Blue Heeler that could do little more in herding and gathering livestock. The Bagust's wanted to install a little more working ability back into their new Blue Heeler cross. So with their next breeding they used a Black and Tan Kelpie. The Black and Tan Kelpie is a small short haired dog found in Australia that was used also for herding and was developed originally to be a herding sheep dog. So with the cross of the Black and Tan Kelpie to the Blue Heeler Dalmatian cross it gave the Bagust's the Blue Heeler that we know and love to this day.

As we see the results of all this cross breeding is what makes the standard for the Australian Blue Heeler with its short in size body make up resembling a Dingo, thick and muscular frame but, still slim in hind quarters. With the coat and markings of the Dalmatian and Black and Tan Kelpie with its tick coat that is marked with patches on the chest and dark marks over and around the eyes. Followed up with the intelligence and loyalty of the Dalmatian and the working herding drive of the Black and Tan Kelpie.

A finial name to remember is Robert Kaleski when it comes to the Blue Heeler breed. Kaleski acquired the Blue Heelers of the late 1800's and continued to work on the Blue Heeler breed. Robert Kaleski wanted to refine and help the Blue Heeler even more through more selective breeding to ensure that the Blue Heeler would NOT have as many red tic markings in its coat and to ensure that the Blue Heeler breed would be able to endure harsh climates, much like its ancestor the Dingo. Also Kaleski wanted to ensure through his more extensive selective breeding, that all of the herding traits of the Blue Heeler would be expanded on to make the Blue Heeler a known name in the herding dog world. This need for greatness in herding was to ensure the breed was reliable enough in herding, to be recognized by the Kennel Clubs of Australia as a new pure breed of herding dog.   

So, keep in mind if you are interested in the Blue Heeler breed as a pet or for work. The Amish might have a pup for sale or you might find a Blue Heeler elsewhere in the world. But, remember many times the Blue Heeler will be called by different names.  This is depending on what area of the world you are in and due to the many types of breeding of the Blue Heeler compared to who is doing the talking about the breed. Below is a list of names to show some of the different names people in different parts of the world use to describe the Blue Heeler dog...           

Different Names For The Blue Heeler

  • Australian Heeler
  • Red Heeler ( Is A Blue Heeler With Different Color Coat/ More Red)
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Queensland Heeler Dog
  • Amish Heeler Dog
  • Amish Blue Heeler Dog
  • Amish Cattle Dog
Amish Boy With Dog

The Amish With Blue Heeler Puppies For Sale

Why Would The Amish Farmer Want To Promote The Blue Heeler Breed

As you see from the back ground of the Blue Heeler it is a great working dog. The Amish are known as hard working people with great skills and knowledge when it comes to livestock and herd animals. It is not uncommon to see Blue Heeler dogs working in pairs around the Amish community here in  Tennessee. Moving cattle, sheep, and goats from pasture to pasture, or separating the herd of livestock to single out a particular animal for the Amish farmer. Now if you know anything about the Amish as a whole they are always  up to something around their farms and businesses daily. This makes the Blue Heeler the dog of choice for the Amish due to it high energy level and want to accomplish a task. With the Amish mind set and everyday problems you find around a working farm the Amish can find many task besides herding for the Blue Heeler to help the Heeler use its energy for a greater purpose. With my trips to Amish community I had to ask a few of the Amish farms what else could their Blue Heelers dogs do? I was amazed when I found out that most of the Blue Heelers found here in Amish country hand many jobs around the farms. Here is what one Amish fellow told me about his Blue Heeler, when I ask did you train your dog to do stuff? Here is what he told me...

"Amos is a good dog we use him to help with the live stock and he is the mouser on the farm, he is smart and understands what we say for him to do. He does a better job than the cats of getting the mice and rats out of the barn, and he lets us know every time someone comes up the driveway."

I inquired a little more about training of his dog and the Amish fellow explained that his Blue Heeler was not hard to train. That it was almost as if "Amos" knew what to do without teaching him anything!!! That his love to help with the live stock was obvious and that it was possible to go weeks without moving the livestock or needing to separate the herd. Then when the time came around the Blue Heeler picked right back up as if he herded each day. I might add as this conversation took place with the Amish farmer. I noticed two Amish boys, I would speculate that where about 6 and 8 petting and playing with another Blue Heeler puppy. They where giving commands to the pup in the Amish Dutch language, and it was obvious the puppy understood. Then the older Amish farmer spoke to the puppy in English and he also responded, and came right up to us. The Amish fellow showed me his new Blue Heeler puppy and explained he was the son of "Amos" the older dog. I have to say I was very impressed when I learned the Blue Heeler is so smart in intelligence that it can be bilingual.     

Amish Sign

Amish Sign Showing What's For Sale

If You Choose A Blue Heeler Puppy From The Amish As A Pet

If you travel in Amish county many times you will see the signs that explain what each Amish farm has to offer and on those signs you might see puppies for sale or free. So if you have decided the the Blue Heeler might be a great dog for you and your family there are a few points to keep in mind before getting a Blue Heeler as a pet or for a working dog. 

Points To Remember About The Blue Heeler Before You Buy

  1. The Blue Heeler would most likely not be happy in an apartment, due to its need to physically run out its large amounts of energy. A home with a large yard or farm would be the ideal setting.(big open spaces)
  2. The Blue Heeler is very intelligent and will not do well in a setting where left alone all day while the family is at work or school. (Keep in Mind: The Amish are farmers and are around their farm most all day interacting with their dogs.)
  3. Some Blue Heeler's might NOT do well with smaller children.(Keep in Mind: The Blue Heeler is a herding dog and will nip at your heels while playing, much like how it herds livestock!) 
  4. The Blue Heeler is a herding dog, if you have decided to purchase a Heeler for the purpose of herding, to keep on your farm to help work. (Make sure to check and see if the Amish person you buy your pup from has parent dogs with good herding skills.) 
  5. If you purchase a Blue Heeler puppy from the Amish ask first if the puppy comes with registration papers. (Many times the Amish MAY or MAY NOT have registered dogs.)
  6. If you purchase a Blue Heeler from the Amish ask about vaccinations of the puppy. (Many times the Amish farmers will take care of all or some of the shots a young puppy requires.)
  7. Blue Heelers generally have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years ( One of the oldest dogs ever reported to live was a Blue Heeler.)

I hope a few of the points above might help you if you have decide to purchase a Blue Heeler from the Amish as your next family friend. I know for my readers that keep up with the post here at the Amish Of Ethridge website, we mention this quiet a bit. But, always remember if you travel to Amish country to find an Amish breed Blue Heeler puppy make sure to NEVER go on Sunday. The Amish never work on Sunday, even if it is something as simple as buying a puppy. 

So What Could An Amish Breed Blue Heeler Be Trained To Do For You

The Amish Breed Blue Heelers can also be used in all kinds of sporting K9 events if you are looking for some fun and training for your new Amish breed Blue Heeler puppy. K9 events such as agility, obedience, tracking, and rally are where the Blue Heeler excels. Another great K9 event would be water events for the Blue Heeler to participate in. This is due in part to Blue Heelers double coat. The Blue Heeler was breed to have a coat that can repel rain and wetness from bad weather conditions. The first layer of hair found on the Blue Heeler is for repelling rain and the second more dense under layer of hair is to keep the Blue Heeler warm if they do in fact get wet in outside conditions. 

Also, another great thing to remember is that if you have decided to find an Amish Blue Heeler as a puppy. When Blue Heeler puppies are born weather their parents are the normal blue color we think of or red in color. All Blue Heeler puppies are born with a white coat, and their adult colors will not show up until they reach an older age in life. So taking a good look at the mother and father of your Amish Blue Heeler might give you an indicator in how your puppy will look when grown, especially if you have decided to enter your new Blue Heeler in any dog shows. But, viewing the parent animals should be no problem on an Amish farm and most Amish farmers are happy to show you any of their animals. 

If You Decide To Get An Amish Blue Heeler To Herd For You Or For Stock Dog Trials

As always the Amish usually use their Blue Heelers as herding and livestock working stock dogs, just as the Blue Heeler was intended. If you have decided to get an Amish breed Blue Heeler to herd around your farm, or you are interested in stock herding events here  is a great place to start. In the stock herding events one of the biggest names is the  American Stock Dog Registry, which many Amish breeders use as a register along with other registries like AKC, UKC, and PKC. At the previous link you can find all kinds of information about the requirements on what your new Amish Breed Blue Heelers would need to have in order to compete in stock herding events and where different events will be held. Also if you have decided to start your own line of Blue Heeler breed dogs the American Stock Dog Registry can show the different kennel club registries it accepts, and get you into the performance programs for your pup.  

If your not really into paperwork and don't care about any type of herding events and just need a good dog around to help out on your farm the Amish can usually help on this too. Many times if you are not concerned on paperwork with your new Blue Heeler the Amish can offer a much better price or possible will give you a free Heeler puppy.  If you decide to go and find a Blue Heeler puppy for just herding around your home I would suggest to go and plan to spend some time with the Amish breeder and ask the Amish farmer if they could show you the parent dogs working moving livestock there at the Amish farm. Keep in mind when buying a puppy especially a Blue Heeler for herding its not always a guarantee that your puppy will be a great herder but, the chances are more likely if the parent dogs can herd really well your puppy will usually have those abilities when its grown. 

Bald Eagle

Fly Away

Well its time to end this post I hope the information here will help you know a little more about why the Amish love the Blue Heeler dog breed so much and might influence you into loving the Blue Heeler dogs. Make sure if you found this post insightful to please sign up for our news letter to stay informed on everything going on at The Amish Of Ethridge website to get our most up to date blog post. Also if you are looking around the old inner webs make sure to check out our other websites, the links can be found on the main page. Take time to look for The Amish Of Ethridge at Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Please, remember to leave us a review we always love to hear the opinions of our readers. Thank you all again for reading this  post, have a great day and an even better tomorrow. 

Faq

What does a Blue Heeler Puppy cost at the Amish?

Depending on the breeding and paper work a Blue Heeler puppy can range from $600 to $1000 dollars. But this is the great thing about the Amish line of dogs many time the puppies will be cheaper in price, and sometimes free. This depends on different factors such as  paperwork, vaccinations, and number of puppies in a litter. 

How Do I locate a Blue Heeler puppy at the Amish with out signs by the road?

Word of mouth is a big point of interest for the Amish community. Plan on spending a entire Saturday in Amish county driving from farm to farm and ask around, if no signs for puppies are out. This method of driving will usually produce good results. (Visits are usually the best on Fridays and Saturdays)

How do the Amish take payment for blue Heeler puppies?

Usually cash money is the best bet, there are no ATM's  or debit cards because the old order Amish don't believe in using such things due to religious belfies. Some Amish farmers will accept personal checks, but not all of them. 

Things to always ask an Amish Farmer about a new puppy?

1. Do the pups have papers? If not can you get me some or tell me how to get papers for my puppy?

2. If my puppy got sick and something bad happened, could your get me another puppy or my money back?

3. How old are the puppies, are they weaned from their mother, if so what have you been feeding the pups? (many times people rush the solid food weaning process, not good for any dog)

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