Are you thinking of adopting a puppy and not sure which breed to bring home? If yes, then there are countless cute little options for you, but it is necessary to understand and get a four-legged companion that best fits your needs.
With the crossbreeds gaining popularity among designer breeders and pet-lovers, you may want to consider a loving, hardworking, and always energetic breed like the Pit Heeler. The Pit Heeler is a cute mix of the American Pit Bull Terrier & Blue Heeler. These adorable dogs are gaining love and interests from across the world, and they are the kind of companion you want to have at your home!
Here is a quick guide that will help you know anything and everything you need to know about the Pit Heeler before you finally decide to bring it home.
Pit Heeler – American Pit Bull Terrier & Blue Heeler Mix
Here is a quick summary table that will help you know more about Pit Heeler:
|Height||17 to 24 inches|
|Weight||35 to 60 pounds|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
|Colors||grey, white, or brown base with blue mottled, striped, or spotted|
|Intelligence||Very intelligent and can learn tricks easily|
|AKC Breed Popularity||Not recognized by AKC|
|Temperament||Loyal, Headstrong, Loving, Hardworking, Always Looking to Please|
|Daily Food Consumption||3 meals per day of protein-rich dog food|
|Common Health Issues||Hip dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy, Congenital Hereditary Sensorineural Deafness (CHSD)|
Facts about Pit Heeler mix:
Before you decide to buy or adopt a Pit Heeler mix, here are some interesting facts you may like to know:
- Pit Heelers are highly muscular and robust dogs. Their high energy levels need a massive garden for them to run around and burn excess energy. So if you are looking for a couch potato, then these are not the ones for you!
- The Pit Heelers are great at socializing with people and animals around them. By the time they reach adulthood, you will find that with adequate training, they are the best pets and great companions.
- These are highly energetic dogs, and can run for miles together without missing a beat! They are excellent as working dogs!
- The Pit Heeler dogs are the white, grey, or brown base with blue mottled, striped, or spotted finish in color. Sometimes they may even have mixed colors, depending on their inherited genes.
- The Pit Heelers have a natural inclination towards rolling in the dirt and roaming in the playground. You may need to regularly groom your puppy if you want to keep it neat and tidy.
- Pit Heelers come from a very hardy stock with very few health complaints. Your Pit Heeler will have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
- A purebred Heeler can be quite expensive, but a Pit Heeler mix puppy should cost between $800 and $1,200.
About the Pit Heeler Mix:
The Pit Heeler, also known as the Bull Heeler, the Queensland Pit, or even the Bull Pit Heeler, is a rather new breed, crossing the American Pitbull with the Blue Heeler. This incredible breed gets the best of its loyalty and dynamic behaviour from both of its parent breeds.
They have a muscular build and look pretty strong with powerful jaws. These highly energetic dogs need daily exercise and mentally engaging activities to prevent destructive behaviour from showing up.
The Pit Heeler is an adorable family pet that loves to please and impress its owners. They are protective and sensible and will never let you down when it comes to guarding and protecting your family. These dogs are more likely to be rather tenacious, strong, territorial, intelligent, often headstrong, and frequently delightful animals.
A Pit heeler comes at a reasonable amount of $800 and $1,200. But, ensure that you purchase it from a reliable breeder. He should have all the necessary documents of health checkups and other health examinations of the puppy and its parent dogs. A reputable breeder will give you complete information about the current and possible health ailments of the puppy. Therefore, make sure that you run a background check not only on the puppy but also on the breeder to ensure its safety.
The appearance of The Pit Heeler Mix:
The Pit Heeler inherits its personality both from the American Pitbull Terrier and the Blue Heeler. Thus, it is natural for its appearance to depend on the parent genes. A Pit Heeler can weigh anywhere from 35 to 60 pounds and can be about 17 to 24 inches tall. As both the parent dogs are highly active, athletic, and energetic, your puppy will more likely be a little ball of fire. These dogs have a muscular build like their Pitbull parents and can get quite big.
The Pit Heeler is known for its powerful jaws and broad chests. These dogs carry a look of confidence in their sharp brown eyes that look like ovals. Their noses come in different colors of black, brown, and blue and have curved and tapering tails that get thinner as they near the end. They have round feet with short toes that help them maintain their balance while moving around tough terrains.
The Pit Heeler will have dense, medium-sized hair with a wavy texture. They tend to shed twice a year and need brushing about twice a week to remove loose hair. Blue, Black, Brindle, White, Red, Fawn, or even Sable are some of the Pit Heeler colour possibilities.
History and Origin of The Pit Heeler Dog:
Designer dogs like the Pit Heeler have just started gaining popularity and have become a household name. The Pit Heeler is a hybrid or a designer breed born from two purebred breeds, the American Pitbull Terrier and the Blue Heeler. Since they are still new, it can be challenging to get accurate information on these dogs. To discover more about them, we have to consider the characteristics of both parent breeds and make an educated guess by observing and comparing the features of the two races.
The Australian Cattle Dog or Cattle Dog is a breed that has origin in Australia and was used to drive cattle over rough terrains. This medium-sized dog has a short coat that occurs in two primary colors, black or brown, distributed evenly through a white coat, giving the appearance of a “red” or “blue” dog.
The blue Heeler was a purely bred dog by the Australian settlers in the middle of the 19th century. Most of the credit of the Australian Beef Industry expansion goes to these canines as the ranchers used them in their quests.
There were a series of breedings and cross-breedings, the ranchers came up with a sturdy and stable canine capable of handling the harsh climatic conditions of Australia. During this time, these purebred dogs bred with the dogs that travelled to Australia from England. This crossbreeding wanted to create the ancestors of the Blue Heeler.
By May 1980s, the Blue Heeler Dog received the prestigious registration by the American Kennel Club. This event turned out to be a significant boom for these dogs’ popularity as they received recognition from dog lovers across the world. Designer breeders took this opportunity to uplift their market by focusing on the crossbreeding of these dogs. The breed also gained popularity when they became eligible for show in the Working Group by mid of September 1980 and transferred to the Herding Group in 1983.
On the other hand, the history of Pitbull dates back to as early as the ancient days of the 1800s in the United Kingdom. The Pitbulls that we know today have their ancestral roots going back to the Old English Bulldogs. Over the years, they were subject to several crossbreeding leading to the American Pitbull Terrier we know today. Their initial years were cruel as they became a part of some cruel blood sports like ‘bull-baiting.’ It was for this very purpose that they were called Bulldogs.
By mid-1835, the British Parliament decided to give this cruelty a halt and prohibited this extreme blood-shedding sport. The breeders decided to provide these Pitbulls better strength and agility. They started breeding them with one or more types of the few prominent Terriers that had enhanced agility and strength. The breeders wanted a dog with a higher drive to seek prey and which is much more powerful and agile.
By the mid 19th century, the American Pit Bull Terrier reached the United States, where they received much better treatment and did well as cattle dogs. A majority of these dogs worked as herders, guardians, hunters, and companions, and some even served as nanny dogs.
Considering both the parent breeds, the Pit Heeler dogs are a great combination of the brilliant Terriers and the ancient Blue Heelers that served through generations.
Is The Pit Heeler Dog Good with Children?
The Pit Heelers make excellent family pets as they have a long lifespan, are loyal, and loving. But, these canines need training and socializing from a young age for them to display the characteristics. Socialization is also necessary if you have other pets in your house. Socializing your puppy in its formative years through training classes and regularly engaging with other people, should be enough for this dog to get along with you and your family.
Care of The Pit Heeler Dog:
Food and Nutrition Requirements:
A regular doggie diet consists of good quality animal protein and carbs that fuel their energy requirements. Such a diet helps your puppy build healthy muscles, which becomes particularly crucial in a highly energetic breed like the Pit Heeler.
In the early puppy phase, your young Pit Heeler will have a higher protein demand than adult dogs. The adult dogs still require a minimum of 18% protein in their diet, while young Pit Heelers need at least 22% of it. You have to ensure that your young puppy receives about 8% fat, and your adult Pit Heeler receives about 5% of fat in its diet. Foods rich in chondroitin and glucosamine are the best for your dog. Such a nutritious diet helps your puppy in maintaining good musculoskeletal health and unmatched strength.
In the young formative years, your puppy will require about three meals a day to fuel its energetic nature. As your pup gets older, you can reduce his diet to two bowls every day. YOu can stick to three meals a day if your adult Heeler is an active or working dog, but ensure that they get the right amount of protein, vitamins, fat, and minerals throughout the day.
You now know that the Pit Heeler is a sturdy, agile, and highly energetic dog. The parent breed originally bred for herding cattle over a vast land, and they can roam miles without getting tired. While its offspring, the Pit Heeler, may not have the same energy and exercise requirements as they would when ranching, you need to ensure that your pet does not remain idle or inactive for long periods. You must take time off and bond with your dog by spending an hour a day with it and providing sufficient physical exercise for Heeler.
The Pit Heelers are also sensible and intelligent. They love engaging in physical exercise when combined with mental stimulation. Activities like playing games, providing plenty of interactive toys, and going on treks can be a great way to train your Heeler. This training can also be an excellent way to bond with your puppy.
Remember that a tired dog is a good dog. Leaving your dog alone will lead to the multiplication of its excessive energy and will only push the destructive behaviour that it inherits from the Pitbull parent. These dogs tend to destroy objects around them like cushions or carpets when they are left alone for long.
Your Pit Heeler needs training from a very young age. This breed is sturdy, energetic, and very joyful and playful. Training them from a young age will help set boundaries and teach them good behaviour, so they don’t get bored or engage in aggressive activities. Staying inactive for prolonged periods can trigger its dynamic nature that it inherits from the Pitbull parent and lead to the destruction of sofas and other furniture. Thus, you must train them young and also use positive reinforcement as a training technique.
You can start by teaching the basics like sit and stay commands. You will also need to discourage nipping as it is a natural trait for this breed of dog. These dogs nip at the heels of cattle. You can also reward them for actions that discourage nipping and help them understand that it is positive.
Early socialization is necessary for every dog. Your Heeler can be shy and uneasy about strangers. Also, their herding nature shows up around other dogs and animals. Getting your dog around people and other animals will ensure that it gets comfortable and learns to live with others.
Your dog will have a natural inclination to roll around in the dirt and roam, kick, and play in open yards. This inclination dictates your Pit Heelers grooming requirements. Make sure that you give your puppy a weekly brushing. You may not have to provide it with a regular bath. You can shampoo it when it starts to get dirty and have a terrible odor.
The Pit Heelers have dense and wavy hair types, which means they require a moderate amount of grooming to keep their hair smooth. You will also have to clip your dog’s nails about once every two or three months, although this depends on how much exercise they get and how much they walk on concrete. You have to take good care of your dog as hard, and abrasive surfaces as that of concrete can wear their nails down.
Your vet can help you set up a standard guideline for cleaning its teeth and ears. Mostly your pet will need its teeth cleaned about two or three times a week to avoid tooth decay and oral issues. Make sure you check your dog’s ears for debris and wipe them out every week to prevent mites and ear infections.
Health issues of Pit Heeler Mix:
Your little Pit Heeler comes from very rugged stock. Both its parent breeds are robust, vigorous, and healthy. The owners have rarely observed health issues in them. However, the activity levels of the dog make it prone to suffering like that of hip dysplasia. To avoid such unpredictable problems, you need to ensure that you have a piece of useful knowledge about the potential health issues that your dog may face in the future. You can research and look into your breeder’s reliability, which will also confirm the Pit Heeler health condition at the time of adoption.
The Blue Heeler breed may also be more likely to suffer from vision loss due to progressive retinal atrophy.
Coming from the Blue Heeler and American Pit Bull Terrier, the Pit Heeler breed faces the same health conditions as the parent breeds. Here are some of the health issues that your dog may be prone to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Congenital Hereditary Sensorineural Deafness (CHSD)
- Progressive retinal atrophy
The hybrid dogs are generally healthier than their parent breeds. However, specific health issues may need immediate attention. You may need to take your dog for a regular veterinary checkup as it can prove to be useful. Tests such as eye examinations, heart tests, X-rays, thyroid tests, blood tests, and checkups of hips and elbows can avoid many ailments. With proper care and love, your Pit Heeler may live up to 12 to 15 years.
Final Thoughts on the Pit Heeler:
The Pit Heeler is a lovable, energetic, and fun cross between the American Pitbull and the Blue Heeler. They descend from herding and cattle dogs and are best known for their boundless energy and enthusiasm. They do need regular and consistent training and socialization training from a young age because of their Pitbull genes. But if trained well, the Pit Heeler is the best companion that makes a friendly and loyal member of the family.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.