Pit Heeler – Full Owner’s Guide
Have you been thinking about adopting a Pit Heeler? Would you like to learn more about these amazing dogs? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve put together information that will help you decide if a Pit Heeler is the right dog for you and your family. We have included information about the history of the breed, breed characteristics, and so much more!
What is a Pit Heeler?
A Pit Heeler is a designer dog. What does this mean? It means the Pit Heeler is a hybrid dog that’s a cross between a Blue Heeler and an American Pit Bull Terrier. You may also hear these dogs referred to as a Pit Heeler. They are also sometimes called Bull Heelers, Blue Pit Cattle Terriers, Blue Terriers, Bull Pit Heelers, Red Pit Cattle Terriers, Red Terriers, or Queensland Pit! Say that sentence ten times very fast!
The dogs are gaining in popularity; however, as a designer dog breed, it can be difficult to determine the characteristics, personality, and other aspects of these dogs. So, it’s necessary to consider the parents of these dogs.
The History of the Pit Heeler
The Pit Heeler (the name we prefer—it’s easy to say and cute!) may have been bred in the late 90s. During this time, designer dogs were becoming ever more popular. It’s thought that breeders decided to mix two parents who had health problems in order to make a healthier dog.
The breeders bred an American Pitbull Terrier with a Blue Heeler, and the result was the Pit Heeler!
That’s about all that’s known for sure about the history of these dogs. So, let’s take a look at both of the parents of the Pit Heeler to learn more about these designer, hybrid dogs.
The American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier was originally bred in England to bait bulls. Thankfully, this practice was outlawed by about 1835, with the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act. The American Pitbull Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in the 1930s.
These are very confident dogs who are quite aware of their environment. They truly love people.
Unfortunately, these dogs continue to have a bad reputation when it comes to being aggressive. Some locations around the country have made it illegal to keep American Pitbull Terriers as pets. However, these dogs make great family companions with proper training and socialization.
What many people don’t realize is that these dogs do not make good watchdogs! They’re more likely to welcome an intruder and show them where the good stuff is! That’s because the dogs are eager to please and love to welcome people to their homes. Even so, American Pitbull Terriers are loyal and loving to their family. They’re also very brave and have been known to protect their family to the death.
American Pitbull Terries are extremely intelligent dogs and quite trainable. They learn quickly and love to have fun during training. Plus, they want to be involved with whatever their family is up to!
However, this is not the right dog for families or pet parents who don’t have time for a dog. These dogs need a lot of attention. They’re best for pet parents who understand the breed and know how to properly train and socialize these dogs.
American Pitbull Terriers can weigh between 30 to 85 lbs and stand between 17 to 19 inches tall.
The Blue Heeler, also known as an Australian Cattle Dog, is just as intelligent as an American Pitbull Terrier. They’re also very active, sturdy dogs that were bred for herding cattle. These working dogs are not couch potatoes by any means!
The Blue Heeler needs to be active and have a job. Without proper direction on what to do, these dogs will find their own entertainment. It’s possible to come home to chewed-up furniture, shoes, clothes, and much more. They are also prone to dig (think of your entire flower bed dug up in a short time)!
Even so, these dogs are highly devoted and loyal to their pet parent and family. They have a tendency to choose one person who is the object of their affections. For these reasons, the dogs are sometimes referred to as Velcro dogs—they stick and won’t let go!
These dogs also have a strong prey drive, which means they may go after cats and other small animals. However, with the proper training and socialization, Blue Heelers can learn to live with some animals in their home. However, if they see an outside animal (including a cat) that doesn’t belong to their family, the dog will go after it.
Blue Heelers are also very protective and of their family and home. They tend to be very wary of strangers. In addition, the dogs may not be good with young kids. This is because these dogs have a strong herding instinct and will herd children (and even some adults). They also use their mouths to nip whoever or whatever they’re herding. They also tend to bite when playing. Here, again, training and socialization from a young age can curb these tendencies.
Blue Heelers are very touch dogs that are able to handle extremely warm weather, rough terrain and go long distances as they work. What’s more, they are also highly tolerant of pain. This means if the dog is in pain, he will ignore it and keep on working.
Blue Heelers can stand between 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 30 to 50 lbs.
Pit Heeler Appearance
Pit Heelers are hybrid dogs whose parents are the American Pitbull Terrier and a Blue Heeler. American Pitbulls tend to have strong jaws and muscular necks. Their jaws are powerful and have a scissor-type bite. These dogs also have a deep, broad chest. American Pitbull Terriers can look stocky and muscular and are very athletic and strong. These dogs are also very confident and intelligent.
On the other hand, Blue Heelers are compact, sturdy dogs. They are agile and have muscles to match! They have slightly curved tails that are held low. They also have rounded feet with short toes. These dogs also have broad heads with widely set ears. The breed is a medium-sized dog with eyes that are dark and shaped like ovals. They also have a scissor-like bite and are extremely agile. They are confident and intelligent dogs.
When it comes to the Pit Heeler, they’re a combination of their parents! These designer dogs are a little bit longer than they are tall. They have strong muscles, broad hindquarters similar to their Blue Heeler parents.
If the dog more strongly resembles his Pitbull parent, he may have a more narrow torso on the tail end. They may also have a more rounded head like their Pitbull parent, with medium eyes that will probably be brown.
However, it’s important to say that it’s not always possible to predict the appearance of a Pit Heeler. This is because they are hybrid dogs. Each litter will be unique, as will each puppy in the litter. It’s possible siblings won’t even have the same characteristics.
Pit Heeler Temperament
What about the Pit Heeler’s temperament? Here, again, it will depend on the dog’s parents, which parent they most resemble, their environment, and socialization.
Some Pit Heelers may be more loyal and intelligent, like their Blue Heeler parent. However, they may also have the Pitbull’s inherent friendliness! It’s also possible the Pit Heeler may inherit their Blue Heeler parent’s strong wariness of strangers.
These dogs usually want to please their pet parents; however, they’re not the best dogs for first-time pet parents. Pit Heelers are best for pet parents who have experience with this breed and who will be committed to continuous training and socialization.
Many pet parents of Pit Heelers say the dogs are not noisy (neither parent is all that barky!). However, these dogs can sometimes be aggressive and overly protective.
Just as with their other characteristics, it’s very difficult to predict the temperament of these hybrid dogs. However, these dogs can make wonderful family companions with proper training and socialization.
Pit Heeler Health
Pit Heelers tend to be healthy dogs, as both parents usually don’t carry harmful genetic mutations. However, there are some health issues the Pit Heeler may be prone to, including:
- Hip & elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Patella issues
- Thyroid problems
- Congenital heart problems
In addition, Pit Heelers can develop hereditary deafness from their Blue Heeler parent.
Pit Heelers have a life expectancy of between 12 to 14 years.
Training & Exercising a Pit Heeler
Pit Heelers have a ton of energy because of their working dog parent, the Blue Heeler. Along with their energy, these dogs are very muscular (like their Pitbull parent). In other words, you have a strong dog that has a ton of energy. You can probably guess where this is going!
Pit Heelers require plenty of exercise. They need at least 45 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. In addition, because they’re also highly intelligent, Pit Heelers also need plenty of mental stimulation. What’s more, these dogs have a strong prey drive which means they should not be allowed to run off-leash.
When it comes to training, a Pit Heeler should start training at a young age. These dogs do well in obedience classes as they become older, too. This is also an excellent way to socialize the dogs. The sooner training is started, the higher the chance the Pit Heeler puppy will become a loving, well-rounded adult dog.
The good news is that while these dogs are highly intelligent, they’re also quite eager to please. This makes the training process easier with a Pit Heeler. They do best with consistent training and the use of positive reinforcement training methods, backed with high-value treat rewards.
Feeding a Pit Heeler
When it’s time to feed a Pit Heeler, they require about 2.5 cups of dog food each day. They thrive on kibble or wet dog food, or a mixture of the two. Adult dogs should have at least two meals a day.
These dogs do best with dog foods formulated for active, medium-sized dogs. No matter the type of food, it should contain a high amount of protein. Some type of meat should be first on the ingredient list.
In addition, dog foods should be free of artificial preservatives and other harmful substances. Avoid dog foods that contain high amounts of fillers, by-products, and ingredients with names you can’t pronounce.
If you’re not sure what food to feed your Pit Heeler, then check with the breeder or the vet. They will have the right advice for your unique fur baby!
Pit Heeler Coat & Colors
When it comes to colors, here, it’s also hard to predict what the puppies may look like. Pit Heelers can be red, blue, brindle, white, black, tan, sable, tri-colored, or chocolate. Their noses are usually black or red.
Pit Heelers usually do best with once-a-week brushing and baths when needed. These dogs are pretty easy to care for when it comes to grooming!
How Much Does a Pit Heeler Cost?
The cost of adopting a Pit Heeler will vary based on several factors. For one thing, dogs adopted in the city tend to be more expensive than those adopted in smaller towns or rural areas. Dogs that are adopted from reputable breeders are more expensive than those coming from a shelter.
Pit Heelers can cost anywhere between $250 and $2000, depending on the breeder. Dogs adopted from a rescue generally cost between $100 and $300.
Does a Pit Heeler Make a Good Family Dog?
The answer is usually yes because the dogs are usually friendly and loyal. They’re also filled to overflowing with energy, making them a great companion for older kids and active families. What’s more, these dogs live for many years and tend to be healthier than some other dog breeds.
However, some Pit Heelers may be more aggressive. For this reason, Pit Heelers need a pet parent who understands the breed and knows how to handle this type of dog. The pet parent must also provide consistent training and socialization over the course of the dog’s life.
These dogs can make wonderful family companions when they’ve been trained and socialized from a very young age.
We hope this article helps you find the right fur baby for you and your family!