Training a Blue Heeler?

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BK9954

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Just got a 10 month old blue Heeler female. She is sweet as pie but the guy I got her from said she didn't mess with his show steers but would go after his goat. Just his 1 goat with no horns, I saw it, the thing was about 30 pounds. The ones with horns it didnt mess with. So far she has been good around the guineas. Priced it out, cheapest around here is $750. That is alot for obedience training, then for training her to work cattle I am not sure where to start. Anyone done this before or have a direction to point me in. I would hate to spend $1000's in training.
 

dun

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Start with obedience and make sure she is bullet proof with that before starting her on livestock
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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Farm Fence Solutions":1j1d9ke9 said:
I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.
Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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BK9954":1ugrzya9 said:
dun":1ugrzya9 said:
Start with obedience and make sure she is bullet proof with that before starting her on livestock
Why bullet proof?
Because, if you are not completely in charge of the situation, they are! Having a heeler is a whole new deal for most people. If they have an instinct to work, half the equation is done. The second half is putting a handle on one. Basic obediance training gives you the tools to start working stock. They must understand "No, down, easy, come, ect." A shock collar can be useful for one that has a bit extra drive. I even put them on my older dogs for a quick tune up some times.
 

Cross-7

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I'll give you my two cents.
There are some good heelers out there but I'm never really seen a good one.

But as Dun said obedience is #1
A solid stop/down and a come here command absolutely a must.

10 months isn't old enough to have the confidence to really work cattle unless the cattle are already dog broke.

You need to start a young dog on young cattle and build confidence.

It takes a rock solid dog to work grown cows that aren't dog broke.

Using a young dog on grown cows that aren't dog broke cab ruin a good one before they ever have a chance to learn.

Personally I'd get a better dog.
I'm s firm believer in cattle bred border collies

Edit to add
I'll never use a shock collar. Either I need to do a better job training or a better dog.
I had one that was a big mean SOB. He and I clashed, he never accepted me as the alpha, but back in the day when I'd bring in sale barn cattle that were outlaws, he was my go to guy.
One time I couldn't call him off and I finally got a hold of him and grabbed him by the scuff of the neck and gave him a shake and scolded him to listen to me, he bit me.
He was a tough rascal but was hard on cattle and lazy and wouldn't hardly work unless it got wild and then he was all in
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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BK9954":3lagmkf2 said:
Farm Fence Solutions":3lagmkf2 said:
I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.
Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.


I've had a couple, and they were both good dogs. They went everywhere I went for the first couple years, and I think it helped. They are loyal and tough, but nothing like training a Border Collie. :lol:
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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BK9954":2a1c5gq5 said:
Farm Fence Solutions":2a1c5gq5 said:
I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.
Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.
From my experience, the less you can tie/kennel one up, the better. It will likely be some time before she isn't so hyper, and being contained doesn't help. It just means you have to spend the better part of an hour wearing them down before they will focus and training is possible.
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?
 

Turkeybird

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No but I do know that with blue healers you either have a smart crazy one or a hard headed one that can't get right
 

True Grit Farms

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BK9954":3hft2k7b said:
She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?

Jogeephus, has a unbelievable Blue Heeler send him a PM.
 

dun

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Boot Jack Bulls":1pqpf55w said:
BK9954":1pqpf55w said:
Farm Fence Solutions":1pqpf55w said:
I'd start with a .410 and a baseball bat......Hard headed rascals.
Yeah the guy I got her from said she was hard headed. I have had her chained until I get a day off with her, walking her every day, she is hyper, always wanted one.
From my experience, the less you can tie/kennel one up, the better. It will likely be some time before she isn't so hyper, and being contained doesn't help. It just means you have to spend the better part of an hour wearing them down before they will focus and training is possible.
The problem with not restraining them some way is they will herd anything and everything constantly. I don;t know how true it is but I talked to an Ausi when I first got a heeler (1975) and asked him how they prevent the constant herding. As I said, I don;t know how true it is/was but he said they kept them chained unless they were working them.
A problem that stemmed from that was when herding the chickens, ducks, geese, guines she gripped one to get it moving. Killed th sytupid duck and from then on managed to kill about half the birds before we caught her at it.
 

Cross-7

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Depends on how often you use one.
When you use one everyday they don't get fresh and only work when given a command.
Back when my good dog was young he'd get fresh and was too aggressive and get everything stirred up, so before I used him I'd let him run for a mile or so before I took him to cattle.
Once cattle get dog broke it's very rare they have to bite.
But they all had to be kenneld or they'd sneak off and work cattle.
When I a kid on the ranches everyone had dogs and none were kenneld, but they worked all day everyday
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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Cross-7":23c5sm6f said:
Depends on how often you use one.
When you use one everyday they don't get fresh and only work when given a command.
Back when my good dog was young he'd get fresh and was too aggressive and get everything stirred up, so before I used him I'd let him run for a mile or so before I took him to cattle.
Once cattle get dog broke it's very rare they have to bite.
But they all had to be kenneld or they'd sneak off and work cattle.
When I a kid on the ranches everyone had dogs and none were kenneld, but they worked all day everyday
We don't kennel ours very often at all. They work when needed, and hang out in the barn when they are not. When we run into one that likes to work stock when it is not supposed to, it finds a new home that will fit its personality better. With the drug problem in our area, I want a dog that can lay in the yard and keep an eye on things too. I will admit that if some of the stock is not where it is supposed to be, our heelers will be the first to let us know. They may be one the reasons that we really don't have any issues keeping our goats in!
 

Brute 23

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BK9954":3j8u0oqi said:
She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?

Just to be honest you are starting behind the curve, not even at zero. I suspect there is more to the story on that dog than what they told you. The fact that it will go after some things but not others is sketchy and leads me to beieve some thing happened to it as a pup and you may never fix that. It's hard to teach hunt, or bark, or trail, or cow in to dogs... that should be genetics.

I am with cross on this... I have never seen a good healer work although I'm sure they exist. Most did more harm than good.

Forget about using it for hog hunting. Most of the dogs used like curr dogs are head dogs because you are trying to stop the hog. Healer are heal dogs... thats counter-productive. They nip and bite and will push a hog for miles. I refuse to hunt with a healer on the ground no matter what the owner claims.

Start with obedience and go from there. If all else fails you will have a good dog around the house. Be careful, cattle that are not use to dogs and/ or untrained dogs can get you or some one else hurt real fast.
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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Brute 23":6mf18eg3 said:
BK9954":6mf18eg3 said:
She was free so I can't beat that deal. This guy at the deer lease had one years ago, he was all over everything but when the guy called him, he snapped to and did exactly what the guy said. Since then I have always thought about buying one. Started with her tonight on "sit" she caught on in about 10 minutes, my buddy said they can be trained to track as well or turned into hog dogs, anyone done this?

Just to be honest you are starting behind the curve, not even at zero. I suspect there is more to the story on that dog than what they told you. The fact that it will go after some things but not others is sketchy and leads me to beieve some thing happened to it as a pup and you may never fix that. It's hard to teach hunt, or bark, or trail, or cow in to dogs... that should be genetics.

I am with cross on this... I have never seen a good healer work although I'm sure they exist. Most did more harm than good.

Forget about using it for hog hunting. Most of the dogs used like curr dogs are head dogs because you are trying to stop the hog. Healer are heal dogs... thats counter-productive. They nip and bite and will push a hog for miles. I refuse to hunt with a healer on the ground no matter what the owner claims.

Start with obedience and go from there. If all else fails you will have a good dog around the house. Be careful, cattle that are not use to dogs and/ or untrained dogs can get you or some one else hurt real fast.
She does have the instinct to herd. Heck when walking her in a leash she tries to herd me. There are some videos on youtube of some pretty good heelers herding cattle. She has been great as far as loyal, hasn't run of, sits quietly while we take her to feed the hogs. Pretty darn tough, she got but by a copperhead in the neck last week. Acted like nothing even happened. Showed no signs of pain. She is just very jealious. She won't let my other dog get close when we are with her.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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BK, it sounds like you could make a pretty good dog out of that pup. Heelers are tough and loyal, so its good to hear yours has that too. They do get to be "one person dogs" and get jealous/protective. Just keep working on obedience and don't be afraid to show her some tough love to get the point across occasionally. I have bred, raised and trained ACDs for nearly 30 years. I have had no trouble with getting them to work stock well and effectively. They are the only breed I will ever own anymore...
Here's some pics of my current ones. The mottle female in the first pic and sitting in the third is a direct descendant of a female I imported when I was a kid and my first male.






 

cow pollinater

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I love heelers and will probably have one floating around until the day I die but they are not my choice for cow work. They will help you push cows around and if you really get one trained they might gather a little with you helping but I've seen very few that will go do the work for you the way gathering breeds will.
The best use for a heeler is as your guardian angel. When you have something penned up that wants to kill you there is no other dog that you want standing next to you. Both of mine are retired and then some but you wouldn't know it when the snot starts blowing.
 

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