The Blue Heeler, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, was originally bred in Australia to help ranchers herd cattle. They are smart and independent, and they thrive when given a job to do. They require vigorous exercise all day, such as running or swimming.
An inactive Blue Heeler can create a task, which can result in damage to your home, yard, or belongings. Due to their stubborn nature, these dogs require very careful obedience training. Their intelligence, however, makes them very sensitive to training.
As soon as you bring a Blue Heeler into your home, set the rules. Decide what you are allowed to do and what you are not. Don’t neglect these rules. If you ever allow it to break one, like to get on your bed and play, this independent dog will think it has a right to do it again.
Buy or make training rewards for your Blue Heeler. Take their tastes into account. These rewards must be desirable to the dog to teach it to obey your commands. They should be bite-sized and easy to chew so it can eat them quickly and get back to training.
To keep it healthy, consider buying low-fat natural treats at your local pet store.
Create a training program. Blue Heelers really like to work out, and a training program will help it feel busy. Consider two or three training sessions a day. They shouldn’t last more than 5 to 10 minutes so your dog doesn’t get bored. Choose one or two commands to focus on for each session.
Use rewards to incentivize your Blue Heeler to follow your orders. Your dog doesn’t know what you expect of it, and these rewards will help it understand. The reward may direct it to a sitting position, for example, if you hold it above its head and out of its reach. As it extends its nose to follow your hand, its rear end will lower to the ground.
Reward the dog immediately when it moves in the right direction. Don’t wait to do it when it finishes executing the order. Do this several times until your dog begins to make a connection between the verbal command and the movement that causes it to be rewarded. Emphasize the reward with lots of praise. Your Blue Heeler loves to please you.
Stop using rewards as your Blue Heeler improves in command obedience. At first, reward it for moving in the right direction. Over time, the only reward you should give it is for sitting in any way. After that, reward it every three to four times you give the order. Your goal is to get to the point where your Blue Heeler obeys your orders when you don’t have a prize. Never stop using praise as a reward.