Cattle Shepherd Overview

Parent Breeds:
Blue Heeler & German Shepherd
Breed Nickname:
Cattle Shepherd
Medium to large
20 to 25 inches
45 to 80 pounds
Life Span:
13 to 15 years
Coat Colors:
Brown, red, brindle, blue, or black

Cattle Shepherd Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Cattle Shepherd

What Is A Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix called?

The cross between a Blue Heeler and a German Shepherd is called a Cattle Shepherd. The Blue Heeler is otherwise known as the Australian Cattle Dog, which is where the Cattle Shepherd gets the first half of its name.

Both parent breeds are incredibly hard-working service dogs, so you can only imagine what crossing these two breeds would create! A helpful, intelligent dog to dote on your family. It almost seems too good to be true!

Our ultimate guide dives deep into the Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix to teach you all you need to know about this breed.

Cattle Shepherd Breed History

  • Thought to have originated in the 1990s.

  • Blue Heelers are also a relatively new breed originally bred in Australia.

  • German Shepherds are one of the most prolific working breeds in the world.

The history of the Cattle Shepherd is very sparse, although it is believed that the first Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix was bred 30 years ago in the 1990s.

This is a safe bet since the majority of designer breeds were created during this time.

The Blue Heeler is also a new breed, and they originated in Australia by Thomas Hall, who named them Hall’s Heelers. He bred Northumberland Drover Dogs with Dingoes to create the Blue Heeler.

They were used to hunt, retrieve, herd, and more.

German Shepherds originated in Germany during the 1800s by Max Von Stephanitz. They were bred for herding and protecting sheep, but they were quickly taken to work in the military and police force.

They eventually also became companion dogs, although German Shepherds are still widely used as working dogs today.

Cattle Shepherd Personality & Temperament

  • Excellent watchdogs that will protect their owners.

  • Not suitable for families with small children.

  • Shouldn’t be left alone for longer than a few hours.

The Cattle Shepherd is a loyal and brave dog, who will do anything if they believe that its owners are in danger. They’re protective by nature, so they’re not suitable for households with small children.

This is due to the fact that the Cattle Shepherd is very large and young children often don’t understand how to act around dogs properly.

You can train and socialize these dogs to be less domineering around children, but you can determine the risks of this. Cattle Shepherds might also be cautious and assertive around strangers, and they can bark quite a lot.

They are good watchdogs.

Cattle Shepherds work well in smaller households with just one or two owners. They’ll prefer to be the only pet in the house, although you can socialize them to get along with another dog.

They can be left alone for a couple of hours, but shouldn’t be left all day – unless you want noise complaints from your neighbors and ruined furniture.

Cattle Shepherd Health

  • There aren’t too many concerns for the health of this breed.

  • Don’t overfeed them to prevent obesity.

  • Life expectancy of 13 to 15 years.

Both parent breeds are considered relatively healthy, so the Cattle Shepherd is the same. Since the Blue Heeler is another newer breed, there’s not as much information on them as there is for the German Shepherd.

This means that more health issues might come to light as time goes on. But for now, there are very limited concerns to be aware of.

Major concerns for Cattle Shepherd owners to look out for are Hip Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Minor concerns include Deafness and allergies to fleas. They might also suffer from bloating.

Most dogs in the US are overweight, and this is a concern for Cattle Shepherds. As very agile, work-driven dogs, this can be detrimental to their health.

Obesity puts more pressure on joints, increasing the risk of dysplasia, as well as making them slower and reducing their stamina.

This, in turn, can lead to sadness, boredom, and even canine depression.

Cattle Shepherd Training

  • Use positive reinforcement only.

  • Many people (incorrectly) believe that this dog is highly trainable.

  • Can be very stubborn.

Both the Blue Heeler and German Shepherd are intelligent working dogs, but this doesn’t mean that training them will be easy. They tend to have a stubborn streak, and they’ll often think that they know best.

Early training lets them know who is the alpha in the household, which should help you both work together during training rather than against each other. Always use positive reinforcement, too, as the Cattle Shepherd won’t take kindly to negativity.

Cattle Shepherd Exercise Requirements

  • Use positive reinforcement only.

  • Many people (incorrectly) believe that this dog is highly trainable.

  • Can be very stubborn.

As you can imagine, the Cattle Shepherd needs plenty of exercise every day. Offer them at least two hours of exercise each day, in the form of running, hiking, or walking.

They have high energy needs and therefore need an owner who can keep up with them!

They’re also intelligent, so they excel in agility competitions and training.

Ideally, they’ll have a rural home with plenty of outdoor space for them to run around in. They make excellent pets for outdoorsy people with lots of time during the day to tend to the Cattle Shepherd’s energy needs.

Cattle Shepherd Diet & Feeding

  • Choose food formulated for large dogs with high energy levels.

  • Offer smaller meals throughout the day.

  • Avoid overfeeding.

Due to their high energy levels, Cattle Shepherds need plenty of food to keep their energy levels up. They will most likely need to eat three cups of food a day, depending on their weight.

It might be worth talking to a vet about the correct amount of food to offer your dog to avoid overfeeding.

Cattle Shepherds need high-energy formulated food for large dogs. They can also eat a diet of raw food, so there are two options for you to choose from.

Feed them smaller meals throughout the day rather than one large meal if you see them suffering from bloating.

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Cattle Shepherd Cost

  • On average, expect to pay $750 to $2,000.

  • Use a reputable breeder.

  • Ongoing costs might be higher due to training classes and expensive food.

Cattle Shepherds cost between $750 and $2,000 on average. They’re less common to find among breeders, which is why they cost more than some other similar designer breeds.

You should also be willing to pay more to make sure your puppy is coming from a reputable breeder.

Backyard breeders might not complete the necessary screenings and checks of your Cattle Shepherd’s parents, which can lead to less healthy puppies.

Ongoing costs for Cattle Shepherds include lots of food, professional training classes, exercise equipment, sturdy toys, and more.