The Australian cattle dog, aka ACD or blue heeler, may have a tough, rugged exterior, but at heart he’s a big ol’ softie who is extremely loyal, protective, and affectionate! He’s also one of the smartest breeds out there and is well-suited to families who can put his brain (and legs) to good use.
While these work-focused woofers can make perfect pets for the right owners, there are plenty of Australian cattle dog mixes that are also worth your consideration. We’ll share some of our favorite mixes below and tell you everything you need to know about them.
Australian Cattle Dogs: The Breed Basics
Yes, we too would love to dive straight into an array of gorgeous mixes and doggo pictures — and trust us, there are plenty to come — but don’t scroll down just yet! It’s important to be familiar with the blue heeler’s temperament and physical characteristics so you have a better idea of whether a cattle dog mix is suitable for you.
As you can probably guess, the ACD originates from Australia where he was developed to be a sturdy work dog capable of herding large cattle. He was built to tolerate harsh temperatures, and traverse the vast and rough terrain of the Australian landscape.
The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1980.
The ACD we know and love today is thought to be a combination of several breeds, including smooth-haired highland collies, dingoes, and Dalmatians.
The Australian cattle dog is a medium-sized pup who stands 17 to 20 inches tall at the withers and weighs between 35 and 50 pounds. He is well known for his muscular yet agile stature, broad head, and pricked, tapered ears.
Australian cattle dogs have smooth double coats that come in two distinct colors: red or blue. Each color can either be mottled or speckled and their coats may also have tan, red, or black markings. While rare, some Australian cattle dogs also have solid blue coats without any markings.
The Australian cattle dog lives up to his herding roots: He’s an incredibly intelligent, alert, and loyal pup with boundless stamina. He also has a strong sense of duty and thrives when given a job to do. He’ll need an owner who is willing to keep him mentally stimulated throughout the day, whether through training, puzzle games, or activities such as long walks, hikes, agility, and flyball.
The ACD is gentle and affectionate with his family members. However, he can exhibit herding tendencies toward young children. He can also be reserved around strangers and needs plenty of socialization to ensure his wariness doesn’t manifest as anxiety.
Be warned: This woofer is no couch potato and needs a family who can match his high-energy lifestyle! Most Australian cattle dogs require at least two hours of exercise per day and plenty of mental enrichment.
Without enough exercise, these active woofers will release their energy through other, more unsavory ways… (i.e. you can say goodbye to those vintage satin pillows).
23 Great Australian Cattle Dogs Mixes!
If you feel the Australian cattle dog sounds like a good match, then it’s time to explore the many Aussie mixes out there!
Remember that it can be hard to predict a mix’s temperament, but you can generally expect a mix to exhibit a combination of traits from both parent breeds (aka the best of both worlds).
1. Labraheeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Labrador Retriever)
The Labraheeler is the ultimate pup to take on adventures: He’s courageous, energetic, and built to handle anything thrown at him. Thanks to his Labrador parent, even water can’t stop him — he has a natural affinity for swimming and usually loves water sports.
Labraheelers are great family companions for those who lead active lifestyles and want a loyal, protective pup. While they can be fairly reserved, most Labraheelers have a goofy side that shines through in some way or another, whether in their expressions or the way they reluctantly refuse to give up their favorite squishy toys.
2. Border Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Border Collie)
The Border Heeler is a “no-nonsense” pup. And by that, we mean he’s alert, takes his job seriously, and doesn’t have time for couch potatoes. He thrives with an owner who can match his high energy level and keep him busy throughout the day.
Considering both the border collie and Australian cattle dog are highly intelligent breeds, it’s a given that this pup is going to be one brainy barker! In fact, he’ll likely master any training you throw at him.
However, keep in mind that he won’t stand for dull, repetitive training sessions; keep him engaged with tricks, mentally enriching puzzles, and new approaches (like dog-talking buttons).
3. Pit Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x American Pit Bull Terrier )
With muscles galore and a whole lot of courage, the Pit Heeler could be mistaken for a pup straight out of an action movie. While he probably won’t be featured in any blockbuster movies any time soon, he will be a total star in your home. He’s sure to wow you with his affectionate side, headstrong attitude, and unrivaled loyalty.
Because this mix is the combo of two fairly headstrong breeds, he’s best suited to experienced owners who can commit to consistent training. He should also receive plenty of socialization from a young age.
4. Ausky (Australian Cattle Dog x Siberian Husky)
This handsome pup makes the perfect running partner! With genes from both the Australian cattle dog and Siberian husky, he’s quite literally built to traverse long distances and can tolerate any terrain in his path.
Most Auskies are also incredibly playful, and while they can get into mischief, and they fancy themselves explorers, they’re incredibly loyal and will always put their families first.
5. Cattle Shepherd (Australian Cattle Dog x German Shepherd)
If a guard dog is what you’re after, then look no further than the Cattle Shepherd. This woofer is incredibly protective, alert, and devoted to his owners – all qualities that make him one of the best watchdogs out there. Do note that he will need some extra training and socialization to ensure his protectiveness stays at a healthy level though!
While the Cattle Shepherd can be aloof (especially around strangers), that doesn’t mean he isn’t affectionate. He’s sure to spoil you with lots of cuddles after long walks.
6. Corgi Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Corgi)
The cutest puppy on the planet award has to go to the Corgi Heeler! It’s practically impossible to resist his wide-eyed, happy-go-lucky expression. One look, and you’ll be swooning over him (yep, even if he just destroyed your favorite pair of socks).
But this woofer is more than his aww-worthy looks; he’s bold, intelligent, and affectionate with those he forms strong bonds with. Thanks to his corgi side, he’s also pretty fun-loving and can make a wonderful playmate for older children who know how to properly interact with pets.
7. Texas Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Australian Shepherd)
The ACD and Australian shepherd are both herding breeds with similar temperaments. So, it’s pretty safe to assume that the Texas Heeler (named after the birthplace of the confusingly named Australian shepherd) will have a strong work drive, protective nature, and high energy level.
While novice owners may find him difficult to handle, those well-equipped for the challenge will be blessed with a loyal, faithful canine who is sure to brighten up the home with his unconditional love. And if he’s anything like his Australian shepherd parent? You can expect him to cuddle up next to you and keep your lap feeling snug (a great way to save on your heating bills).
8. Beagle Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Beagle)
This adventurous pup may have a knack for getting up to no good — specifically opting to follow his nose over your commands — but he’s sure to still win you over with his endearing smile, gentle temperament, and forever-wagging tail.
The Beagle Heeler typically stands slightly smaller than a purebred Australian cattle dog. While this can make these four-footers perfect for small households, they’ll still need a spacious backyard where they can work out their legs and top-notch noses.
9. Box Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Boxer)
The Box Heeler is sure to keep your day-to-day life jam packed with fun! When he’s not keeping you entertained with his hilariously cute antics, or helping you get your daily steps in, you’ll find him cuddled up on the couch next to his favorite human.
While Box Heelers may have a goofy side, they’re extremely protective and patient. They also tend to get along well with young children. However, they can be pretty rough during play and should be closely supervised.
10. Blue Tzu Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Shih Tzu )
Cuteness overload in 3…2…1 and yep, we can hear your “awws” and “ooos” through the screen! This adorable, compact woofer has a heart as warm as his smile. Most Blue Tzu Heelers are gentle, playful, and generally more laidback than purebred Australian Cattle Dogs.
Puppies who inherit the shih tzu’s coat type are also ideal for allergy sufferers; they shed minimally and don’t produce much dander, so they’re less likely to trigger sneezing fits. However, just keep in mind that there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic pup.
11. Dalmatian Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Dalmatian)
Cruella de Vil will no doubt have her eyes on this mix! This spotty medium-sized pup is gentle, lively, and has a sensitive heart. He’s incredibly attuned to his humans’ emotions and is sure to comfort them when times get tough, but a patient training approach is needed.
Dalmatian Heelers are energetic in both mind and body, meaning they’ll need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day to stay happy (and to fend off destructive behaviors like chewing).
12. Heeler Pei (Australian Cattle Dog x Chinese Shar-Pei)
Dignified, independent, and built like a powerhouse, the Heeler Pei isn’t for first-time owners. But for those who have experience working with strong-willed breeds? He’ll make a faithful, protective companion who will keep you feeling safe during late-night walks.
The Heeler Pei typically enjoys his own company as much as he enjoys spending time with his humans, so he’s a great fit for people after a dog who won’t stick to them like Velcro.
13. Aussimo (Australian Cattle Dog x American Eskimo Dog)
This cheery pup has a mischievous side, but with proper training — and plenty of positive encouragement — he’ll become a performer who wows your guests with his mastery of complex commands.
Aussimos typically grow up to 15 inches and weigh under 30 pounds, though their exact size can vary on whether they’re mixed with the toy, miniature, or standard-size American Eskimo dog. Pups who inherit the American Eskimo’s coat type will also be blessed with some serious floof energy.
14. Boston Cattle Dog (Australian Cattle Dog x Boston Terrier)
The Boston Cattle Dog is a total gentleman (in both looks and personality!). He’s bright, generally easygoing, and loves spending time with his family. When he’s not keeping himself busy with puzzle toys, you’ll often find him investigating new sights, smells, and sounds.
Boston cattle dogs typically don’t shed very much, nor do they require much grooming, making them ideal pups for those who aren’t handy with the brush. However, they do have a high prey drive and need to be supervised around small animals.
15. Bernese Cattle Dog (Australian Cattle Dog x Bernese Mountain Dog)
This woofer may be built like a tank, but he’s the epitome of a gentle giant. At heart, he’s affectionate, gentle, and incredibly devoted to his owners. And with boundless energy and stamina, he’ll definitely be one of the best hiking partners in the world.
First-time pup parents will likely find the Bernese Cattle Dog’s size and sturdy build difficult to manage. He’s best suited to experienced, confident owners who have worked with large breeds in the past.
16. Basset Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Basset Hound)
Cross the Australian cattle dog’s brains with the basset hound’s unrivaled sniffer, and you get a mix who can rely on both instincts and wisdom! While his nose may lead him astray during training — unless you use high-value rewards like chicken treats — it won’t lead him away from his family. He loves being next to his favorite humans and will often follow them from room to room.
Although their coats are generally easy to maintain, Basset Heelers who inherit the basset hound’s long, floppy ears will require frequent ear cleaning to prevent infections and excessive wax buildup.
17. Blue Cocker Spaniel (Australian Cattle Dog x Cocker Spaniel)
Blue Cocker Spaniels are anything but “blue” in personality! They’re cheery, lively, and incredibly playful. Thanks to their spaniel parent, these woofers do tend to be “Velcro dogs,” so they’re best suited to owners who appreciate receiving constant attention.
Blue Cocker Spaniels love interactive, mentally stimulating games such as fetch, puzzle toys, and agility. They also appreciate a secure, safe space where they can roam free and expel their energy.
18. Blue Cadoodle (Australian Cattle Dog x Poodle)
The Blue Cadoodle sounds like a creature straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, but nope; he’s real. In fact, he’s actually a lovable cross between the Australian cattle dog and the poodle.
The Blue Cadoodle is incredibly smart and a friend to all (well, apart from the odd stranger). He’s generally easy to train, especially with positive reinforcement measures, and thrives with human company.
19. Golden Cattle Dog (Australian Cattle Dog x Golden Retriever)
The Golden Cattle Dog takes his job as man’s best friend seriously. And by that, we mean he’s Hachiko-level loyal, incredibly affectionate, and a pawfect playmate. But do keep in mind that he needs a lot of exercise to keep his “retrieving your socks” instincts in check, so he’s best suited to an adventurous, active family.
The Golden Cattle Dog can vary significantly in appearance. However, you can generally expect a medium-sized pup with a strong build and wide, endearing smile.
20. Doxie Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x Dachshund)
Make way for the Doxie Heeler! No. Seriously, if you don’t he will quite literally barge his way through you. This pup has a feisty attitude and a whole lot of courage despite his small stature.
When he’s not exploring interesting smells, he spends his time keeping watch or digging his way to Narnia (or his bone). Of course, he’ll also give you plenty of love, attention, and cuddles throughout the day.
21. Blueweiler (Australian Cattle Dog x Rottweiler)
Both parent breeds have their roots in cattle herding, so you can probably imagine how energetic and work-driven this mix is! He’ll need a strong-willed, active owner who can exercise him for hours every day and keep him mentally stimulated with training and puzzle games.
With the right owner, the Blueweiler makes a loving, protective, and loyal companion. But be warned: He often expresses his love through slobbery kisses. If being woken up by kibble-smelling breath every morning sounds like a total nightmare? You’ll want to consider a cleaner, less drooly mix.
22. Blue Pyrenees (Australian Cattle Dog x Great Pyrenees)
Created by mixing the Australian cattle dog with the great Pyrenees, the Blue Pyrenees is a fearless, outgoing pooch who loves walks and cuddles in equal measure. He reaches up to 32 inches tall and typically weighs between 30 and 80 pounds.
Blue Pyrenees dogs are usually less energetic than purebred ACDs. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking they’ll settle for short walks around the block; you should still expect to exercise them for at least an hour every day.
23. Staffy Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog x American Staffordshire Terrier)
The Staffy Heeler is a confident, courageous, and strong watchdog who is sure to ward off threats with his tough physique. Despite his wariness around strangers, he’s a big softie in the home and forms strong attachments to his owners.
The Staffy Heeler doesn’t always get along well with other dogs, so it’s important to socialize him early and ensure he’s accustomed to pups of all breeds and sizes. He should also be supervised closely when interacting with other animals.
Australian Cattle Dog Mixes: FAQ
We’ll answer some common questions relating to ACD mixes below, but if you still have any remaining questions or want advice about whether a mix is suitable for your household, just give us a shout in the comments!
What is an Australian cattle dog mixed with?
Aussie cattle dogs are thought to have been created by mixing smooth-haired highland collies, dingoes, and Dalmatians, among other breeds.
But if you mean what can an Australian cattle dog be mixed with, the answer is practically any breed.
However, some of the most common breeds they’re mixed with include Australian shepherds, border collies, and Rottweilers, likely because these breeds are all similar in size and temperament.
Are cattle dog mixes good dogs?
Cattle dog mixes are fantastic companions — for the right owners. Most mixes require an owner who can exercise a dog for at least two hours per day, provide regular training sessions, and keep them busy with mentally stimulating games. Cattle dog mixes also thrive in households with secure, spacious backyards.
Are Australian cattle dogs good family dogs?
Australian cattle dogs make excellent family pets. They’re affectionate, gentle, and protective of their homes. However, they’re best suited to households with older kids (they tend to “herd” small children).
Australian cattle dog mixes can be a lot to handle, but they’re definitely worth the time and effort. After all, you’ll be the proud owner of a loyal, hard-working pup who will protect you and keep you company throughout the day.
What’s your favorite Aussie cattle mix? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to share any other awesome ACD mixes we haven’t mentioned!