Every dog-loving Aussie bloke aspires to be “master” of a Blue Dog or Blue Heeler – the quintessential Australian Cattle Dog. The Blue Heeler is a serious working dog and not designed for living in small back yards or urban apartments, sleeping on beds and in front of fires.
Bred to work cattle in the harsh Australian environment, the name comes from its colouring and ability to control cattle by nipping at their heels. This is a courageous, powerful, intelligent, loyal, no compromises, get-out-of-my-face kind of dog.
Originally bred in the early 1800’s by settlers wanting a compact yet robust breed with stamina for the extreme conditions, the Blue Heeler has evolved from the collie, Dalmation and kelpie breeds – with possibly a bit of bull terrier thrown in.
There is a famous outback pub at Kynuna on the Matilda Highway in Western Queensland called the Blue Heeler whose roof-top neon sign, in the shape of its canine namesake, lights up the highway at night. Sited not far from Dagworth Station where Banjo Paterson wrote Australia’s unofficial anthem “Waltzing Matilda”, it is likely that the song was first sung publicly here.
There was also an Australian TV series initially made in the 1990‘s called Blue Heelers – a show about cops, not dogs. It ran for 13 seasons and won numerous awards. Blue Heeler is very much a part of the Australian vernacular and represents something which is solid and enduring.