Are Blue Heelers Protective? Are They Good Guard Dogs? (2024)

An adult Blue Heeler cattle dog sitting indoors on a shiny wood floor.

Blue Heelers are medium-sized dogs that are full of energy and are bred as working dogs. They herd and protect livestock but can also make great family pets.

They are naturally protective of their families and are known for being loyal and affectionate with their families.

Are blue heelers protective? Blue Heelers are very protective of their owners and other pets in the household. They are bred to protect and herd livestock, and those natural instincts make them great family pets and guard dogs. They are loyal and affectionate but also fierce and brave when necessary. 

If you are planning to welcome a Blue Heeler into your family and want to know if it will be a good fit, read on to learn more about the breed. 

Why Blue Heelers Are Protective of Home & Family

Blue Heelers are known for being great guard dogs. They are very protective over their home and family and will be vocal when strangers are near.

These traits make them great family pets.

Being Protective Is In Their Nature

Blue Heelers are bred to guard and protect livestock. Being protective is in their nature, and these instincts make them protective over their home, family, and other pets in the household. 

Naturally Wary of Strangers

Blue Heelers are naturally shy and may be hesitant or even aggressive toward strangers.

Once they realize a stranger is friendly, they adjust quickly and can become friendly and affectionate with them. 

Extremely Devoted

Blue Heelers love to please their owners and make them happy. They are very devoted to their families and feel a need to keep them safe and guard them at all times.

Always Alert

Because Blue Heelers are bred to protect livestock, they are always very alert. They have a very keen sense of hearing and are quick to react.

They can also be very vocal and will bark or howl to alert their owners that another person or animal is nearby.


Blue Heelers can be trained to be guard dogs and protect people, other animals, and property. This training can lead them to become very protective of their families and homes. 

Are Blue Heelers Good Guard Dogs?

Blue Heelers make great guard dogs. Not only are they protective and loyal, but they can also be brave and fearless when needed and will defend their families and property if they feel threatened.

Blue Heelers and Livestock

Blue Heelers are bred to protect livestock. These working dogs are often found on farms and ranches where they work closely with their owners to ensure their herds are safe from predators and hunters.


Blue Heelers are great at herding livestock. They are fast and agile, and they learn quickly.

They are used to help ranchers control and move their herds and are not intimidated by the size of large animals. While they won’t harm livestock, they will aggressively herd them if necessary.


Blue Heelers are very fast, brave, and determined. They are used to intimidate and scare off predators that may try to pick off animals from a herd.

They are also very vocal and can alert farmers and ranchers when a predator is nearby.

Are Blue Heelers Good Farm Dogs?

The natural herding and protective instincts of Blue Heelers make them great farm dogs.

They can protect all types of animals, and having a Blue Heeler on a farm is often enough to deter predators from coming near livestock. 

An adult Blue Heeler standing in tall, dry grass.

What Animals Do Blue Heelers Herd?

Blue Heelers are often used to herd livestock such as cows or sheep. They herd these animals by nipping at their heels or being vocal to encourage them to move in a specific direction.

Blue Heelers can be trained to herd almost any type of animal, and when kept as companions instead of working dogs, their instincts often cause them to herd small children and other family pets.

Blue Heeler Quirks

Blue Heelers are adorable, friendly, and full of energy.

Even though they are great working dogs and can make good family pets, there are some quirks you should be aware of before you decide if bringing a Blue Heeler into your home is the right decision.

  • Vocal – Blue Heelers can be very vocal and have loud barks. They can bark any time a stranger is nearby. 
  • Herding Instinct– The same instincts that make Blue Heelers great working dogs can also lead them to herd children and other family pets. 
  • High Energy – Blue Heelers love to run and exercise. They need plenty of time outdoors and need room to run and be active. 
  • Digging – Blue Heelers are known to be diggers. When working on ranches or farms, they often dig for water, and they may dig at their water bowls or food bowls when they are empty. 
  • Shy – While Blue Heelers are very comfortable and affectionate with their family members, they are naturally shy and wary of strangers. It can take some time for them to get used to new people or animals.

Related Questions: 

How Big Do Heelers Get?

Blue Heelers are medium-sized dogs that can stand up to 20 inches tall and weigh up to 50 pounds. 

Are Blue Heelers Good Family Dogs?

Blue Heelers are very protective, loyal, and affectionate. With proper training and socialization, they can be great family pets.

They require a lot of attention and prefer an active lifestyle. They do well with older children but can be trained to tolerate younger children as well.


Blue Heelers are working dogs that have a natural instinct to guard and protect. They are often kept on farms and ranches where they help guard and herd livestock.

They also make great family pets but do require proper training to ensure that their herding instincts are kept under control and they don’t develop any bad behaviors.