How to Train a Red Heeler Puppy – Useful Tips For Newbie Owners

The Red heeler is a working breed, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler – another variation with a blue coat. If you are planning to train this breed yourself at home, there are a lot of important things you need to know. This article will cover all the highlights on how to train a red heeler, so make sure you read it till the end.

Red Heeler Trainability

The Red Heeler is trainable as long as you are consistent and show him that you are the firm leader he is looking for. Since Blue Heelers have been working side by side with humans in herding livestock, they tend to learn new commands quickly.

In fact, positive reinforcement, such as effusive praise or treats, will do more than negative physical and emotional effects to dominate the dog. Clicker training is a widely used method in dog training in general and ACDs training in particular, and it has proven very effective. Sometimes, Australian Cattle Dogs exhibit instinctive behaviors, such as nipping at your kids or other pets, you should take a sharp reprimand for the behavior.

how to train a red heeler

How to train your Red Heeler: Training Tips

Here are a few tips that you can apply to any type of ACD training from potty to cattle training:

1. Learn about the Red Heeler’s temperament

Just like when you want to make new friends with someone, you need to learn about that person’s personality. The same can be applied here. To be able to successfully train a Red Heeler to do what’s expected, you need to learn about his temperament and take advantage of its strong sides during training.

Like any other working dog, ACD dogs are high-energy, and they are happiest when given a job to do. The size of the Red Heeler allows them to maintain running and herding all day without getting tired. 

how to train my red heeler puppy

In addition, this breed is very loyal and affectionate. You can expect that the dog will follow you everywhere and become your shadow. These dogs are also very protective of their family.

ACDs are quite open and playful, but only with people and animals, they are familiar with. To strangers, they are either timid or very aggressive.

2. Keep your Red Heeler busy

Since this breed is very energetic, it requires exercise every day. If you keep this red heeler in an apartment, sooner or later your house will become a mess just because the dog is constantly chasing and biting things. If your red heeler likes to stay busy, keep them busy and your home will be safe. But how? Here are some suggestions for you:

Dog sport

One of the most recommended sports for herding breeds that don’t have access to hearing stock is Treibball. This game simulates the task of chasing stray sheep back to the herd. In this sport, your dog has to nose 8 large balls into a soccer goal. The ball rolls like a sheep run and this makes the dogs very excited. 

See how it works here:

Walking or running

In general, almost all dog breeds love to be walked. You can keep your dog busy by taking them outside and working out with you. Taking them out for hiking is also a good idea only when the dog is mature.


Interactive toys or puzzle toys can also keep dogs busy and forget about destructive behavior due to dog boredom.

3. Early socialization

Suspiciousness is one of the natures of this breed, which is why some ACDs are very aggressive towards strangers. Other Red Heeler dogs that are socialized with different people and animals from an early age show less aggression.

The key here is to train your ACDs since they are little puppies. Also, note that you must be patient and observe your dog’s behaviors to make appropriate adjustments and avoid overwhelming your canine.

4. Positive reinforcement

As mentioned before, positive reinforcement shows significant effects when it comes to training a dog. This method means providing rewards to the dog when he does something as you expect, and you want him to repeat the action. Remember to give a reward right after a proper action, so your Red Heeler canine can easily connect between the rewards and that action. 

how do you train a red heeler

5. Rules and boundaries are Important

Red/Blue Heelers tend to be stubborn before an inexperienced and inconsistent owner. Even if you really are an inconsistent person, don’t let your dog see this. Set the rules to train your ACD as soon as you bring it home.

Make sure your home has boundaries as this breed is curious and loves to explore. They may end up chasing a squirrel on their own without your permission. This will lead to the dog getting lost and not knowing how to find his way home.

6. Be kind and positive

Training an ACD takes time and effort. Red Heelers don’t do well if you shout at them during training. Remember to remain firm but kind with the dog, otherwise, they won’t listen to you or even become more stubborn.

This breed is quite intelligent and can learn new commands quickly through your interesting lessons. Make sure both you and the dog are happy at the end of the training session so the dog can be more eager the next day.


Red Heelers are intelligent and wonderful dogs but not everyone can have this breed because they are so energetic. And if not properly trained, the dog will become more and more stubborn. I recommend that you read the tips on how to train a Red Heeler puppy above again and start training your pup. Good luck!

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