If you have a Red Heeler puppy or want to get one, you’ll need all the information you can get.

These dogs can make for an excellent pet, but they aren’t for everyone. The size of the dog you get is important for many reasons.

Brief History of the Red Heeler

The Red Heeler, otherwise known as the Australian Cattle Dog, has a pretty interesting history. This breed dates back to 1840, which is when ranchers decided to use it for herding cattle. The fearless and hard working nature of these dogs makes them well-suited for this line of work. 

They are still used for this purpose in Australia and other places around the world even today. What these dogs somewhat lack in sheer size is more than made up for with their unbelievable tough attitude.

Size

Males

Red Heelers are generally considered to be fully grown once they reach 12 to 15 months old. It can take up to 18 months, however, for them to reach their maximum weight.

Male Red Heelers weigh about 14 pounds by the time they reach three months, quickly growing in size as they get older. By the time they are six months old, they weigh approximately 25 pounds. 

They weigh a little over 32 pounds by the time they are one year old. The maximum weight for males is almost 50 pounds. Males can range in size from 18 to 20 inches when they are fully grown.

Females

Female Red Heelers weigh anywhere from 10 to 14 pounds at three months old. They have a maximum weight of about 35 to 40 pounds. These dogs measure anywhere from 17 to 19 inches tall once they reach full maturity.

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red heeler beautiful

The Size Advantage

One of the reasons that Red Heelers are so sought after is because of their size. They are nice medium-size dogs that can still be very intimidating. The overall size and toughness of these dogs make them excellent guardians. 

You can rest easy knowing that your home and family is safe with one of these dogs on the lookout. They are known for being extremely protecting of their family members.

The size of these dogs works in their favor as cattle herders as well. They aren’t in danger of getting hit by a startled cow when they start nipping at their legs. This is just one of the many reasons that they were bred for this specific purpose.

Despite the decent size of the Red Heeler, it is very agile and can move around quickly. This is a trait that benefits these dogs in just about every way.

Living with a Red Heeler

While Red Heelers can be great companions and excellent watchdogs, they aren’t always the easiest animals to take care of. These dogs can be quite stubborn and need a lot of exercise on a daily basis. You will therefore need a decent sized backyard if you want to get one.

A fully grown male can take up a lot of space for a medium size dog. They walk around the house like they own the place, often knocking over things in the process. This is not a good breed to get if you live in an apartment, so you’ll want to think twice.

These dogs use their physicality all the time. Whether it is herding cattle in a field or playing a game of fetch, they love to stay active.

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You may also notice that your Red Heeler is under the impression that it is actually a lap dog, despite its considerable size. It is not uncommon for these dogs to jump into the lap of their owner at random moments. This can definitely be an endearing behavior, but it also gets older pretty quick.

Sleep Accommodations

Because these dogs are of a substantial size, you’ll need to get a bed that is big enough for them to sleep on comfortably. It might be a good idea to get an orthopedic bed for your dog when it starts getting older. This can ease the discomfort that they may feel from any joint pain/arthritis.

The more your dog enjoys its bed, the less likely it will be to try climbing into yours. As we mentioned above, this breed has a tendency to believe that it is smaller than it actually is at times.

red heeler in a car

The size and high energy nature of these dogs make them prone to hip dysplasia, sometimes at a fairly young age. This is when the dog’s hip socket no longer covers the ball part of the upper thighbone. 

Their hip joint becomes dislocated to some degree. It is a condition that only gets worse over time, eventually requiring surgery. Unfortunately, there is really no good way to prevent this issue with your dog. There are supplements that can help with maintaining joint health, but they are only so effective.

The best way to prevent hip dysplasia in your Red Heeler is to ensure that it remains at a healthy weight. The more excess fat your dog carries around, the more likely they are to develop issues with their joints over time.

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Conclusion

  • Male Red Heelers can grow up to a whopping 50 pounds and stand 20 inches tall when fully matured.
  • Adult females can grow up to 19 inches with a maximum weight of 40 pounds.
  • This is not a good dog to have if you live in an apartment, as it will need plenty of space to run around.
  • You should ideally have a good size backyard that can accommodate the high energy nature of this breed.
  • Make sure that you get your Red Heeler a bed that is large enough for it to spread out on.
  • The size and tough attitude of these dogs make them wonderful family pets.
  • Some of these dogs eventually develop problems with arthritis and hip dysplasia due to their size and activity level.
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