The breed of Australian healer was bred in Australia, which follows from the name, during the period of settlement of these areas by the British. People needed a strong, hardy and smart dog with a large, muscular physique, which could endure all the hardships in a new place and serve as a reliable support in various endeavors. And the undertakings, as you yourself understand, were many.
These dogs are called differently – the Australian healer, the Queensland healer (due to the huge popularity among farmers in the Queensland region in Australia), the blue healer or the hall healer. Officially, however, he is an Australian shepherd dog (for cattle). And the nickname “healer” happened because the dogs were raised in a herd of cattle, and they grazed cattle by biting them on their lower legs.
The Australian healer today is the result of many years of breeding and crosses that began in 1893, and already in 1897 Robert Kaleski showed the first results of his work to the public. Robert Kalesky developed the first standard based on indigenous dingoes, rightly believing that these animals are naturally suited to Australian wild conditions.
Moreover, the dogs, which were taken by the first settlers from England (for example, terriers), for the climate and half-wild life in Australia were poorly suited, and all of them were later crossed and improved in order to obtain better breeds.
The Australian healer today is very similar to a dingo dog, although it has a different coat color. He received the right to be shown in the Working Group since September 1980. The breed joined the herd group in January 1983. The New South Wales Kennel Club gave its approval for the breed standard in 1903.
These are large dogs, with a wide, powerful chest and muscular physique. The muzzle is square, the ears are erect. The limbs are of medium length, proportional and muscular, the tail is medium, the coat is long. Color can be blue, blue with black or brown spots.
The breed of Australian healer is somewhat stubborn, independent, but at the same time very open and friendly for the owners. These are very smart dogs that always draw their own conclusions, understand the person perfectly and are distinguished by excellent resourcefulness. In addition, they are extremely hardy, and can live in a very diverse climate and generally in a wide variety of conditions, without experiencing any internal discomfort.
Stamina is also reflected in the attitude towards pain – initially, dogs were trained and bred so that they could perform assigned tasks even despite physical injuries, bites, bruises, etc.
The Australian Hiller developed in close contact with humans, and to this day the breed retains this important quality. The dog is extremely attached to its owner, and is ready to follow him anywhere, even to the ends of the world, and it does not matter where this edge is located – at the North Pole or in the hot deserts of Africa. The dog will survive everywhere, and help the owner survive.
Naturally, the hunting instincts are also extremely strong, and all small animals, including small dogs, cats, squirrels, any rodents, are potential prey. However, they can be trained to live with a cat, if you do this from an early age, but keep in mind that all other cats, except for friendly, domestic cats, will still remain prey. But hamsters, guinea pigs, parrots – here you can not even try, since the healer, in principle, can not perceive them otherwise than as prey.
The Australian shepherd dog perfectly copes with the functions of a watchman, and responsibly, selflessly guards its territory from any encroachment, whether it be a man or a stray dog. Similarly, the situation is with the protection of the hosts. The Australian healer has a very high level of energy, and does not understand how to spend all day lying on the couch – and even if he had to do so, he would definitely not like it.
But, if you need to go camping, overcoming tens of kilometers of the way, or to perform any assigned work, helping the owner in everything, in this case the dog will be happy. Idleness, the lack of activity and useful functions, cause longing and sadness in this breed, because of which the character can become destructive. Then, the first thing that will suffer is your furniture, doorposts, curtains, shoes, etc.
They perceive children well, but they feel their responsibility for them as a herd, because this is a shepherd’s dog, and therefore sometimes they can try to drive them into the nursery, and even lightly bite their heels. But you can wean it from this. By the way, the instinct to bite is generally quite strong in these dogs, and therefore you should always have toys, since it is extremely important to direct this instinct in the right direction, because it does not make sense to wean such a dog. Most likely, you just won’t succeed, because for an animal it is as natural as walking, running, etc.