If you are considering getting a Blue Heeler, otherwise known as the Australian Cattle Dog, then one of your first considerations is whether you can afford them. How much do they cost; both upfront and for their ongoing care? Intrigued, I spent some time researching the breed and all the associated information. I then pulled together all of the numbers to find out exactly how financially viable they are to own. I will be sharing it all with you here today.
So, how much do Blue Heelers cost? The average price of a Blue Heeler puppy is in the range of $600 to $1000, although some sell for up to $3000. The price is largely reflected by the lineage of the dog, the reputation of the breeder, where you buy them from and the demand for Blue Heeler pups in the area. Other additional costs to take of this breed may set you back a further $1000, while they typically cost around $1000-$2000 per year to look after.
If you’re anything like me, then it is likely the amazing colors and patterns of the Blue Heller that has drawn you in. They really are a unique looking dog.
Better yet, they generally possess a range of positive attributes, traits and characteristics which make them such an ideal breed to take care of.
They are very intelligent, loyal and obedient to name but a few.
Let us now take a closer look at the costs of puppies, along with all of those factors that influence their price.
We’ll also be covering all those additional extras and ongoing costs that you’ll need to think about too.
At the end, we’ll be taking a look at where you can look to get one of these loveable dogs.
So, if you are serious about taking one in, be sure you read all the way through to set your expectations and be aware of how to budget accordingly.
How Much Is A Blue Heeler Puppy?
The average cost for a Blue Heeler puppy is in the range of $600 to $1000.
However, if you are to look on the internet, you will find Blue Heeler puppies anywhere from $250 to $3000.
This is certainly a case of buyer beware.
Puppies that appear cheap will likely not have papers, they may not be registered, they may not have had any shots or deworming, they may not be purebred, or they may come from a breeding pair that has a history of medical issues.
If you have your heart set on a Blue Heeler, you would be best to look for reputable breeders on Kennel Club websites.
For example, looking through the pre-vetted breeders and sellers on the American Kernel Club (AKC) marketplace is a good idea and a good starting place.
This way you can compare breeders side by side, look for puppies of different ages, and be able to contact multiple breeders ahead of time and any visits.
Just remember they also go by the name of Australian Cattle dogs when researching. They are exactly the same dog!
What Factors Affect The Price Of A Blue Heeler?
There are many factors that can affect the price you will pay for a Blue Heeler, including their age, breeding history, and the breeder’s litter size.
Let us now take a closer look at each one and why and how they impact what you will likely need to pay.
It is normal for a Blue Heeler to give birth to litters that have roughly 5 or 6 puppies.
However, this is only an estimate and can actually range from 1 to 7 pups.
If your chosen breeder only has a small litter, they will be able to command a higher price for their puppies.
Breeders who have larger litters may have their pups priced slightly lower.
The age of the dog you purchase is also a factor for the cost.
Puppies will always sell for more than an older dog, but there are some benefits to getting a Blue Heeler that is slightly older.
You will be able to see what their personality is like better than you would in a pup. You also should not need to go through the potty-training stage!
Getting an older dog will still allow you to spend many years with your new pet because Blue Heelers have an average lifespan of about 13 to 15 years.
Puppies that are registered with papers will cost more than ones without. The pup’s bloodlines also factor into the price.
If the parents are champions or much sought-after for breeding purposes, the cost of the dog will rise dramatically.
Especially if you are planning to purchase your puppy from a well-respected breeder, you can expect to pay more.
Availability of Blue Heelers also affects the cost. If you live where there are several breeders in the immediate area, the price will likely be lower than if you only have one to choose from.
Lineage & Breeding
The final factor affecting the cost of a Blue Heeler is whether or not the pup is purebred.
Due to their stunning coloring, Blue Heelers are being bred with a variety of other dogs so you may want to get registration papers to ensure that you are paying for a purebred and not a mixed breed.
What Are The Initial Costs Of Owning A Blue Heeler?
The estimated initial costs for owning a Blue Heeler are between $1500 and $2000, including the price of the puppy.
For estimation purposes, we will assume that you paid $1000 for your dog.
Your next trip will be to a pet store or online store like Amazon, where you can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $600, depending on how much you need to purchase.
You will need the following things on your shopping list:
|Collars and Leashes||$30||It comes advised to buy two of each.|
|Food and Water Bowls||$20|
|High Quality Puppy Food||$60||Purchase the best quality that you can afford.|
|Several Types of Treats||$30|
|Age Appropriate Toys||$50-$150|
|Crate or Cage||$100-$300||You may consider buying both depending on your home or setup.|
Also consider purchasing these at a size your dog can grow into.
|Puppy Training Pads||$10|
|Disinfectant and Cleaner||$10|
These are just the basics, and unfortunately the costs are unlikely to stop there.
Consider the following too:
- You will also need to get a license or tag for your pup, depending on what is required in your area. These usually cost anywhere from $10 to $50.
- You will also need to take your new pup to your vet for their initial exam and needles. You can expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $200, especially if you need deworming, heartworm pills, and a flea and tick product.
- Expect to pay an additional $50 if you choose to get your puppy microchipped.
- Once your dog is old enough to be spayed or neutered, this could cost you anywhere from $125 to $300.
You may also want to consider the cost of having your puppy go through basic obedience training if you don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself.
Training for Blue Heelers is highly recommended because they have a high prey drive and will take off after anything that runs.
For their own safety they should know and obey basic commands. Lesson costs should be in the area of about $125.
If you are getting your puppy from a breeder who is out of state, you will also have to consider the costs for shipping the puppy to you.
That could add an additional $200 to $400 on to your total, depending on the airline or the service used.
What Are The Ongoing Costs Of Owning A Blue Heeler
The ongoing costs of owning a Blue Heeler run in the neighborhood of about $1000 to $2000, per year.
You can break down your costs for each year in the following way:
- Food: $250 to $750
- Treats: $100 to $150 (You can also make your own treats using a dehydrator or your oven. I dehydrate liver for my dogs all the time and it stores very well in an airtight container!)
- New toys: $100 to $200
- Cleaning supplies: $25
- Vaccinations: $100 to $200
- Preventative medical care like heartworm meds: $100 to $300
- Grooming: $180
- License or tag renewal: $10 to $50
Keep in mind that this does not include any emergency veterinary care.
Vet expenses add up very quickly so it would be wise to budget an extra $800 to $1500 per year just in case.
As you can imagine it also comes strongly advised that you take out insurance. This way, if anything were to unfortunately happen to your dog you should be covered and can get them the treatment they need, when they need it.
Also consider that the above costs are just averages and what owners typically need to take into account.
They may range and may adjust. For example, one owner may choose to spend more on grooming, whereas another may decide to change their food and diet which can change the cost.
Where Can You Buy A Blue Heeler?
When it comes to buying a Blue Heeler, you have three main options: from a breeder, a rescue, or your local animal shelter.
Let us now take a look into each option and what is typically involved:
Blue Heelers have become extremely popular dogs, leading to more breeders carrying on the line.
Since there are so many breeders out there, it is quite likely that you have one somewhere near to where you live.
When you are buying a puppy from a breeder, it is very important that you look at both of the parents if it is at all possible to do so.
This should give you an idea of the looks and temperament that your puppy will have when they become adults.
When you are choosing your puppy from the litter, always choose from the ones who come right up to you and are inquisitive. Timid puppies could potentially have behavioral issues down the road.
There are also many rescues dedicated to Blue Heelers. The animals come in a variety of age ranges so it is possible that you could still get a very young dog.
However, if you get one that is older, they will have already proven themselves and you will know all of their quirks ahead of time.
Rescues generally do not charge anywhere near the amount that you would pay from a breeder but expect to be grilled quite thoroughly before you are allowed to adopt one of their dogs. Dogs from rescues are also neutered or spayed for the most part.
Local Animal Shelters
You can also look to your local animal shelters in your search for a Blue Heeler. They are not the most common dogs to see in a shelter, but they do get them occasionally.
If you are willing to wait, you can also put your name on a list so that the shelter will contact you when they have a Blue Heeler come in.
Adoption costs vary greatly from shelter to shelter but they often include the price of a spay or neuter in the cost if they have not already been altered.
Additionally, most shelters will send you home with a dog that has had all of its shots, been dewormed, and is often even microchipped.
Just like with a rescue, animal shelters are incredibly careful who receives any of their animals.
They will have plenty of questions for you and expect the staff to want to see you interact with the dog to make sure it is going to be a good match for both of you.
Hopefully, you now know what you can expect to pay for a Blue Heeler. Consider the numbers, and ensure that you can afford what it takes to be able to take them on.
You’ll also need to consider that this particular breed lives between 12-15 years on average. So, just running the numbers this equates to $12,000-$30,000 in expenses over the course of their life (based on a $1000-$2000 per year estimation.
The Blue Heeler does not therefore come cheap, but consider that this is the case with most other breeds of dogs that you get as a puppy.
If your budget is tight, adopting is generally the cheaper way to go. But whether or not this is something that is going to interest you, or if it is even possible, will come down to personal context.
Nevertheless, Blue Heelers make fantastic companions. They are very affectionate, easy to train, have a high intelligence level and do not shed much either!
In terms of size, Blue Heelers are also classified as medium sized dogs, which is great from an owners perspective.
Just consider, if you are serious about getting this breed they have a lot of energy and high exercise requirements. They certainly will keep you busy!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.