Take the Queen of England’s favorite breed of dog – the Corgi. Add one Australian Cattle Dog, and what do you get?
That’s a question with many answers. As with any hybrid dog, genetics can be unpredictable, and the result can be different in every case.
Heelers and Australian Cattle dogs are interchangeable – Australian Cattle dogs are often referred to as Blue Heelers.
So you might hear this hybrid referred to as a Blue Heeler Corgi mix, a Corgi Heeler mix, or even a Cowboy Corgi.
Once you know the basics of each breed, you can figure out if the hybrid would fit into your lifestyle.
On the other hand:
If you’ve already adopted a new friend of this variety, you can understand how their genetic traits might present surprises – or challenges.
But a Corgi Heeler mix can make a wonderful addition to the family, royal or not.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about your Cowboy Corgi pup to be!
Get Up to Speed on the Blue Heeler Corgi Mix
Appreciating a hybrid warrants taking a look at each side of their parentage.
When you understand the elements involved, you can better understand what to expect.
Australian Cattle Dog
Otherwise known as an ACD, these are intelligent, resilient dogs from the herding group.
They have an intense drive to work, high energy levels, and are happiest when they’re working.
They’re medium-sized, weighing anywhere from 30-50lbs. Their build is muscular and stocky.
The coloring of ACDs is some of the most unique of all herding breeds.
Their coats are usually bluish in color with mottled or speckled patterns.
Some dogs have tan elements, and some can be tan with rust coloring instead of blue.
They have medium-length coats and a moderate undercoat, which they will shed twice yearly.
These dogs have ears that stand upright naturally. The eyes are rarely any color other than brown.
They have a lifespan of 12-16 years and few health issues – but some overall maintenance of the ears and teeth are especially important for this breed.
ACDs can form close bonds with people, but they can also outwit them if they get it into their minds to do so.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Corgis come in two types – Cardigan Welsh and Pembroke Welsh. Since Cowboy Corgis are usually bred to be half Pembroke, we’ll focus on those.
However, the two are so similar that even if the hybrid is half Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the possibilities for appearance, temperament, and lifespan are nearly identical.
The biggest difference would be coat variations, as Cardigans come in more colors and brindle patterns, while Pembrokes do not.
Corgis are small but mighty and also members of the herding group.
Originally bred to herd cattle, they have become more popular as companion dogs than working ones.
They are devoted to their families but without the clinginess that comes with other smaller dog breeds.
They’re not considered toy breeds, but they’re not too much bigger than small companion dogs. 30 lbs is the most an adult Pembroke Welsh Corgi should weigh.
They make great housepets, and apartments don’t bother them. They have more exercise requirements than toy breeds, but not as many as larger dogs.
Corgis have erect ears, foxy facial features, and signature short legs.
Though their tails are frequently docked, this trend has fallen out of favor in recent years.
One previous method of telling Cardigans and Pembrokes apart was whether or not the tail was docked – it was never part of the breed standard for Cardigans.
But now that pet parents are deciding against this purely cosmetic procedure, you’re more likely to see a Pembroke with their natural tail.
Genetic disorders of the eyes and hip dysplasia are two common health concerns. But proper screening and care give this breed optimal chances of living a long life (est. 12-13 years).
What’s it Like When They’re Combined?
The strong initiative to work and herd will more likely than not be present in a Blue Heeler Corgi mix.
Potential owners should be prepared for a dog who has moderate to high exercise needs – and off-leash running is the best way for them to work off their energy.
They could inherit the short legs of the Corgi parent, or they might not be so short. The coloring can take after either side, with some unusual pattern possibilities.
Since both breeds have upright ears, the hybrid will probably too.
They’re similar in size, so a mix of the two won’t present any big surprises when it comes to weight.
Cowboy Corgi Temperament
Overall, this hybrid has great potential as a family dog, companion, or herding dog.
They’ll probably be smart – it’s a characteristic of both breeds. The intelligence of the Australian Cattle Dog’s side is not something you’ll want to underestimate.
ACDs can be accomplished escape artists. If they decide they want something, it can be challenging to hide it from them.
They can be hard-headed so early training will be necessary.
The ACD in this breed could present a stubborn side, so be prepared to tackle training with a lot of patience.
A battle of wits could ensue, so this isn’t the hybrid for someone who gets frustrated quickly.
Both Corgis and ACDs were bred to be herding dogs, although the herding instinct is more prevalent in the Australian Cattle Dog.
Since they have such a strong desire to herd, they might try to do so with other animals or even children.
Early socialization will help curb this behavior, as well as positive reinforcement.
If they take more from their Corgi lineage than that of the ACD, they will be easier to train.
Corgis are very laid-back and non-confrontational – they like to get along with everyone and aim to please them.
But since it’s impossible to predict what a puppy will mature into, assuming they’ll be easy to train can set you up to be surprised and unprepared.
Regardless of the potential training challenges, both dogs are loyal and known to form strong connections with the people closest to them.
Training a Cowboy Corgi
ACDs like to run. And run and run some more. They’re agile and nimble; sometimes, they’ll run right away from you if the mood strikes them.
What does that mean if you’re committed to keeping one as a pet?
Any dog with ACD in its genes will need to be taught reliable recall from an early age.
Doing this teaches good manners and can be lifesaving if the dog wants to run into a dangerous situation.
Aside from this, basic obedience training is a good idea. Leash manners are something you’ll want to teach, as well.
Dogs with herding instincts can try to chase something and take you along for the ride.
Corgis are not known to be territorial, but ACDs have it written in their DNA to protect their herd. They could become barkers, especially when it comes to someone new entering the yard.
Socializing them with other people from day one is the best thing you can do to avoid a dog who guards unnecessarily.
Care and Grooming
There aren’t any extraordinary demands when it comes to care.
There are, however, some guidelines to be aware of before you decide if you’ll have the resources to dedicate to this hybrid.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis and ACDs both have a double coat – meaning an undercoat and outer layer of hair.
Both dogs will shed twice a year, so you can expect their offspring to do the same.
Depending on which parent’s coat they inherit, they could need up to daily brushing.
Bathing shouldn’t have to be a daily affair. But keep in mind that if you have a dog that loves being outdoors, they could need more frequent bathing than a typical indoor dog.
An Australian Cattle Dog can get a heavy wax buildup in their ears, so frequent ear-cleaning should be part of their grooming routine.
A Healthy Diet
Like all dogs, a balanced diet is a core building block for health. More active, athletic dogs like the Australian Cattle Dog will need higher caloric intake and plenty of protein.
A Corgi Cattle Dog mix, which is more like their Corgi parent – relaxed and content to spend more time inside – should not be overfed.
Corgis are prone to becoming overweight, and thus Corgi food intake should be monitored closely.
Table scraps and human foods should be saved for special occasions.
Get Out Your Running Shoes
Again, it’s a gamble on how rambunctious this hybrid will be. They could need daily runs, or they might be happy with just a few walks and some toys inside.
If they’re high-energy, they’ll need an outlet for it, or they could make life very difficult for you.
A herding dog cooped up too much will become defiant, anxious, and destructive.
Be willing to go for long walks, and provide as much off-leash time as you can.
You don’t have to be a runner to exercise your dog properly. Fetch is a perfect opportunity to exercise them and bond with them at the same time.
Keeping toys inside in between walks can help prevent boredom. Chew toys or interactive toys are both great options.
Durable chewies and antlers are especially helpful in keeping them occupied.
As long as you can provide ample outdoor time, a smaller dwelling isn’t a big problem for this hybrid.
But a word of warning:
A small environment will get wrecked much faster, so avoid letting your dog get bored at all costs.
A backyard of your own is best, but off-leash activity in a dog park is also acceptable.
Provide these daily, and your small home will be safe from the teeth of a stir-crazy dog.
Corgis tend to like to stick close to their people and even like sleeping with them.
ACDs can be just as affectionate but might prefer a bed or space of their own.
Even if you’re on board with sharing a bed, providing your dog with their own sleeping spot is a good idea.
They may pick a spot they feel safe in; putting bedding there gives them the option to have some space of their own.
Keeping a Blue Heeler Corgi Mix in Good Health
Hip dysplasia is a health issue each breed is at risk for. So a hybrid of the two will need screening to ensure this condition can be caught early.
Corgis can be susceptible to eye disorders, so that’s something else a vet should evaluate from an early age.
ACDs can have certain hearing disorders that can present at birth. Ideally, a breeder will screen for these before reproducing any dogs.
They can also develop elbow dysplasia, which is another joint condition a vet should keep an eye out for.
Cowboy Corgi – The Perfect Partner?
They’re cute, they’re smart, and they’re loyal – who wouldn’t want one?
They indeed tick a lot of boxes when it comes to the ideal companion – but before you go round up one a Cowboy Corgi for your own, make sure you’re prepared to give them the home they need.
As herding dogs, exercise demands have the potential to be high.
Can they still make good city dogs?
If you have access to a backyard or dog park or are willing to walk them up to two miles a day, then the rest should be relatively easy.
Ample exercise is the key to keeping these dogs happy and responsive to training.
Keep them inside too much, and they’ll be difficult to manage.
They’re a hybrid breed gaining popularity, so that you might see them for sale.
Disclaimer: they’re considered a “designer dog” at this point, so expect to pay up for them.
It’s strongly advised to find them from a reputable breeder or a rescue organization.
Though the price tag is still likely to be high, things like certificates of health and genetic screening are worth paying extra for when it comes to adoption fees.
Get them from a puppy mill or backyard breeder, and you run the risk of adopting a dog who will have lots of health and possibly temperament issues.
If you want them to cohabitate with children or other animals, they’ll need early training to keep them from falling into herding mode.
Keep all of these things in mind, and you’re likely to end up with an excellent companion.
A Royal Hybrid
Roll out the red carpet for the Queen’s dog of choice – with a Cattle Dog twist.
A Corgi Australian Cattle Dog mix is great for dog parents who have time and energy to dedicate to them.
If you love the outdoors, all the better. This dog will be a great hiking, running, or walking buddy, similar to the Australian Shepherd Corgi mix.
But don’t forget that those short legs mean you might need to take it slow sometimes.
And two dogs with long lifespans combine to make a family member who will be with you for a long time – always a plus.
The more attention you give them, the better. The Corgi side will make them want to be attached at the hip, but without getting overly distressed when you leave the house.
Under ideal circumstances, they’ll be calm yet alert, affectionate yet independent.
As always, the love you give your Blue Heeler Corgi mix will be returned tenfold.
One last thing to be prepared for? You’ll get the “oohs” and “aahs” when you take your adorable dog in public – because these two breeds together make for a charming hybrid.
Cowboy Corgi? More like a Cowboy cutie.