Blue heelers, also known as Australian cattle dogs or Queensland heelers, tend to be brave, energetic and focused. They are highly affectionate to their family but may dislike strangers.

Australian cattle dogs tend to be territorial and protective. They are bred to be working dogs, so they need a lot of exercise and do best with a job of some sort. Bored heelers often become destructive or unmanageable. Many do not like unfamiliar dogs, and they may have low tolerance levels for rude behaviors. They also tend to have a high prey drive, which can manifest by chasing or attacking cats and small animals.

Although they tend to be affectionate towards children, fast movements may trigger their herding instincts. They were bred to nip at livestock, so they may nip people if they are not trained to avoid it. They tend to be a mouthy breed and may bite playfully.

Heelers often bond particularly closely with one person and always want to be with that person. They are bred for toughness and to ignore pain, so they often continue working through injuries. They are highly intelligent and quick learners. They tend to be eager to please their owners, but their strong instincts may cause them to disobey commands if they are not properly trained. They can be stubborn and independent when it suits them.