Lancashire Heeler

Type: Herding

Height: 10 - 12 inches. Females: average 10 inches; Males: average 12 inches.

Weight: 6 - 13 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14+ years.

Litter Size: 2 - 5 puppies.

Country of Origin: England

Activity: Medium. Indoors the breed can be lazy and love to curl up and go to sleep, however, outside the breed can be rather energetic and require exercise and play from its owner.

Watch-dog: High. Lancashire Heelers are alert and aware.

Guard-dog: Low. The Heeler is a small breed, and mostly friendly to others.

Description: Looking like a mix between the Manchester Terrier and the Welsh Corgi, the Lancashire Heeler is said to be relative to these. They are short legged, and quite long in body. The breed has large prick ears that stand on end when listening intently. They are excellent herding and heeling dogs, which is what they were originally used for. Lancashire Heelers have such strong herding instincts that one owner reported her Lancashire trying to herd the cattle on TV! Lancashire Terriers are a happy breed, enjoying the company of family and get along well with other pets. They make an affectionate breed, although very good at hunting vermin and rabbits. Lancashire Heelers are alert, energetic, and fun - making them a pleasant and positive companion. An interesting fact about this breed is that when they are content and happy, they have been known to give the "Heeler smile", in which the dog may sit back, draw back their lips and form what looks like a smile!

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Other Names: Ormskirk Terrier, Ormskirk Heeler, Lancashire Terrier

Colors: Black and tan or liver and tan. Lancashires have rich tan markings on their muzzles, spots on the cheeks and above the eyes, from the knees down, and desirably a thumb mark above the feet. They also have tan on the insides of the legs, underbelly and under the tail.

Coat: Short, smooth and thick. They can develop a mane in cold weather.

Temperament: The Lancashire Terrier is an easy going breed. They are happy, energetic and love to be with their owners. Some prefer to hunt rabbits and rats rather than herd cattle, but some have a very strong desire to herd. They are alert and pleasant to be around. Although small, they are strong and sturdy.

With Children: Yes, they are good with children, but better with older, more mature children.

With Pets: Yes, they get along well with other cats and dogs.

Special Skills: Herding, ratting and family pet.

Care and Training: Lancashire Terriers need free running space or half an hour to an hour walks per day. They should be given time to play and explore off the leash. They love to curl up and relax, so exercise should be given regularly. The Lancashire's coat sheds a couple times per year, and baths should be given at this time. This will help with the shedding. Grooming is minimal on this breed. They should be brushed every once in a while to keep the coat looking shiny. They can develop a mane in cold weather. Lancashire Heelers learn easily, and train moderately fast. Simply begin training as soon as possible, beginning early in life, using positive training methods.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Lancashires, like many terriers, can be stubborn and independent when it comes to obeying commands. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Training

Living Environment: The Lancashire Heeler is energetic when it wants to be, but is good as an apartment dog. They are small dogs, so they are suited for the apartment lifestyle. As long as they are given enough exercise, this breed is adaptable in most living spaces. They can adapt to cold weather as well, sometimes growing thicker fur around the neck. The best owner for this breed would be an active, training-experienced person living in a city, rural or suburban area.

Health Issues: No known health issues

History: The Lancashire Terrier originally developed in the country of England. Their history is not well documented, but sources agree they were used as a sporting dog in the field of hunting rabbits, vermin, as well as a cattle and sheep drover. Although small, they were specifically bred to be short in order to avoid the sheep's kicks. A Lancashire Heeler's job was to nip at the ankles of the cattle or sheep to get them where the farmer wanted them to go. Their size and quaintness was perfect for the job. However, the breed still retained much of its terrier background, and much preferred to hunt things like rabbits and vermin rather than herd sheep. It is thought to be a mix of the Yorkshire, Norfolk Heeler, Drover's Cur, and the London Smithfield Collie. All of these breeds have gone extinct in England, but the Lancashire is said to resemble them. The Lancashire Terrier was not always black and tan as it is now. In the 20th century the breed went extinct, but before that in the 1960s, the breed was recreated using the Welsh Corgi and Manchester Terrier. This is how the Lancashire acquired its current colors and patterns. The breed was still used in the 1960s and 70s as a cattle herder and vermin dispeller, but today is becoming more of a household pet. The breed is still very rare today, numbering only around 5,000 today worldwide.

First Registered by the AKC: FSS ( Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)

AKC Group: FSS

Class: Herding

Registries: KC(UK) (Pastoral)