Breed info

lancashire heeler bitch puppy

Lancashire Heelers are a small breed, originally developed for herding cattle.  Like terriers, they are agile, friendly and the perfect family pet.

Heelers are traditionally black and tan (like our four Toby, Pickle, Dora and Bilbo), but the Kennel Club also recognises liver and tan.  When they are adults, they’ll usually be around 10-12 inches tall – a bit taller than that if you count the ears!

The coat is smooth and and has an undercoat which protects the dog in all weathers.  They are very easy to groom and keep clean.

For more info on breed characteristics, please see the Kennel Club’s Breed Standard.

Origins of the Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heelers (also sometimes known as Omskirk Heelers) have been recognised by the Kennel Club since 1981 as a rare breed.   There is little known about their origins and many thought that the Heeler was originally a cross between the Welsh Corgis with Manchester Terriers to create farm dogs.

The breed is said to have originated when Welsh farmers drove their cattle to the northern cattle markets where the two breeds met and the Lancashire Heeler was born!  Farmers found the small black and tan dogs were excellent to bring wayward cattle and sheep back to the herd as the dogs controlled the animals by a nip to the back of the heel and then would instinctively lie down flat so that any kick from the animal would go over their heads.   Their terrier instincts also made them useful on farms for ratting and rabbiting.

Lancashire Heeler Temperament

Lancashire Heelers have a friendly and easygoing temperament.  They are active and need to be kept occupied but also enjoy sitting on laps and being stroked, especially if they’ve been socialised early.

Heelers are great pets for  families and are full of energy.  They are also relatively easy to train but do need a firm hand!


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