Lancashire Heeler


Quick Facts

  • Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
  • Height: 10 to 12 inches

The Look of a Lancashire Heeler

The Lancashire Heeler is a surprisingly small dog for a herding breed. Imagine a 7-pound dog nipping at the heels of cattle (in contrast, the Welsh Corgi, also a herder, is 25 to 30 pounds). Its strength and sturdiness make up for its small size. This dog’s length is longer than its height, hence the theory of Dachshund ancestry.

The Lancashire Heeler’s coat is short, hard, and flat. It can be black and tan or liver and tan, the latter of which was approved in 1999. Its tail reflects this dog’s cheery personality and curves jauntily over its backend.

Lancashire Heelers often appear to smile when their mouths are slightly open and their lips are pulled back.


  • The Lancashire Heeler “smile”
  • Versatility in jobs, including retrieving, herding, and ratting
  • Outward-turned front feet
  • Large and rather comical upright ears
  • Lifespan: 12 to 13 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • High-energy, active owners
  • Homeowners with fenced-in yards
  • Families with older children
  • Those looking for a versatile canine worker
  • Folks who like to be carry a herding dog in a purse

What They Are Like to Live With

The Lancashire Heeler is a herding dog, but has also worked as a retriever, gun dog, and assistant dog for people with disabilities. Its work drive is high, so you must keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated. This breed is also a tireless worker that needs plenty of exercise.

Despite the Lancashire Heeler’s long history as a working dog, it makes a great companion for adults and families with older children. This is a good breed if you like small, affectionate, low-shedding, playful dogs who stick by your side and always want to go for a walk.

Things You Should Know

The Lancashire Heeler may attempt to heel and herd family members, including cats. These dogs are very trainable but can be stubborn, so you need patience and firm leadership.

Lancashire Heelers can be nervous, especially if they are not exercised enough, and should be socialized with other pets and people early on.

Lancashire Heeler History

This breed has been around since the 17th century and is thought to be a cross between the Welsh Corgi and the Manchester Terrier, maybe with the Dachshund or other breeds thrown in. Some aficionados claim it is actually the ancestor of the Welsh Corgi. It is also known as the Ormskirk Terrier.

The breed began to disappear but was regenerated in the 1960s. The Lancashire Heeler Club was developed in Britain in 1978. Today, this breed is often a companion dog, but is still a working dog in parts of Britain. It has gained popularity in the U.S., Sweden, the Netherlands, and Australia.

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