Welcome to the newest edition of the American Kennel Club: the Lancashire Heeler. This cute little guy is the perfect companion for any household looking for an obedient, easy-to-train addition to the family. In this Lancashire Heeler 101 blog, we’ll get into all of the details you need to know about owning this adorable fur-baby.
If you’d rather listen to this blog, just click play on the YouTube video below:
Below is a chart that will give you a quick glance at everything we cover below.
|10-12 Inches High
|Special Dietary Needs
|Black & Tan
Liver & Tan
|Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
|Welch Corgi & Manchester Terrier
For a more detailed look at what to expect from your new pup, all the info you need is below.
What is a Lancashire Heeler?
The Lancashire Heeler, also known as an Ormskirk Terrier, is the 201st breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. It’s considered to be one of the smallest herding and working dogs recognized by the AKC. While the Lancashire Heeler is fairly well known in the UK, where the breed was first introduced, it’s less well known in the US.
Right now it’s estimated that there are only 400 Lancashire Heelers in the US. Based on its cuteness, and how friendly and easy it is to train, we have a feeling that’s about to change. Interested in being a pet-parent to one of these little guys? Read on…
What is the Lancashire Heeler Size & Weight?
While the Lancashire Heeler is an active dog, with a good bit of energy, its size puts it firmly in the category of lap dog. Most full-grown adults of this breed tend to get about 10 to 12 inches high, and weigh between 10 to 17 pounds. Anything heavier might be considered overweight for the breed, depending on its height.
Is the Lancashire Heeler Diet Complicated?
Lancashire Heelers are active dogs that will require a high-protein diet. Any high-quality dog food, wet or dry, meant for smaller dogs should work out just fine for your new addition. Just make sure that you feed them age-appropriate dog food (puppy food for puppies and adult food for older dogs).
This breed does exceptionally well at reward-based training, so small treats while training can also be given. Just make sure not to overdo it with the treats, to keep your little buddy in healthy shape.
And, as is the case with all breeds, keep their water dish full at all times with fresh, clean water.
What’s the Lancashire Heeler Coat & Coloring Like?
Lancashire Heelers have short fur and a water-resistant coat. While they’re not huge shedders, you will notice some fur around the house, which is to be expected. They come in a few different colors that are recognized by the AKC, including:
- Black & Tan – AKC Registration Code 018
- Liver & Tan – AKC Registration Code 124
It’s possible that as more people breed Lancashire Heelers, more color combinations will be recognized.
What is the Lancashire Heeler Lifespan?
Due to its long lifespan, Lancashire Heelers are the perfect pet for families with young kids. Like most smaller breed dogs, you can expect Lancashire Heelers to live around 12-15 years.
Are there any Lancashire Heeler Health Concerns?
While considered a healthy dog breed without major health concerns, the Lancashire Heeler, like all purebred dogs, does have a couple of concerns you should know about. In 2006, vets started to notice an inherited eye disease, primary lens luxation (PLL), which was starting to become common among Lancashire Heelers in the UK.
As a result, it’s recommended that anyone buying or adopting a Lancashire Heeler have the following test performed by their vet:
- Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) – DNA Test
- Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA, CH) – DNA Test
While selective breeding has minimized this risk, it’s still important to get the tests done so that this ailment can be caught and treated early.
Is Lancashire Heeler Grooming Easy?
This breed is actually one of the easiest small dog breeds to groom. Their coat is short, dense, and waterproof, so regular brushing and a bath 2-4 times a month should have your little buddy looking in tip-top shape.
As with all dog breeds, make sure their nails are neatly trimmed, and their teeth are brushed daily.
How Should the Lancashire Heeler Exercise?
Like most small breed dogs, the Lancashire Heeler breed has a lot of energy and loves to get out and run and play. Several walks a day may be needed to expend their energy. If that’s not feasible due to weather or busy schedules, a small treadmill in the house would be the perfect addition for much-needed exercise.
Is the Lancashire Heeler Temperament Good or Bad?
We’ve all seen the little yappy lap dogs that seem to act aggressively toward anyone who isn’t their owner. This is not how the Lancashire Heeler is. This is a mild-mannered breed that is friendly to just about everyone and anything. As a matter of fact, the AKC gives the Lancashire Heeler top marks for:
- affection amongst other people,
- tolerability around other dogs, and
- safety around young kids.
In addition, when happy and content, Lancashire Heelers have been known to sport a human-looking smile by pulling back the corners of their mouths. How cute is that?
What to Know About Lancashire Heeler Training
While Lancashire Heelers are considered a very intelligent dog breed, they can also be a bit stubborn. This breed will do best with structured, reward-based dog training. With a little time and effort, your new pup should be able to take commands and listen to your direction.
What is the Lancashire Heeler Breed History?
The Lancashire Heeler was first crossbred in the UK in the 17th century. While it’s not known for sure, it’s believed that this breed was created by crossbreeding a Welch Corgi with a Manchester Terrier. The resulting breed was the perfect size and temperament for herding cattle, as well as hunting out rats on the farm.
Eventually, due to its friendly nature, farmers began to move the Lancashire Heeler from the farmland, into the farmhouse. From then until now, this lovable breed has become a cherished member of many UK families. Finally, in 1981, the British Kennel Club recognized the Lancashire Heeler as a distinct and well-loved breed of its own.
Sadly, due to the small gene pool and unscrupulous breeders, in 2003 Lancashire Heelers were placed on the British Kennel Club’s list of endangered dog breeds. Since then, a concerted effort has been made to more ethically breed them, and expand the territories where they’re raised.
Is There a Lancashire Heeler Community?
While not as popular as most lap dogs, there is still a vibrant and passionate community of Lancashire Heeler owners who are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about introducing this breed into your family.
If you’re on Facebook, you may want to join the Community of Lancashire Heeler owners. They can give you first-hand tips and information from breeders and owners.
If you’re not on Facebook, you can reach out to The United States Lancashire Heeler Club with any questions. Their information is as follows:
- Contact – Sheryl Bradbury
- Phone Number – 816.308.2424
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website – https://www.unitedstateslancashireheelerclub.com/
As this breed becomes more popular in the US, we expect many more online Lancashire Heeler Communities to pop up. If you happen to know of any, please leave us a message in the comment section.
Is There a Lancashire Heeler Rescue?
Sadly, as the Lancashire Heeler breed becomes more popular, we’re starting to see more of them that need rescuing. As always, we here at Avenue Dogs always place a priority on pet rescue as opposed to purchasing from pet stores. If you should feel moved to rescue a Lancashire Heeler in need, here are a few that we found online.
The Lancashire Heeler Association (LHA) has been working with and rescuing Lancashire Heelers for nearly 17 years. You can contact them at:
- Jacky Cutler – UK Phone Number – 07771 743138 or 01953 456893
- Bill Simpson – UK Phone Number – 07759 799737 or 01282 770628
- Email – email@example.com
- Website – https://teeaay.wixsite.com/heelstone-heelers/lancashire-heeler-rescue
Another great resource for Lancashire Heeler Rescue is the Adopt a Pet website. At the time of this writing, there is one Lancashire Heeler available for rescue. We’re quite certain more will pop up, so please bookmark this site and check back often.
Our Lancashire Heeler 101 Conclusion
Already own a Lancashire Heeler? We’d love to hear from you with some first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to have one of these adorable little guys as a companion. Please feel free to leave any comments below.