The Lancashire Heeler Dog Breed

Lancashire Heeler Looking

Did you know the Lancashire Heeler can actually smile at you!? If that doesn’t top it off they are compact, happy, and intelligent. Even though this is a compact dog apartment living may not be the best for this dog. It has a lot of energy and can be vocal.

The Lancashire Heeler History

Historians believe this dog originated in Northwest Wales in England in the 17th Century. People introduced this dog in the Ormskirk area as the Manchester Terrier. This dog became the Lancashire Heeler. The Manchester Terrier was a black and tan terrier.

The Terrier

The Kennel Club recognized the breed in the U.K. in 1981. This breed has had it’s difficulties. It was placed on the vulnerable native breed list in 2003. People in U.S., Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia are starting to like the Lancashire Heeler more and more.

Where did the Lancashire Heeler Come From?

Lancashire Heeler Facing

The Lancashire Heeler’s history starts in England. A small black and tan dog known as the butchers’ dog was common in the Ormskirk area of West Lancashire. It originated from a type of Welsh Corgi being utilized to drive stock from the market in northern Wales to the Lancashire market. Breeders crossed these with Manchester Terriers.

The possible ancestors for this dog include the Corgi and Manchester Terrier. Breeders bred for generations within this particular district developing their own characteristics.

What Were They Bred For?

The Lancashire Heeler is a small breed of dog developed for use as a drover and herder of cattle. Breeders created the Lancashire Heeler to be a drover and herder of livestock. Farmers also used these dogs as ratters.

Are They a Pure Breed?


Lancashire Heelers at a Glance

Good For Families
Tolerates Other Pets
Prey Drive
Health Score
Energy Level
Space Needs
Good for New Owners

Physical Traits

Lancashire Heeler is smaller dog. Don’t let this fool you though! It’s stocky. This dog has a dense short coat that and helps keep this little dog dry and warm. It has a mane around the neck in winter. The dog is usually black and tan. Kennel Clubs recognize other colors as well like liver and tan. Ears can be tipped and are alert. The Lancashire Heelers tail sticks straight up and curls over it’s back.

Breed Standard

Lancashire Heeler Size

  • Male: 10–12 inches (25–31 cm)
  • Female: 10–12 inches (25–31 cm)

Height measurements are always from the ground to the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades. The highest point on a dogs shoulder-blades are known as the withers.


  • 9 – 17 pounds


The Lancashire Heeler is fairly easy to groom. They have a short tight coat which resists dirt. Occasional brushing will keep these dogs looking good. During shedding season they may need more brushing. Also brush or bath when dirty. Giving them an occasional bath will keep them clean.

Check their nails to make sure they are not split or cracked and trim as needed.

Check their ears to make sure they are not full of debris or wax and clean as needed.

Do They Drool?


Best Climate for the Lancashire Heeler

This breed can handle both warm and cold weather.

Lancashire Heeler Temperament

Lancashire Heeler Posing

This heeler loves it’s owner! They are very affectionate with family. This dog is always alert and energetic. They are very intelligent and love playing. They can lean complex tasks and love to be stimulated. The Lancashire Heeler is friendly towards those it knows but can be aggressive if they feel threatened. They would love to shower you kisses.

How Easy are They to Train?

They can be stubborn with a mind of it’s own. Trainers need to be patient but firm with this dog. Overall though these dogs are fairly easy to train and love to learn. However with the right training you can teach this dog to do amazing tasks!

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

This breed tends to get along fairly well with other cats and dogs in the household. They may try to herd them.

Are They Good for Families?

The Lancashire Heeler is always up for action. They are active, vocal, and as up for a walk to the dog park or anywhere else for that matter! They are very flexible. These dogs can do well in family settings. They have been gaining popularity as a family dog. For anyone looking for a companion this dog would be a good fit.

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

Prey drive is not in the nature of Lancashire Heelers. Cats and other small animals are safe with them.

Are They Social With Other People?

Lancashire Heelers are attentive and affectionate to their owners and enjoyed being around people but are sometimes wary of strangers. No proper socialization can cause nervousness. Early socialization helps them become more social throughout their lives.

Is The Lancashire Heeler Good for New Owners?

This breed can be stubborn but are pretty easy to train when motivated. As a new owner you will enjoy this dogs affection and playfulness! If living in an apartment you will need to make sure this dog gets out to expend some energy regularly. Ideally this dog would have a yard to run in.

Lancashire Heeler Health

The Lancashire Heeler is a fairly healthy dog. It has a decent life span.

The Lancashire Heeler Lifespan

  • 12 – 15 years

Health Issues

The three most common serious conditions that can affect Heelers are:

  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Primary lens luxation
  • Persistent pupillary membranes.
  • Patella luxation


Lancashire Heeler on Grass

The Lancashire Heeler likes exercise, human interaction, and mental stimulation. This breed can be demanding of your attention or somewhat laid back, but are always eager to play or just be by your side. Exercise can be play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. It can be also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Some outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

These dogs are very active and love to expend energy. They also love human interaction. Because of this these dogs are sometimes used in agility training courses because they get human interaction, exercise, and a challenge! They do like more space as they were farm dogs. They love playing in the yard or going on walks. If walking take them several times a day. They love dog parks as well. They have a very strong bond to owners and no matter how you exercise they will be in!

Lancashire Heeler Rescues

Other Great Resources

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top