There is little known about the history and origin of the Lancashire Heeler. It is believed, that this breed originated from Welsh Corgi, who was used to drive livestock from Wales to Ormskirk market town in West Lancashire, where it would be crossed with Manchester Terrier. And if you look at Lancashire Heeler, you can definitely see something from both breeds. As the AKC suggest, this could have happen sometimes in 16th or 17th century, but no one can be absolutely sure about it.
For generations, Lancashire Heelers were kept and bred in the Lancashire area few main purposes. Those would be herding the cattle, driving the livestock to the market and to hunt vermin such as rats. Overall, this was a very versatile farm dog used on Lancashire farms for centuries. They got this versatility from its ancestors – they herd the cattle similarly to Corgi, but they hunt rats with the courage and tenacity of Manchester Terrier.
These days, the Lancashire Heeler is still used for working on farms, but also, as a great and lively family companion. Of course the temperament can vary from one dog to another and it is influenced by the socialization, but generally the Lancashire Heeler is a loyal, affectionate and devoted dog to its family. Some people describe this dog as calm and chilled, but other describe them as very plaful, kinda mischevious and very lively. The temperament can vary a lot. These dogs typically do okay around other dogs in the family and they are fantastic playful partners for older kids, but the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently.
Most of the Lancashire Heelers have rather higher energy level and most of them will love to have some kind of a job in their life. It does not need to be herding or hunting, it can also be some regular fun training sessions, task oriented playtime, some dog sport, such as agility or flyball and of course, these dogs will always enjoy longer outdoor walks or hikes. It is important to exercise the body and mind of your Lancashire Heeler every day, otherwise they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
The Lancashire Heeler is a small, but pretty strong dog with body slightly longer than tall and with short legs. The average height is usually between 25-30 cm, which is 10-12 inch and weight is typically between 13-26 pounds, which is 6-12 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females. Interesting fact about the appearance are the ears, which are most often erect, but they can also be tipped. Completely dropped ears are undesirable by breed standard.
The Lancashire Heeler has a smooth and coarse doublecoat, which is quite dense and it is protecting the dog from bad weather. The coat is slightly longer around the neck, but it should not be too long. You can find this breed in tow colors – black or liver, both with tan markings.
The Lancashire Terrier is a very intelligent breed and pretty highly trainable breed. They definitely understand new tricks and commands very quickly. Just like with all dogs, you will achieve best results in the training with a lot of patience and consistency. The training should be kind, but also firm with a lot of positive reinforcement for good behaviour.
The official name of this breed is Lancashire Heeler, but they are also known under some other names, such as Lancashire Terrier, Ormskirk Heeler or Ormskirk Terrier. All these names are very descriptive, describing their place of origin and utilization.
Great fact about this breed is, that it is quite low maintanance breed. There is no need to trim or shave the coat, only ocassional brush to remove any dirt, loose and dead hair is enough. Regular brushing will also minimize the shedding. Just like with all dogs, you should also regularly check their ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
This is usually healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 13-15 years. Of course, they can suffer from some health issues, just like any other breed. The most common health problems associated with this breed are Collie eye anomally, patellar luxation, lens luxation and persistent pupillary membrane.