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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Versatile, Intelligent
  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-17 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Miscellaneous Class

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Lancashire Heeler standing outdoors facing left.
Lancashire Heeler sitting on grass surrounded by fallen brown leaves
Two Lancashire Heelers standing side by side outdoors.
Lancashire Heeler running an agility course
Lancashire Heeler in agility.

About the Lancashire Heeler

Small, powerful, sturdily built, alert and an energetic worker, the Lancashire Heeler works cattle but has terrier instincts when rabbiting and ratting. They have a unique characteristic called the Heeler Smile; when content, Heelers have been known to draw back their lips in an effort that emulates a human smile. In 2003, the breed was placed on the Endangered Breeds list of The Kennel Club, U.K, due to the small number of dogs composing the gene pool and the risk of several inherited diseases.


The United States Lancashire Heeler Club
Name: Sheryl Bradbury
Phone: 816-308-2424

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. The United States Lancashire Heeler Club has been the official AKC Parent Club for the Lancashire Heeler since October 2017.
Lancashire Heeler outdoors in the mud.

Find a Puppy: Lancashire Heeler

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



The Lancashire Heeler should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The Lancashire Heeler is a breed that can go from the field to the show ring. Their short, hard, flat coat is dense and waterproof, needing very little grooming. A light brushing and occasional bath will keep your Heeler happy and clean. The nails should be trimmed, if needed, with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




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

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Intelligent and quick to learn, Lancashire Heelers can have a mind of their own, so training should be kind but firm. They are attentive and affectionate to their owners, ready to go whenever they are asked. Though sometimes wary of strangers, once they have been introduced, they will happily greet their visitor with licks and kisses.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training




The USLHC is committed to healthy Lancashire Heelers for the future. The club has joined with the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to guide US Breeders to healthy disease free breeding for future generations of Lancashire Heelers. Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Patellar Luxation are three required tests that breeders must perform to qualify for a CHIC number in the OFA database. The USLHC recommends the above listed basic health screening tests for all breeding stock.


Recommended Health Tests from the Parent Club:

  • Primary Lens Luxation
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Patellar Luxation
Lancashire Heeler running out of an open tunnel in an agility course.
Lancashire Heeler standing outdoors in the sun.
Lancashire Heeler laying on the sidewalk outdoors.
Two Lancashire Heelers standing outdoors in the sun.
Two Lancashire Heelers outdoors in the sunshine.
Lancashire Heeler head profile outdoors.


The Lancashire Heeler’s history extends back to the 17th century, but the exact origin of the breed is unknown. However, it is generally accepted that a type of Welsh Corgi was utilized to drive stock to market in northern Wales to the Lancashire market. What is known is a small black and tan dog known as the butchers’ dog was common in the Ormskirk area of West Lancashire. The possible ancestors for this dog include the corgi and Manchester Terrier.

These useful farm dogs were bred for generations within this particular district, developing their own characteristics. Once bred as a cattle herder and a ratter, these friendly little dogs have gained popularity as a wonderful family dog.

The breed was recognized by the Kennel Club in the U.K. in 1981 and was deemed a vulnerable native breed in 2003.

Today, there is a growing interest in this great companion dog that happily participates in obedience, agility, rally and herding events. The Lancashire Heeler has gained popularity in the U.S, Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia.

Did You Know?

The Lancashire Heeler has been assigned the Herding Group designation.
The Lancashire Heeler is also known as the Ormskirk Terrier.
The Lancashire Heeler is a rare breed, numbering only around 5,000 worldwide.
The Lancashire Heeler has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2001.
The Lancashire Heeler has been approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class since June 2018.
The Lancashire Heeler has been eligible to compete in Companion and Performance Events since July 2009.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 018
Liver & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 124
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