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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is excited to announce that the Lancashire Heeler has received full recognition and is the AKC’s 201st breed. The Lancashire Heeler is eligible to compete in the Herding Group.

“We are excited to welcome the Lancashire Heeler to the AKC registry as our 201st breed,” said Gina DiNardo, AKC Executive Secretary. “A small, powerful herding dog that thrives on human interaction, this breed would make a great companion for active families that can provide a great deal of love and attention. We strongly encourage prospective dog owners to do their research to find the best breed for their lifestyle.”

Joining the Herding Group, the Lancashire Heeler, also known as Heeler, is an affectionate, versatile and intelligent dog. Their history dates back to the 17th century, but their exact origin is unknown. Heelers are energetic workers, bred to be cattle herders and ratters. They are small, powerful and sturdily built with medium to high energy. These dogs like exercise, human interaction and mental stimulation. They’re quick learners, too. They have a short, hard, flat coat that is dense and waterproof, needing very little grooming.

AKC Recognition offers the breed the opportunity to compete at all levels of AKC sports and events, as there are over 26,000 held each year.  A breed that is newly recognized does not mean that the breed is newly created. Many breeds that gain full AKC recognition have existed for decades, and some are ancient. To become an AKC-recognized breed, there must be an active following and interest in the breed by owners in the U.S. and an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders. There also must be a sufficient population of dogs in the United States geographically distributed throughout the country. Breeds working towards full recognition are recorded in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®). Additional information on the process can be found at