Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heeler, also known as a Ormskirk Heeler or a Ormskirk Terrier, originated in England. This breed has been documented in England for more than one hundred and fifty years. This breed was mostly used for herding cattle, and its main purpose was as a farm dog. Although Lancashire Heelers are still known for being a working dog, they are mostly companion dogs.

Lancashire Heeler image

Being a close ancestor to a Corgi, Lancashire Heelers are longer than they are tall. Their bodies add to the distinctive look of a Lancashire Heeler. Add to that the pointed ears, and many lovers of Lancashire Heelers enjoy the small statue and look of this intelligent breed.

They are a happy, positive breed that brings energy and companionship to any family. They are good with children and have no problems being trained, being a compassionate and intelligent breed. As a whole, this intelligent dog has made its way into the hearts of many families.


The origin of a Lancashire Heeler is still mostly unknown, although a widely accepted fact is that a Welsh Corgi was believed to be one of the ancestors of the Lancashire Heeler. Following that, another black and tan terrier called a Manchester Terrier was introduced to the genetic pool, and we now have the modern-day Lancashire Heeler. Originally the Lancashire Heeler was bred to be a drover as well as a herder of cattle.  

In the early 1960s, Gwen Mackintosh started breeding Lancashire Heelers. In 1978, the Lancashire Heeler Club was formed by Gwen and other lovers of Lancashire Heelers. This is when the breed standard was created and registered. Soon after in 1981, The Kennel Club Recognized the breed as well. The Lancashire Heeler is recognized and labeled as a “vulnerable” breed. The reason for this label is because the annual registration in the Kennel Club is 300 or less.


The Lancashire Heeler is considered a small-sized dog. For both the male and the females, the height and weight averages to be about the same. The average height of a Lancashire Heeler is 10 to 12 inches. The weight average for a Lancashire Heeler is 13 to 18 pounds.


The Lancashire Heeler is a very alert and energetic dog. They are also highly intelligent as well as playful and loving. They make great companion dogs. There are different personality for a Lancashire Heeler can range anywhere between being lazy or playful to being energetic and boisterous.

Lancashire Heelers are independent animals and have been known to be mischievous and stubborn too. They are great with families and have no problems with children.

Although the Lancashire Heeler is generally a happy and playful dog; and will often be friendly to strangers passing by on the street, the Lancashire Heeler may be aggressive toward a stranger entering their territory.


The Lancashire Heeler lives between 12 to 15 years on average. There are three conditions that can be very serious, and they need the most attention. They include Collie eye anomaly, Primary lens luxation and Persistent pupillary membranes. Aside from these three, other problems for a Lancashire Heeler may also include Patella luxation.

Other than these possible genetic disorders, Lancashire Heelers are a generally healthy breed. They do; however, have the potential for gaining weight and becoming obese if food is not regulated properly. Owners should be aware of these conditions and keep veterinarians involved in the health and well-being of your pet.


The coats of a Lancashire Heeler is coarse and shiny. The undercoat is fine while the topcoat is thick and weather-resistant. This means that grooming a Lancashire Heeler is very low maintenance. The Lancashire Heeler can use a regular brushing with a firm bristle brush, but you only need to bathe as needed. Aside from the easy grooming, the Lancashire Heeler is not known for being a drooling dog.

Lancashire Heelers have high energy and love to play. They need moderate exercise, and a daily walk will be good for them. They are a strong breed that has no problem participating in different exercise activities from walking, running or carrying a ball in its mouth.

Training is easy for these intelligent animals. Keep them focused and change up routines if the Lancashire Heeler gets bored or you start to lose its attention.


Here is a link to a good rescue resource for the U.S. Lancashire Heeler community. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.


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