Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heeler looking forward

Quick Facts


9 to 17 pounds


10 to 12 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

12-15 years

Known For:

Intelligent, alert and friendly dogs with high energy level and quick learning.


Ah, the charming Lancashire Heeler! This adorable little canine companion, originating from England, is a true delight for dog lovers around the globe. Known for their spirited nature and affectionate demeanor, Lancashire Heelers have cemented their popularity among pet enthusiasts. 


The breed’s primary purpose was to drive livestock, particularly cattle, showcasing their agility and intelligence. The Lancashire Heeler’s appealing characteristics and historical significance have garnered them recognition from canine organizations, contributing to their widespread admiration. The charm of this breed is not just in their compact size, but also in their boundless energy and loving nature, making them a favored choice for many!

History and Origin

The Lancashire Heeler’s story is as fascinating as the breed itself! Originating from the Lancashire region in England, this breed’s history is intertwined with the pastoral landscapes and agricultural practices of the area. Initially bred to herd cattle and catch rodents, the Lancashire Heeler was indispensable to farmers, providing both companionship and utility.


Historically, the Lancashire Heeler played a significant role in rural communities, showcasing their versatility and adaptability. The breed’s exact origin remains a mystery, but it is believed to have descended from a mix of Welsh Corgis and small Manchester Terriers. Despite their utility, the breed faced a decline in numbers during the 20th century but experienced a resurgence thanks to dedicated breed enthusiasts and breeders.


While there may not be any individual Lancashire Heelers that have achieved global fame, the breed itself has garnered recognition and appreciation for its unique characteristics and historical significance. The Lancashire Heeler was officially recognized by The Kennel Club in the UK in 1981, marking a significant milestone in the breed’s history and helping to preserve its legacy for future generations.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

The Lancashire Heeler is truly a sight to behold! Small but robust, this breed typically stands between 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs approximately 6 to 13 pounds. Despite their petite stature, they are well-muscled and agile, reflecting their herding ancestry.


One of the Lancashire Heeler’s most distinctive features is their attractive coat. The coat is short, dense, and weather-resistant, providing protection against the elements. They come in a variety of colors, including black and tan, and liver and tan, with a defined mask adding to their expressive appearance.


Their ears are another charming feature; they can be erect or tipped, adding a touch of individuality to each Heeler. With their dark, almond-shaped eyes and a keen expression, the Lancashire Heeler is always ready for action, showcasing their lively and spirited personality.


Don’t let their small size fool you; the Lancashire Heeler is full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to embark on adventures and showcase their agility and intelligence. This delightful combination of traits makes them an endearing companion for those lucky enough to share their lives with one!

Personality and Temperament

The Lancashire Heeler is not only beautiful on the outside but also has a heart of gold. Brimming with enthusiasm, these dogs are known for their spirited and cheerful disposition. Despite their herding background, which can sometimes manifest as a touch of stubbornness, they are incredibly affectionate and bond deeply with their families.


Lancashire Heelers are often described as alert and intelligent, making them excellent watchdogs. Their natural curiosity and zest for life mean they’re always up for a new adventure, whether it’s a long walk in the park or simply playing fetch in the backyard. 


However, it’s essential to remember their herding instincts, which can sometimes translate into chasing moving objects or nipping at heels playfully. Socializing them from an early age can help channel their energy positively and ensure well-rounded behavior.

Health and Lifespan

While Lancashire Heelers are generally healthy and robust dogs, they are not without their specific health concerns. With proper care and regular veterinary check-ups, a Lancashire Heeler can have a lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years, which is relatively long for a canine companion.


Some of the health issues to watch out for in Lancashire Heelers include:

  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL): A genetic condition where the lens of the eye can become displaced, leading to vision problems and potentially blindness.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): A congenital eye disorder affecting the retina, choroid, and sclera.
  • Patellar Luxation: A condition where the kneecap can slip out of place, causing discomfort and potential mobility issues.

Regular veterinary visits, a balanced diet, and proper exercise can go a long way in ensuring that your Lancashire Heeler leads a healthy and active life. It’s always advisable to source a puppy from a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs for common inherited health issues.

Care and Maintenance

Lancashire Heeler grooming

Owning a Lancashire Heeler is a joyous journey, and taking care of one can be both fun and rewarding! Let’s dive into the basics:

  • Exercise: While they are small, Lancashire Heelers are energetic and require regular exercise to stay happy. A brisk walk, coupled with some playtime, is perfect for keeping them fit and content.
  • Grooming: Thanks to their short coat, grooming is relatively easy. A weekly brush will help keep their coat looking its best and reduce shedding. Don’t forget the occasional bath and regular checks on their ears, teeth, and nails.
  • Diet: A well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining the health of a Lancashire Heeler. It’s essential to monitor their weight, as they can be prone to obesity. Consult your vet to find the right food and portion sizes.

Engaging in fun activities, like agility courses or fetch, can also keep your Lancashire Heeler mentally stimulated. They’re intelligent dogs and thrive when given tasks or challenges. By catering to their physical and mental needs, you’ll ensure your Lancashire Heeler remains a happy and loyal companion!

Training and Behavior

Lancashire Heelers are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, making them relatively straightforward to train. However, they do have a streak of independence, and early socialization and consistent training are crucial. Their herding instincts may lead to chasing and nipping behaviors, so introducing command-based training early on can help curb any undesirable habits.


Positive reinforcement techniques work wonders with this breed, rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime. Training sessions should be fun and engaging, fostering a positive association with learning new commands. Behavioral quirks such as barking at unfamiliar noises or guarding food can be managed with patience and consistent training.

Lancashire Heeler and Families

Lancashire Heeler with people

Lancashire Heelers make wonderful family pets! They are affectionate and form close bonds with their human companions. These dogs are known for their loyalty and protective nature, making them excellent watchdogs for the family home. However, due to their herding instincts, they can sometimes be nippy with young children, so supervision and proper introduction are essential.


They generally get along well with other pets, especially if raised together. Socializing them from a young age can foster positive interactions with both humans and animals alike, creating a harmonious household. Their playful and loving nature makes them a source of joy and companionship for families.

Adopting a Lancashire Heeler

If you’ve fallen in love with the charm of the Lancashire Heeler and are considering bringing one into your home, congratulations! Adopting a Lancashire Heeler can be a delightful experience, but it’s important to be well-informed. Start by researching reputable breeders or rescue organizations, ensuring that they prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.


Before adopting, consider your living situation, lifestyle, and the time you can dedicate to a new furry family member. Lancashire Heelers are active and intelligent, requiring regular exercise and mental stimulation. Ask plenty of questions about the dog’s health, temperament, and history, and be prepared to provide a loving and stable home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Lancashire Heeler?

Lancashire Heelers are known for their friendly, playful, and alert nature. They are loyal to their families and can be somewhat reserved with strangers, making them good watchdogs.

How much exercise does a Lancashire Heeler need?

They are active dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and prevent boredom. Walks, play sessions, and activities that stimulate their mind are ideal.

What grooming needs does a Lancashire Heeler have?

Their short, dense coat is relatively low maintenance, needing only occasional brushing to remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny.

Are Lancashire Heelers prone to any specific health issues?

They are a robust and healthy breed but can be prone to conditions such as Collie Eye Anomaly and Primary Lens Luxation. Regular vet visits are recommended for early detection and management.

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