Lancashire heeler - Origin, Character and Behavior

Lancashire heeler: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. If you like dogs with long bodies and short legs, you...

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If you like dogs with long bodies and short legs, you'll love the Lancashire heeler. This little dog is descended from the famous Welsh corgi and the lesser known, but equally charismatic and energetic Manchester terrier, two dogs traditionally used for different tasks and which brought important physical and behavioral traits to the Lancashire heeler.

If you are a dynamic and adventurous person, the Lancashire heeler will not hesitate to accompany you on all your trips and to cover you with affection and tenderness.Although he tends to be somewhat nervous and stubborn, he is an ideal dog for those who, with patience, devote their time to socializing him and educating him through positive reinforcement. If you want to know more about this tireless sheepdog, continue reading this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal in which we tell you everything you need to know if you want to adopt a Lancashire terrier or if you already have one at home. House. Discover the characteristics of the Lancashire heeler and let yourself be seduced by this incredible dog.


  • Europe
  • United Kingdom

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group I

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Muscular
  • Lying
  • Short legs


  • Little


  • 15-35

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Strong
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Affectionate

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • Shepherd
  • The guard


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • Hard
  • Big

Origin of the Lancashire heeler

The first documents referring to this breed date back to the 17th century and place it in the county of Lancashire, England. However, the exact date when the Lancashire heeler emerged and began breeding litters independently is not entirely clear and it is suspected that the breed is even older than commonly believed. Apparently, this curious dog was born thanks to the crossing between a Welsh corgi, whose body morphology he inherited, and a Manchester terrier, which brought, among other things, the characteristic black and tan color of the Lancashire heeler coat.

In England, his country of origin, the Lancashire heeler began to make a name for himself as a herding dog and he was used mainly to control livestock in the countryside and to guide them from farms to markets cities.But that was not the dog's only function, as it was also valued for its hunting instinct and its ability to catch rats and mice that snuck into homes and fed on the precious crops.

For most of this time, the breeding of the Lancashire heeler was confined to a very specific region of England, so it was on the verge of extinction for more than an occasion. However, although still considered vulnerable, the breed was officially recognized in 1981 and began to grow, especially in the United States, Nordic countries and Central Europe.

Characteristics of the Lancashire heeler

The first thing that strikes you about the Lancashire heeler is undoubtedly the shape of its body, because this dog is on average 2.5 centimeters longer than it is tall, with a morphology very similar to that of the Welsh Corgi. The height at the withers is about 30 cm, while the weight is about 6-8 kg.Although his body and small size make him seem slow and somewhat clumsy, the Lancashire heeler is actually a powerful, agile and energetic dog. Its limbs are short and muscular and its tail is of medium length and it curves slightly upwards, especially when the dog is alert.

In accordance with the characteristics of the Lancashire heeler, the dog's ears are triangular and straight. In contrast, its eyes are almond-shaped and usually dark brown, except in the case of liver-colored dogs, which have lighter eyes. The muzzle is medium in length and tapers towards the nose, which can be black or brown.

Lancashire Heeler Colors

In coat terms, the Lancashire Heeler's coat is short, rough and thick with a dense undercoat that is much softer and finer than the outer coat. The most common color is black and tan, although liver and tan are also accepted colors.It is possible that some individuals are born with a white spot, especially on the chest.

Lancashire heeler character

The Lancashire heeler is an extraordinarily loyal, affectionate and cuddly animal with its human family, with whom it establishes a very strong bond. He has a lot of energy and likes to play, walk or play sports outdoors. It is therefore important that his guardian is a dynamic person who has enough time to meet the social, physical and psychological needs of the dog. It is also recommended that anyone who adopts a Lancashire heeler have some experience in dog training and education, as this breed can be very stubborn and needs good socialization to avoid developing problems with their dogs. behavior.

" This dog also stands out for being an excellent guard dog, as it is always attentive to what is happening around it.However, he tends to be friendly and outgoing with everyone. His intelligence and his ability to learn and adapt to his environment are remarkable and he exhibits instinctive behaviors of a sheepdog and a hunting dog. In fact, the name heeler refers to its tendency to bite the ankles."

Caring for a Lancashire heller

The Lancashire heeler does not require particularly expensive or unusual care. With regard to its coat, frequent brushing is necessary to remove any excess dead hair and allow good perspiration of the skin, especially in summer and during moulting. Using a quality comb and brushing the dog once or twice a week will be enough to keep his coat he althy. If he has no dermatological problems, a bath every month or every two months will suffice.

It is also recommended that you check your ears and clean them at least once a month or whenever excess earwax or dirt builds up.Ear maintenance helps prevent ear infections and other ear problems. Of course, as with all other breeds, it's important to get your Lancashire heeler used to having their teeth brushed at least once a week.

Finally, it is important to ensure that this breed gets enough physical exercise to avoid overweight. The ideal is to walk the dog about three times a day and to do so in nurturing environments (parks, countryside, etc.), occasionally offering him the opportunity to interact with other dogs or to explore freely.

Lancashire heeler education

This breed, traditionally used as a sheepdog, is very intelligent and has great decision-making ability. In other words, she learns quickly and is able to act independently to achieve her goals, which makes her an independent animal. This does not mean that he does not develop an attachment to his guardian, quite the contrary, because the Lancashire heeler loves to be in the company of his human family.

Anyone who adopts a dog of this breed should know that patience and positive reinforcement are essential in their education. Provided the sessions are short, dynamic and fun for the animal, the Lancashire heeler will be happy to learn new tricks and train with his tutor. Punishments and harmful tools (tooth collars, shock collars, electric collars, etc.) are absolutely contraindicated and can cause serious emotional and behavioral problems in this dog.

The puppy must be socialized so that in adulthood, it does not present problems of fear or insecurity in the presence of other animals, people, noises or objects. An ethologist or dog trainer can advise you in this socialization process. It is also important to teach the animal to respond to the call, as the Lancashire heeler has a tendency to chase anything that catches its eye and it can get lost easily.

In general, this is a breed that can be quite stubborn, which is why you should definitely keep the tips mentioned above in mind. A beginner tutor may feel frustrated that they are not achieving their goals, so in these cases we advise you to consult a professional dog trainer. Also, don't miss this other article on how to raise a puppy.

Lancashire heeler he alth

This breed is very robust, easily supports long days of work in the field because it has a coat adapted to withstand low temperatures. However, this dog is vulnerable to a number of conditions, many of which are congenital and/or hereditary, including those affecting the eyes. Here are some examples of common eye diseases in the Lancashire heeler:

  • Collie eye anomaly: as its name suggests, the breed most frequently affected by this pathology is the border collie, but it is also common in the Lancashire heeler.The anomaly is congenital and hereditary and consists of a thinning of the vascular tissue at the back of the eye. Sometimes the disease does not progress and the animal does not suffer from any complications, but it also happens that the sight of the dog is partially or totally affected, up to blindness in the worst case.
  • Primary lens dislocation: In this case, the dog's lens is displaced, either forward or backward, causing swelling, irritation and pain in the eye. The most effective way to resolve a dislocation or subluxation of the lens is intraocular surgery, especially in the case of anteriorly displaced dislocations.
  • Persistent pupillary membrane: this condition, usually congenital, is due to a malformation during ocular development which can lead to vision problems or cataracts. It is usually diagnosed when the dog is only a few weeks old and, depending on its severity, it can be treated or operated on.

Dislocated patella or elbow dysplasia are also relatively common conditions in this breed, especially in older individuals.

If the animal is correctly vaccinated, if it receives quality food adapted to its needs, if it is effectively protected against external and internal parasites and if veterinary checks are carried out at regular intervals, the Lancashire heeler is a long-lived dog that can live up to 14 or 15 years.

Where to adopt a Lancashire heeler?

The Lancashire heeler is an uncommon breed and although it is relatively common in some countries like the UK or the US, it is not widely known in the rest of the world. However, in almost all cities and towns in our country there are SPAs where you can inquire whether they have dogs of this breed waiting for adoption.Crossbred dogs or those used for work in the countryside are unfortunately abandoned every day and need a home and a family. This is why, at PlanèteAnimal, we encourage you to contact animal shelters and associations to adopt your best friend and thus offer a new chance to dogs that have been abandoned.

Photos of Lancashire heeler

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