Lancashire Heeler

Temperament: Affectionate, Versatile, Intelligent

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-17 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Miscellaneous Class 

The Lancashire Heeler is a medium to high energy dog. Intelligent, alert and friendly, they are quick to learn new tasks. A sturdy little dog with a short, weather-resistant coat of black and tan or liver and tan, they are affectionate with their owners, always happy, talkative, and always ready for a walk. Their small size is what gives them their charm.

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.

NUTRITION 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.

GROOMING 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.

EXERCISE 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.

TRAINING 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.

HEALTH 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

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