Lancashire Heeler

The Lancashire Heeler is a small dog breed with English roots that resemble the Corgi breeds. Intelligent and mischievous, this wonderful dog is not suitable for new owners. Affectionate, devoted and playful, the Lancashire Heeler makes an excellent companion. 


The Lancashire Heeler was a result of breeding between the Welsh Corgi and the Manchester Terrier more than 150 years ago. He was also called the Ormskirk Heeler or the Ormskirk Terrier. 

This small breed was bred as a herding dog used to drive livestock to the market. With his short stature, he could easily nip at their heels to get them moving and he was quick enough to get out of the way if the livestock tried to kick him.

When at home on the farms, the Lancashire Heeler would help out by catching rats and rabbits.

This small dog is a popular companion in Great Britain. The Kennel Club placed this breed on the Endangered Breeds in 2003 because of its small numbers and risk of genetic diseases. 

Physical Characteristics

With a sturdy build and powerful small body, this breed has a unique Heeler smile that emulates a human smile when he is happy. His lowness to the ground is inherited from the Corgi. 

 The Lancashire Heeler resembles the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. A notable difference is the black and tan colouration which the Heeler has from his Manchester Terrier heritage.   

The Heeler is a little shorter in the back than his Corgi cousins. He has a wide, flat head with a black or brown muzzle that tapers towards the nose. 

The dog’s jaws are strong and perfectly aligned. His dark almond-shaped eyes are set wide apart to improve his peripheral vision which he needs to keep from getting trampled when herding.

This small dog has a fine undercoat with a thick weather resistant topcoat. The coarse shiny coat has tan markings in black or liver. The hair around his neck is slightly longer.


A mature Lancashire Heeler measures 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 15

pounds (7kg). 

Character & abilities

The Heeler is alert and generally friendly but can sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs. Early socialization will help him relate better with people and other dogs.

This small dog can be either demanding attention or be somewhat laid back. But the Heeler is always enthusiastic to play with his human companions to be by their side. 

Attentive and affectionate, the Heeler is always ready to go when asked. When introduced properly to strangers, he will happily greet them with licks and kisses. 

The Lancashire Heeler will normally not stray too far from home, but when outside, his ratting instincts might cause him to seek out and hunt small creatures. Walking on the street can be safer with him on a leash. 

Trainability & Intelligence

The Lancashire Heeler is an intelligent dog and he learns quickly. Though he can be stubborn and mischievous, he is an excellent show dog and he competes at agility, obedience and herding trials.

The best results can be achieved by training this small dog with kindness, consistency and positive reinforcement. 

Exercise Needs & Nutrition

Despite his small frame, this small dog is a medium to high energy dog. He enjoys physical activity, human interactions and mental stimulation. All these provide a healthy outlet for the dog to expend energy, fight boredom and prevent the development of bad behavior. 

The Lancashire Heeler needs regular walks and playtime in a fenced yard. The Lancashire Heeler will normally not stray too far from home, but when outside, his ratting instincts might cause him to seek out and hunt small creatures. Walking on the street can be safer with him on a leash. 

Indoor play can include chasing a ball, hide and seek, interactive dog toys and learning new tricks. Outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, playing fetch with balls or flying discs can keep this dog happy and fit.  

Apart from making sure clean, fresh water is always available, owners should provide high-quality dry dog food that is appropriate for the Heeler’s age, size, build, rate of metabolism and level of activity. 

To avoid obesity, with the dog’s veterinarian’s supervision, monitor the dog’s calorie consumption and avoid giving too many treats. 


This small dog’s short-haired coat is low maintenance. The coat is harsh, dense and waterproof. Regular brushing can maintain the coat in good form. Baths are given only when necessary. 

Nails should be trimmed as needed to avoid being overgrown, splitting and cracking. 

The dog’s ears should be checked for infections and cleaned regularly to prevent the accumulation of wax and dirt. Regular brushing of the teeth will prevent the buildup of tartar and bad breath. 

Living Conditions & Adaptability

The Lancashire Heeler is well suited for families with older children. He is happy living in a home with a yard or an apartment. 

During bad weather, short walks in the hall of an apartment building can give the dog some exercise. 

With proper training, the Lancashire Heeler can be left alone occasionally and live amicably with other pets in the home. 


Generally, a healthy breed, the Heeler may manifest hereditary conditions like:

  • primary lens luxation
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • persistent pupillary membranes
  • patella luxation

When adopting this dog, it is essential to get health clearance to be aware of any concerns or what to expect.  

The Lancashire Heeler has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.


The Lancashire Heeler is a rare breed that is versatile. He can be lazy and playful or active and expressive. This lovely small dog is popular as a family dog because he is friendly, intelligent and playful. He is ideal for active families that don’t have babies and toddlers and have experience with dogs. 

Our team at All The Small Dog Breeds wants dog lovers to have a clear understanding of what goes into adopting one. Our small dog breed descriptions help new and existing dog parents to find furry friends that match their preferences and lifestyle. 


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