Dog Breeds 101: Lancashire Heeler

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Dog Breeds 101 – Lancashire Heeler
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0

The Lancashire Heeler is a small dog which is popular for being an excellent herder and a loving companion. Even though these dogs can only grow up to 12 inches tall, they were originally bred to herd cattle. They were not allowed to get too big because they will lose their ability to nip in and duck out when herding and were not allowed to get too small because they won’t be able to herd cattle properly. Lancashire Heelers are so small that they can even fit in a poacher’s pocket. [1] [2]

This breed has an average life span of 12 to 15 years and is prone to develop eye problems. These dogs are slightly longer than they are tall. The double coat effectively keeps the dogs dry in all weathers. They can be in the color tan or a combination of black and tan. The Lancashire Heeler can weigh between 13 to 18 pounds. Although these dogs are small and lightweight, they are actually pretty strong and love to engage in vigorous physical activities – they are even able to carry a ball or an object their size. They can compete in agility and obedience trials, showmanship, flyball and herding events. [3]

It is widely believed that the breed came into existence when Corgis were crossed with Manchester Terriers but this theory still needs to be confirmed. They existed in Europe since the 1600s and were commonly used to herd cattle though they were also used to hunt rabbits and control vermin. The Lancashire Terrier used to be very popular but its fame declined significantly in recent years. Because of this, the breed has been placed on The Kennel Club’s vulnerable native breeds which means there are less than 300 dogs registered with the club. Today, it is one of the world’s rarest dog breeds. [4]


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