There is little known about the origin of this breed. It is printed in many publications that the Lancashire Heeler is a cross between the Manchester Terrier and the Welsh Corgi.

The breed is said to have originated when Welsh Farmers used the services of Drovers to drive cattle to the Northern Cattle Markets, the two breeds met and the Lancashire Heeler was born. The farmers liked these small black and tan dogs, as when used to bring wayward sheep and cattle back to the herd, they did not injure the animals they controlled them by a sharp nip to the back of the heel.

The Lancashire Heeler is also known as the Ormskirk Heeler and they have been used as working dogs on farms in the Lancashire area for hundreds of years and though a little known breed they are still working on farms today.

The Lancashire Heeler was first recognised by the British Kennel Club in 1981. The breed was then placed on the Rare Breeds Register. The Lancashire Heeler is the smallest of all the Working and Herding Breeds.

1999 brought big changes for the breed in the show ring, the breed was moved into the newly formed Pastoral Group and was awarded CC's for the first time. Also the Brown (Liver and Tan) Heeler received Kennel Club approval to be included in the breed standard.


General Appearance
Small, powerful, sturdily built, alert energetic worker.

Works cattle but has terrier instincts when rabbiting and ratting.

Courageous, happy, affectionate to owner.

Head and Skull
In proportion to body. Skull flat and wide between ears, tapering towards eyes which are set wide apart. Moderate stop equidistant between nose and occiput. Tapering continues towards nose. Skull and muzzle to be on parallel planes.

Almond-shaped, medium size, dark colour except in liver where they may be lighter to match coat colour.

Showing alert lift, or erect. Drop ears showing no lift undesirable.

Lips firm. Scissor bite – jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Under or overshot to be discouraged.

Moderate length, well laid into shoulders.

Well laid shoulder, elbows firm against ribs. Amply boned. Pasterns allow feet to turn slightly outwards, but not enough to cause weakness or affect freedom of movement.

Well sprung ribbing, extending well back with close coupling. Firm, level topline, never dipping at withers or falling at croup. Approximately 2.5 cms (1 in) longer than height at withers. (Measured from withers to set on of tail).

Muscular, with well turned stifles, hocks well let down. From rear should be parallel, when moving or standing. Never bandy or cowhocked.

Small, firm and well padded.

Set on high, left natural. Carried over back in a slight curve when alert, but not forming a complete ring.

Smart and brisk. Natural, free movement.

Fine undercoat is covered throughout by weather resistant, short, thick, hard, flat topcoat. Topcoat slightly longer on neck. Undercoat should not show through topcoat nor allow any longer hair at the mane to stand off. Long or excessively wavy coat hightly undesirable.

Black or liver with rich tan marking on muzzle, spots on cheeks and often above eyes, from knees downwards, with desirable thumb-mark above feet, inside hindlegs and under tail. Richness of tan may fade with age. White to be discouraged, except for a very small spot on forechest being permitted, but not desired. Pigmentation to tone with coat colour.

Ideal height at shoulder: dogs: 30 cms (12 ins); bitches: 25 cms (10 ins).

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.