Lancashire Heeler Breed Information and Buying advice

Lancashire Heeler

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Lancashire Heeler?

Quick Lancashire Heeler Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Pastoral (3/8)
No (2/2)

Why Lancashire Heelers are great

Lancashire Heelers are widely known for their love of people, their intelligence and their loyal nature. Once a popular breed for the purposes of both companionship and work, Lancashire Heelers are now unfortunately listed as one of the UK’s vulnerable breeds. Due to their playful and often affectionate nature, Lancashire Heelers make ideal family dogs and enjoy the company of children. Although sometimes known to be strong-willed, Lancashire Heelers are highly-intelligent and easy to train in the right hands. Some highlights:
  1. The Lancashire Heeler is very intelligent and easily trained.
  2. Lancashire Heelers are low maintenance when it comes to grooming.
  3. Lancashire Heelers are generally great with children.
  4. The Lancashire Heeler is active and hard working.

Things to consider when looking at Lancashire Heelers for Sale

There are a few traits of the Lancashire Heeler to contemplate to make sure that the breed is for you. Some downsides to the Lancashire Heelers:
  1. Lancashire Heelers are historically working dogs and they have a high prey drive.
  2. The Lancashire Heeler can often be strong-willed and stubborn.
  3. Lancashire Heelers are known for being escape artists, so a secure garden is a must.

History of Lancashire Heelers

The Lancashire Heeler is thought to be bred from the Welsh Corgi and the Manchester Terrier, which came about when cattle were herded from Wales to Lancashire. The Lancashire Terrier has many attributes of the Corgi, in both physical appearance and temperament. Lancashire Heelers are often known as the ‘Ormskirk Terrier’ or the ‘Ormskirk Heeler’, because of the area in which they originated. There is little definitive history on the Lancashire Heeler but the breed is thought to have existed since the 1600’s. The Lancashire Heeler was a valuable and highly sought after farm dog because of its sheep herding and versatile hunting abilities, so much so that it adopted the nickname ‘nip and duck dog’. In 1970, The Lancashire Heeler Club was established and lovers of the breed strove to ensure that the Lancashire Heeler was protected. The breed was formally recognised by The Kennel Club in 1981 but unfortunately, the Lancashire Heeler is now listed as a vulnerable native breed.


Lancashire Heelers are small in stature and longer in the body than tall. They usually boast a distinctive black and tan coat which is thick, short and smooth but can also be liver and tan in colour. Lancashire Heelers are sturdy in build, with erect ears and a tall tail that is carried high above their backs.  

How big is the Lancashire Heeler?

The Lancashire Heeler usually stands between 25 – 30cm in height and is robust but athletic in build.  

How heavy is a Lancashire Heeler?

Lancashire Heelers usually weigh between 3 – 6kg when fully grown.  

What Colour is the Lancashire Heeler?

Lancashire Heelers are always either black & tan or liver & tan, more commonly the former.  


Do Lancashire Heelers make good guard dogs?

Lancashire Heelers are protective of their close circle and are known to bark. They are very good guard dogs but are not known to display aggressive behaviour, they will be happy to vocally alert their owners of any disruption.  

Do Lancashire Heelers bark a lot?

Lancashire Heelers are known to bark, so the correct training early is important.  

Are Lancashire Heelers easy to train?  

Highly intelligent, the Lancashire Heeler is hardworking and easy to train. However, they can often be strong-willed, so are not recommended for first-time dog owners.  

Are Lancashire Heelers playful?

Lancashire Heelers are playful and enjoy interest and involvement in all aspects of family life. They are clever and thrive from human interaction, known for their love of people.  

Are Lancashire Heelers good with children?

The Lancashire Heeler is known to be a great family dog and interact well with children, especially older children because of their energetic and playful personalities.  

Are Lancashire Heelers good with other pets? 

Lancashire Heelers require socialising at a young age, as some have been known to be slightly intolerant of other dogs. However, with correct socialising, Lancashire Heelers are well-rounded dogs and get on well with other dogs.  

Can I leave a Lancashire Heelers Alone? 

Lancashire Heelers are loyal dogs, forming close bonds with their family and dislike being left alone for a length of time, they are intelligent dogs and require company and interaction.  

Do Lancashire Heelers like water?

Lancashire Heelers are active and energetic dogs who will likely take to water like a duck, especially when the weather is warm. However, care should be taken at all times as they are small dogs and may struggle to get out of deep water alone.  


How long do Lancashire Heelers live?

Lancashire Heelers are healthy dogs and live to a good age, generally to the age of 9 – 15. However, living past the age of 15 is not uncommon, and Lancashire Heelers have been known in some cases to live up to 22 years old.  

How much exercise does a Lancashire Heelers need?

Lancashire Heelers are active dogs that were originally bred as working dogs, so they would be suited to an active family lifestyle. They require an hour of exercise per day.  

What are Lancashire Heelers Common health issues?

Lancashire Heelers may sometimes develop inherited issues such as eye diseases, therefore eye testing is necessary. As they are a small breed, they may suffer from luxating patellas in old age, in which case kneecaps slip out of place.  


How much space do I need for a Lancashire Heelers?

Lancashire Heelers require space to occupy and entertain themselves and would benefit from a small enclosed garden. They are small dogs, so do not require a large house but ample space inside and outside is beneficial. Lancashire Heeler puppies are boisterous in nature so space to play and learn is essential.  

What should I feed my Lancashire Heelers?

Your puppy breeder should provide you with a feeding schedule which should be followed. Changing your Lancashire Heeler’s diet should be done gradually, to avoid an upset stomach. Lancashire Heelers are known for having a healthy appetite and it is best to feed your mature Lancashire Heeler twice a day on good quality dog food, paired with daily exercise. As a guide, a 4kg Lancashire Heeler should be fed 69 – 82g depending on exercise.  

How much grooming do Lancashire Heelers need?

Lancashire Heelers are low maintenance when it comes to grooming, their hair is short and smooth and a weekly brush and wipe over with a cloth will suffice.  

Do Lancashire Heelers shed?

Lancashire Heeler’s coats shed very little and are easily maintained.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Lancashire Heeler?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £600-750 for a well-bred Lancashire Heeler puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £60-90 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Lancashire Heeler Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Lancashire Heeler puppy buying advice:
  1. Lancashire Heelers are listed as a vulnerable native breed, meaning that finding a well-bred puppy can sometimes be more challenging than other more commonly bred breeds. Lancashire Heeler puppies can be expensive because of this reason and finding a reputable breeder is not always straightforward. Lancashire Heeler litters are bred with the health and soundness of the breed in mind and you should expect the breeder to ask several questions about the prospective home. It’s vital that you see the dam to ensure their health and wellbeing and photos of the sire should be available as well as any health test certificates.

Other reading, Adopting Lancashire Heeler Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: