Lancashire heeler Dog

If you like dogs with an elongated body and short legs, you will fall in love with the Lancashire Heleer. This small dog descends from the famous Welsh corgi and the not so well-known, but charismatic and energetic, Manchester terrier, two dogs traditionally used for different tasks and that have contributed important physical and behavioral traits to the Lancashire heeler.

If you are a dynamic and adventurous person, the Lancashire heeler will not hesitate to accompany you on all your trips and shower you with affection and affection. Although he tends to be somewhat nervous and stubborn, he is an ideal dog for those who, with patience, dedicate their time to socializing him and educating him positively. If you want to know more about this tireless sheepdog, keep reading! Because in this AnimalWised article we tell you everything you need to know if you want to adopt a Lancashire terrier or if you already live with one at home. Discover the characteristics of the Lancashire terrier and let yourself fall in love with this incredible dog.

Origin of the Lancashire Heeler

The first records that refer to this breed date back to the 17th century and locate it in the county of Lancashire (England). However, the exact moment in which the Lancashire Heeler originated and litters began to be raised independently is not entirely clear and it is suspected that this breed is even older than is believed. Apparently, this curious dog was born thanks to the cross between a Welsh corgi , from which it inherited its body morphology, and a Manchester terrier , which provided, among other things, the characteristic black and tan color of the Lancashire heeler’s coat.

In England, its country of origin, the Lancashire Heeler began to gain fame as a herding dog and was mainly used to control livestock in the countryside and to guide them from farms to city markets. But this was not the only function of the dog, since this dog was also highly appreciated for its hunting instinct and its ability to catch the rats and mice that sneaked into the houses and ate the crops.

Lancashire heeler breeding has been almost all this time limited to a very specific area of ​​England, which is why it has been on the verge of extinction on more than one occasion. However, and although it is still considered vulnerable, in 1981 the breed was officially recognized and its expansion began, especially to the United States, the Nordic countries and Central Europe.

Characteristics of the Lancashire Heeler

The first thing that catches the attention of the Lancashire Heeler is, without a doubt, the shape of its body, since this dog measures on average 2.5 centimeters longer than it is tall , presenting a morphology very similar to that of the Welsh corgi. The height at the withers is about 30 cm, while the weight ranges from 6-8 kg. Although its body and small size make it seem slow and somewhat clumsy, the truth is that the Lancashire Heeler is a powerful, agile dog with a lot of energy. Its limbs are short and muscular and its tail is of medium length and curves slightly upward, especially when the dog is alert.

Continuing with the characteristics of the Lancashire Heeler, the ears of this dog are triangular and remain erect , in an attentive attitude. On the other hand, their eyes are almond-shaped and are usually dark brown, except in the case of liver-colored specimens, which have lighter eyes. Its snout is of medium length and tapers until it reaches the nose, which can be black or brown.

Lancashire Heeler Colors

Regarding its coat, the Lancashire Heeler’s coat is short, hard and thick and has a dense layer of undercoat that is much softer and finer than the hair on the outer coat. The most common color is black and tan , although there are also liver and tan specimens . It is possible that some individuals are born with a white spot, especially on the chest, although this is not the most common.

Character of the lancashire heeler

The lanchasire heeler is an extraordinarily faithful, affectionate and affectionate animal with its human family, with the members of which it establishes a very strong bond. It has a lot of energy and enjoys playing, walking or doing sports outdoors, so it is important that its guardian is a dynamic person who has enough time to cover the dog’s social, physical and psychological needs. Likewise, it is recommended that whoever adopts a Lancashire Heeler has some previous experience in canine education and training, since this breed can be very stubborn and needs good socialization to avoid developing behavioral problems, especially towards other dogs.

This dog also stands out for being a great home watchman, as he is always alert to what is happening around him. However, he tends to be friendly and sociable with everyone. Its intelligence and ability to learn and adapt to the environment is very remarkable and it shows instinctive behaviors of both a sheepdog and a hunting dog, inherited from its ancestors, the Welsh corgi and the Manchester terrier. In fact, the name “heeler” refers to their tendency to nibble the ankles (“heels” in English) of other individuals, which is precisely what sheepdogs do to guide flocks through the countryside.

Care of the Lancashire Heeler

The Lancashire Heeler does not require particularly expensive or unusual care, making it an easy dog ​​to maintain. Regarding its coat, it is necessary to brush it with some frequency to remove all excess dead hair and allow good skin perspiration, especially in summer and during the shedding season. Using a quality brush and combing the dog once or twice a week will be enough to keep its coat healthy. If there are no dermatological problems, it will be enough to bathe him once every month or every two months.

Likewise, it is recommended to check your ears and clean them at least once a month or every time excess earwax or dirt accumulates, to avoid otitis and other otic problems. Of course, and as with any other breed, it is important to accustom the Lancashire Heeler to brushing its teeth and do it at least once a week, since in this way we prevent the formation of tartar and plaque.

Finally, you must ensure that this breed gets enough physical exercise to avoid becoming overweight. The ideal is to take the dog for a walk about three times a day and do so in enriching environments (parks, fields, etc.), occasionally offering it the opportunity to interact with other dogs or explore freely. In the case of individuals who frequently walk on rough terrain or who, for example, are at risk of getting burned by asphalt, it is essential to protect and keep their pads hydrated, as well as trim their nails if they grow excessively.

Lancashire Heeler Education

This breed, traditionally used as a herding dog, is very intelligent and has a great decision-making capacity, which means that it quickly learns what it should do at all times and acts autonomously to achieve its goals, becoming an independent animal. Now, this does not mean that it does not develop attachment to its guardian, quite the opposite, since the Lancashire Heeler loves to be in the company of its human family.

Anyone who adopts a dog of this breed should know that patience and positive reinforcement are essential in their education. The Lancashire heeler will be happy to learn new skills and train with his tutor as long as the sessions are short, dynamic and fun for the furry dog. Punishments and harmful tools (pronged collars, choke collars, electric collars, etc.) are absolutely contraindicated and can cause serious emotional and behavioral problems in the dog.

During the puppy stage, the dog must be socialized so that as an adult it does not present problems of fear or insecurity towards other animals, people, noises or objects. An ethologist or canine educator can advise you during this socialization process. Likewise, it is important to teach the animal to respond to the call , since the Lancashire Heeler tends to run after anything that catches its attention and can get lost or have an accident if it escapes.

In general, we are dealing with a somewhat stubborn breed, so it is important to take into account the advice mentioned and some experience. A first-time caregiver may feel frustrated when he or she does not achieve his or her goals. Therefore, in these cases, we recommend going to a professional canine trainer. Also, don’t miss this other post on How to Train a Puppy .

Lancashire Heeler Health

This breed is very robust, it easily endures long days of work in the field and has a coat adapted to resist low temperatures. However, it is vulnerable to some conditions, many of them congenital and/or hereditary, especially those that affect sight. Some examples of common eye pathologies in the Lancashire Heeler are:

  • Collie eye anomaly : as its name indicates, the breed most commonly affected by this pathology are border collies, however, it is also common to find it in the Lancashire terrier. The anomaly is congenital and hereditary and consists of a thinning of the vascular tissue present in the back of the eye. Sometimes, the disease does not progress and the animal does not suffer any complications, although it may also be the case that the dog’s vision is partially or totally affected, developing blindness in the worst case.
  • Primary lens dislocation : In this case, the dog’s lens moves either forward or backward, causing swelling, irritation and pain in the eye. The most effective way to solve a dislocation or subluxation of the lens is intraocular surgery, especially in the case of dislocations with forward displacement.
  • Persistent pupillary membrane : this pathology, usually congenital, occurs as a result of a malformation during ocular development that can cause vision problems or lead to the appearance of cataracts. It is usually diagnosed when the dog is only a few weeks old and, depending on its severity, it can be treated or operated on.

On the other hand, patella luxation or elbow dysplasia are also relatively common conditions in this breed, especially in elderly individuals.

If the animal is vaccinated correctly, provided with a quality diet adapted to its needs, the presence of external and internal parasites is effectively prevented and veterinary check-ups are carried out with some frequency, the Lancashire Terrier is a long-lived dog that It can live up to 14 or 15 years.

Where to adopt a Lancashire heeler?

The Lancashire Heeler is a vulnerable breed and, although it is relatively common to find it in some countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States, it is not well known in the rest of the world, and it is very rare to see dogs of this breed in Spain. However, in practically all cities and municipalities in our country there are shelters, shelters or kennels where it is very common to find small dogs, many of them with characteristics similar to those of the Lancashire Heeler, both physical and behavioral. Mixed-breed dogs or those used for work in the fields are, unfortunately, abandoned every day and need a home and a family. For this reason, at ExpertoAnimal we encourage you to contact shelters and animal associations when looking for a dog to share your life with.

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