The true origins of this rare breed are largely unknown, though the ancestry of the Lancashire Heeler is believed to be that of the Welsh Corgi and the Manchester Terrier. Recognised in its home county for over 150 years as an accomplished ratter and cattle herder, the Lancashire Heeler is a prodigiously active breed possessing a natural authority. This derives from its parentage, with early Welsh Corgis utilised in driving livestock from England into Wales. Registered as a rare native breed by the Kennel Club in 2006.
Low to the ground, the Heeler has a disproportionate body, not dissimilar from the pure breed Corgi or Dachshund, possessing short legs, wide-spaced eyes, well-muscled hindquarters and a high-set tail. The breed's coat is typically short and smooth, in colour variations of black and tan, or liver and tan. The inherent herding instinct is still present in the modern Lancashire Heeler, rendering it well suited to dog agility trails, showmanship, obedience, flyball and general livestock herding and retrieving.
Typically affectionate and sweet-natured, the breed enjoys participating in exercise and play, with a quiet perceptiveness and friendly sociability that makes it a great addition to the home setting. Devoted to children and compatible with other domestic animals when introduced gradually, the Lancashire Heeler can be difficult to obedience train so consistent direction from an early age is beneficial. The average Heeler will weigh 3-6 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years when shown appropriate care.
Apart from various eye disorders specific to the breed, including primary lens luxation, persistent pupillary membranes and Collie eye anomaly, the Lancashire Heeler is generally healthy, resilient and long-lived.