To kick off 2024, the American Kennel Club (AKC) announced that a new dog breed is joining their ranks this year – the Lancashire Heeler. Here are some facts about these unique dogs and their fascinating history!

The Lancashire Heeler is a small but mighty herding dog with an average size of 9-17 pounds and height of 10-12 inches. The breed gets its name from the the county of Lancashire (pronounced “LANG-kuh-shr”) in North West England where the breed has served as working farm dogs for hundreds of years. The dogs were particularly common in the Ormskirk area of West Lancashire, and are also know as Ormskirk Terriers. It is thought that the breed originated from Welsh Corgis traveling north with cattle herds and cross-breeding with Manchester Terriers.

The Lancashire Heeler’s coat is short, flat and dense, and is either black and tan or liver and tan in color. Grooming needs are minimal; light brushing, occasional baths and regular nail trims will do the job. Healthwise, the breed is generally healthy with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. They may be susceptible to a few eye conditions and knee issues (patella luxation), so testing and ongoing monitoring for these conditions is recommended.

While at first glance it may look like a lap dog, the Lancashire Heeler is an active working dog that needs exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy attention and are eager to learn, excelling at herding and dog sports like agility and obedience training. The Lancashire Heeler’s playful spirit and affectionate nature make them a good fit for many families. Socialization is important, as they can be wary of strangers.

To learn more about the Lancashire Heeler, visit the websites of the American Kennel Club or the United States Lancashire Heeler Club.