There is little known about the
origin of the Lancashire Heeler, much word of mouth and many publications
advocate that the Lancashire Heeler is a cross between the Manchester
Terrier and the Welsh Corgi, although early in their history other crosses
must have taken place.
The breed is said to have originated when Welsh Farmers used the services
of Drovers to drive cattle to the northern cattle markets, it was at these
markets that the two breeds met and the Lancashire Heeler was born. The
farmers liked these small black and tan dogs, they found that they were
excellent when used to bring wayward cattle and sheep back to the herd,
they did not injure the animals in any way these small dogs controlled the
animals by administering a sharp nip to the back of the heel, they would
immediately and instinctively lie down flat so that any kick from the
animal would go over their head.
The Lancashire Heeler is also known as the Ormskirk Heeler, they have been
used as working dogs on farms in the Lancashire area for hundreds of years
and though still a little known breed when compared with the Border Collie
they still work farms today. One family can trace the breed back 150 years
though some publications state that the breed was re-invented in the
1960's, the information stated is obviously wrong as the breed is still
bred today by that same family.
The Lancashire Heeler Club was formed in 1978 three years before the
Lancashire Heeler was recognized by the British Kennel Club in1981. The
Lancashire Heeler was placed on the Rare Breeds Register. as part of the
Working Group of which it was the smallest breed in both size and number.
The first Lancashire Heeler to be registered with the British Kennel Club
was on 17th July 1981 Acremead Bogey owned and bred by Mrs Gwen
1999 brought big changes to the breed in the Show Ring, the breed was
moved into the newly formed Pastoral Group and was awarded Challenge
Certificates (C.C's) for the first time, the Brown (Liver and Tan)
Lancashire Heeler also received English Kennel Club approval and as such
is now an intrigal part of the breed standard. These changes have brought
about a lot of interest in the breed, as more people are wanting the
Lancashire Heeler as Show Dogs as well as family pets.
2001 brought about another landmark victory for the breed when the
American Kennel Club placed the very first Lancashire Heeler on its
Foundation Stock Service Breed Register. The first registration was on
August 1st 2001. Pennijar Pilgrim owned by Mrs J Hoesterey, bred by Mr and
Mrs M & J Smith.. This now opens the way for eventual recognition of the
breed in America. The American Lancashire Heeler Breed Club is in its
infancy but will gain in stature and popularity as more is learned about
the Lancashire Heeler and the existence of the American Lancashire Heeler
Club. The Lancashire Heeler is already recognized in countries such as
Sweden and Holland.