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Affectionate, Versatile, and Intelligent

Welcome to the United States Lancashire Heeler Club where the smallest drovers in the world will captivate you and steal your heart. These smart, sturdy, compact dogs will charm you and challenge you in equal measure! The USLHC was formed in 2007 to promote the breed in the United States and to inform Heeler owners and would-be Heeler owners about this amazing little dog. Tour our site and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these rare gems.


What we know about Lancashire Heelers

The origin of the Lancashire Heeler varies by what source one reads. The USLHC Judges Presentation explains that the the Lancashire Heeler, properly known as Heelers, originated from dwarfed dogs brought to the British Isles by the Vikings.  These dogs closely resembled the Swedish Vallhund in Stature and coloring with some degree of sable variation. 

In Futhark and Runic symbolization and artwork dating the from the ninth through the 12th Century.  They are depicted as varying degrees of sable and black, like other Nordic breeds, and clearly show their dwarfed stature.  In Lancashire, Cheshire and Wales, a typical smooth coated dog called the Olde English Black and Tan Terrier had existed for hundreds of years as a farm dog and ratter.  The terrier became the predecessor or an ingredient of many breeds including the Welsh, Manchester and Lakeland Terriers.  In the mid to late 1800’s as local variants started being bred more and more closely to a standardized type the Lancashire Heeler became a purpose bred breed of its own.  

In Futhark and Runic symbolization and artwork dating the from the ninth through the 12th Century.  They are depicted as varying degrees of sable and black, like other Nordic breeds, and clearly show their dwarfed stature.  In Lancashire, Cheshire and Wales, a typical smooth coated dog called the Olde English Black and Tan Terrier had existed for hundreds of years as a farm dog and ratter.  The terrier became the predecessor or an ingredient of many breeds including the Welsh, Manchester and Lakeland Terriers.  In the mid to late 1800’s as local variants started being bred more and more closely to a standardized type the Lancashire Heeler became a purpose bred breed of its own.

According to Iris Combe’s work;  

Herding Dogs-Their Origins and Development in Britain–

Opinion varies considerably as to whether these dogs are related to the corgi or not. Some authorities are convinced that this is so, while others believe the differences outweigh the similarities. Some researchers feel the heeler is most likely a local variety of corgi or spitz dog which has been kept for generations within one particular district, in the same way as the Cardigan or Pembroke corgis. The only real evidence of his origin is that of his role of butcher’s heeler in Lancashire.

Ms. Combe goes on to say that there were at one time two distinct varieties: the Lancashire terrier type (black and tan similar to the Manchester terrier) and the Ormskirk type, which had white marking added to the coat and were a little longer in the leg. Ms. Combe says this about the old time use of the LHs:


There is little known about the origin of this breed. It is printed in many publications that the Lancashire Heeler is a cross between the Manchester Terrier and the Welsh Corgi.

The breed is said to have originated when Welsh Farmers used the services of Drovers to drive cattle to the Northern Cattle Markets, the two breeds met and the Lancashire Heeler was born. The farmers liked these small black and tan dogs, as when used to bring wayward sheep and cattle back to the herd, they did not injure the animals they controlled them by a sharp nip to the back of the heel.

The Lancashire Heeler is also known as the Ormskirk Heeler and they have been used as working dogs on farms in the Lancashire area for hundreds of years and though a little known breed they are still working on farms today.

The Lancashire Heeler was first recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1981. The breed was then placed on the Rare Breeds Register. The Lancashire Heeler is the smallest of all the Working and Herding Breeds.

1999 brought big changes for the breed in the show ring, the breed was moved into the newly formed Pastoral Group and was awarded CC's for the first time. Also the Brown (Liver and Tan) Heeler received Kennel Club approval to be included in the breed standard. 

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The United States Lancashire Heeler Club Project Update - WE DID IT! The Lancashire Heeler will compete in the Herding group starting January 1, 2024. Congratulations to our breed! 


​In 2017, the club started the process to request consideration to be moved from the FSS class to Miscellaneous Class. A written request of the AKC was sent to the FSS program as our Miscellaneous Class criteria had been met.


Today, the USLHC continues to pursue full breed recognition by registering dogs born in the U.S., participating in conformation shows, agility, obedience, rally, workshops, seminars and breed ambassador opportunities.

The following is a status update on the USLHC progress towards full AKC recognition!


Completed - The club has an approved Breed Standard on file with AKC


Completed - Confirmation of Board approved interest in applying for Member Club


Completed - A minimum of one year has elapsed since entering the Miscellaneous Class 

Completed – USLHC successfully conducted 3 Open Shows for all Miscellaneous and FSS breeds – the first open show was in Lincoln, Nebraska in May 2021 in conjunction with the Nebraska Kennel Club. Two additional OPEN Shows were in Greeley Colorado August 2021  in in conjunction American Portuguese Podengo MG Club. Congratulations to our members! 

Completed - Constitution and bylaws have been reviewed by AKC Club Relations and have been approved by the USLHC Members.

Completed - A minimum of 20 litters bred and enrolled while the breed is in Miscellaneous to ensure that the breed is established and sustainable - A total of 22 litters to date.

Completed - Preliminary Judges Education course was developed in collaboration with AKC Staff. This preliminary presentation will be made available for use for Judges Ed until the  AKC Canine College project has been completed. 

Completed -  Minimum of ten dogs earning Certificate of Merit (CM) titles owned by Parent Club members. 

Completed - Minimum of three Judges Education Seminars conducted by the Parent Club while in the Miscellaneous Class. The Judges Education Committee has been developed and the positions on the committee have been assigned. We have 3 AKC judges working on this project and two AKC Consultants to review and approve the project. Judges Ed is currently being scheduled for Spring 2023 and will be available online, at dog shows, and through the AKC Education Department.

Completed- Growth in registration of litters and dogs to a minimum of 300 dogs with three-generation pedigrees. 


The below IN PROCESS projects are prioritized in order of project size and the deadline for AKC and our Annual meeting date.

The below are projects that the club continues to work on.

On Going - Minutes of Board and Annual Meetings as well as Newsletters are submitted and reviewed by AKC as they are submitted.


On Going - Membership updated annually, including a separate electronic membership upload to AKC.


On Going  - Membership growth to approximately 100 members, with reasonable geographic distribution


Normally breeds remain in the Miscellaneous Class one to three years. Advancement to full registration will be contingent on growth in enrollment of dogs in FSS and participation in AKC events and completion of required club framework. When all criteria are met, the information is presented to the AKC Board of Directors for approval to move to full AKC recognition and breed conformation competition.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and the USLHC embarked on that process over 10 years ago with the formation of the US Lancashire Heeler Club.

Club members registered their dogs with the AKC FSS (Foundation Stock Service). This was the first step taken towards full breed recognition by the AKC.

More information on the FSS program can be found at



The USLHC is committed to healthy Lancashire Heelers for the future. The club has joined with the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to guide US Breeders to healthy disease free breeding for future generations of Lancashire Heelers. Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Patellar Luxation are three required tests that breeders must perform to qualify for a CHIC number in the OFA database. The USLHC recommends the above listed basic health screening tests for all breeding stock. 


In addition to the breed specific requirements above, a CHIC requirement across all participating breeds is that the dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo in order to qualify for a CHIC number.

CHIC numbers generate automatically once all requirements have been recorded at the OFA. Foreign-born dogs must have clearances from their country's equivalent and must meet the age requirements for evaluation. CHIC numbers for foreign born dogs with foreign health screening results may qualify for CHIC, but their numbers will not generate automatically. Results must be manually forwarded to the OFA (fees apply) and CHIC numbers requested after a review.

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Our organization’s mission is to build a membership of like-minded Lancashire Heeler enthusiasts focusing on health and temperament above all.  If you feel that you could contribute with our dedicated, focused members please email for an application. We would love to have you as a part of the club!



General Appearance

Small, powerful, sturdily built, alert energetic worker.


Works cattle but has terrier instincts when rabbiting and ratting.


Courageous, happy, affectionate to owner.

Head and Skull

In proportion to body. Skull flat and wide between ears, tapering towards eyes which are set wide apart. Moderate stop equidistant between nose and occiput. Tapering continues towards nose. Skull and muzzle to be parallel planes.


Almond-shaped, medium size, dark color except in liver where they may be lighter to match coat color.


Showing alert lift, or erect. Drop ears showing no lift undesirable.


Lips firm. Scissor bite – jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and Set Square to the jaws. Under or overshot to be discouraged.


Moderate length, well laid into shoulders.


Well laid shoulder, elbows firm against ribs. Amply boned. Pasterns allow feet to turn slightly outwards, but not enough to cause weakness or affect freedom of movement.


Well sprung ribbing, extending well back with close coupling. Firm, level topline, never dipping at withers or falling at croup. Approximately 1 inch longer than height at withers. (Measured from withers to set on of tail)


Muscular, with well-turned stifles, hocks well let down. From rear should be parallel, when moving or standing. Never bandy or cow hocked.


Small, firm and well padded.


Set on high, left natural. Carried over back in a slight curve when alert, but not forming a complete ring.


Smart and brisk. Natural, free movement.


Fine undercoat is covered throughout by weather resistant, short, thick, hard, flat topcoat. Topcoat slightly longer on neck. Undercoat should not show through topcoat nor allow any longer hair at the mane to stand off. Long or excessively wavy coat highly undesirable.


Black or liver with tan marking on muzzle, spots on cheeks and often above eyes, from knees downwards, with desirable thumb-mark above feet, inside handles and under tail. Richness of tan may fade with age. White to be discouraged, except for a very small spot on fore chest being permitted, but not desired. Pigmentation to tone with coat color.


Ideal height at shoulder: dogs-12 inches, bitches-10 inches.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.



With our organization’s mission always in mind, the following are the current Officers of the club.

President: Sheryl Bradbury  

Vice President: Patrick Helton

Treasurer: Patricia Blankenship

Secretary: Meaghan Thacker

Alternate Board Member: Lindsey Dobruck

If you are interested in volunteering to work on a committee or hold an office with the club just let us know. 

Contact us to learn more about our commitment to this cause.

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How can we help you?

We would love to help you learn more about this amazing heeler breed. Fill in the boxes and we will get right back to you! Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for reaching out. We’ll get back to you soon.

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"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"

Vincent van Gogh


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