Lancashire Heeler (also called Ormskirk Heeler) is assumed to have originated in the cross-breeding of Welsh Heelers (now called Welsh Corgis) with small black-and-tan terriers from Manchester. Though larger dogs drove cattle from one pasture to another, the smaller heelers drove them to town, working independently to prevent cattle from disappearing down the narrow streets, then escorting them from market to butcher. This versatile dog breed that also controls vermin is on Britain’s Vulnerable Native Breeds list. The Lancashire Heeler works cattle but has terrier instincts when rabbiting and ratting.
General Appearance: Small, powerful, sturdily built, alert energetic worker.
Lancashire Heeler Temperament: Courageous, happy, affectionate to his master.
Size: Ideal height at shoulder: Dogs: 30 cm (12 inches) Bitches: 25 cm (10 inches).
Coat & Colour:
Coat: Fine undercoat is covered throughout by weather resistant, short, thick, hard, flat topcoat. Topcoat slightly longer on the neck. Undercoat should not show through topcoat nor allow any longer hair at the mane to stand off. Long or excessively wavy coat highly undersirable.
Colour: Black and tan or liver tan with pigment to tone with coat colour, with rich tan spots on cheeks and often above eyes. Rich tan on muzzle and chest and from knees downwards, inside hind legs and under tail. A distinct black or liver mark (thumb mark), according to coat colour, immediately above front feet is desirable. Richness of tan may fade with age. White to be discouraged. A small white spot on forechest, although permissible is undesirable.
Head: In proportion to body. Skull: flat and wide between ears, tapering towards eyes which are set wide apart. Moderate stop equidistant between nose and occuput. Tapering continues toward nose. Skull and muzzle to be on parallel planes. Eyes: Almond-shaped medium size, dark colour except in liver where they may be lighter to match coat colour. Ears: showing alert lift, or erect. Drop ears showing no lift undesirable. Mouth: 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.
Neck: Moderate length, well laid into shoulders.
Forequarters: 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.
Body: Well sprung ribbing, extending well back with close coupling. Firm, level topline, never dipping at withers or falling at croup. Approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) longer than the height at withers. (Measured from withers to set-on of tail).
Hindquarters: Muscular, with well-turned sifles, hocks well let down. From rear should be parallel, when moving or standing. Never bandy or cow hocked. Feet: small, firm and well padded.
Tail: Set on high, left natural. Carried over back in a slight curve when alert, but not forming a complete ring.
Gait: Smart and brisk, Natural, free movement.
Faults: 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.