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The Lancashire Heeler originated in Great Britain, specifically in the Welsh and English regions. It is a herding dog, small and agile enough to nip any cattle to move. This dog breed is also a valuable vermin hunter. Lancashire Heelers require less grooming but are not considered hypoallergenic. As a family companion, they are sociable and affectionate. However, they are wary of strangers and will greatly benefit from socialisation and training at an early age.
Are considering a Lancashire Heeler for your family? Learn more about this affectionate dog of British ancestry.
The Lancashire Heeler was originally bred and developed in the Welsh and English regions of Great Britain. Most experts believed that it descended from the Corgi line, the Black and Tan Terrier, the Manchester Terrier and the Dachshund. Due to their small size, Lancashire Heelers are highly prized herding dogs, able to nip at the heels to move and control the cattle and agile enough to move out of the way. They were also valued vermin hunters when they weren't out herding cattle.
The population of the Lancashire Heeler suffered a major decline; it was revived in the 1960's and in 1978 the Lancashire Heeler Club was established thanks to a dedicated breeder named Gwen Macintosh. The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club in the UK in 1981. In 1996, the Lancashire Heeler was recognised as a vulnerable breed with an annual registration of 300 a year in the UK.
Being a herding dog, the Lancashire Heeler is a small but sturdy breed weighing 6 to 13 pounds and standing at 25 to 30 centimetres. It possesses a proportioned head with a tapering face. Its eyes are almond-shaped, dark or light brown in colour, showing an alert and determined expression. It has triangular ears that are held erect when excited. Its body is moderately longer than it is tall, almost similar to the Corgi in form with short and well-boned legs. Its tail slightly curves over the back but does not form a full ring.
When it comes to its coat, the Lancashire Heeler boasts of short, tight coat that is easy to groom. Its coat comes in black and tan combination or liver and tan. Grooming requirements include a weekly brushing, and a gentle wipe of a soft damp cloth will suffice to keep its coat shiny. Bathing is only required a few times a year.
Also, pay attention to other grooming aspects of the breed. Brush its teeth twice to thrice a week to avoid tooth and gum problems. Also check its ears for wax build-up, redness and odour, which are signs of infections. Trim its nails especially when you hear clicking sounds on the floor because overgrowth can be painful and cause splitting and cracking.
Lancashire Heelers are friendly and lively dogs. They are a pleasant companion that are intelligent and playful. This dog breed is a people-pleaser and will perform well in training with the right owners or handlers. In short, it is easy to train. It can be an ideal dog breed for first-time owners as long as they are attentive enough to provide Lancashire Heelers with the proper socialisation and training.
Heelers have boundless energy and as such must be given a job to do to be kept busy, both mentally and physically. If they are left on their own for longer periods of time, they may find themselves in trouble to entertain and amuse themselves. One thing to consider when you think of getting a Lancashire Heeler is its tendency to nip when it is overly excited. However, the benefits always outweigh the negative as it is an excellent watchdog and will quickly alert its owners when strangers are present.
The Lancashire Heeler, being people-oriented, gets along well with children. However, more care should be taken with toddlers and small children since this dog breed can be a bit boisterous. Heelers are more relaxed and confident with older children who know how to behave around dogs. Regardless of the children's age, it is important that any interaction with the dog is supervised to keep playtime safe.
When it comes to other dogs, the Lancashire Heeler, when not properly socialised, can get stressed out when around other dogs. Also, care should be taken when Heelers are around smaller animals. Their hunting instincts might take over, and they will not hesitate to give chase when the opportunity presents itself.
A typical serving for an adult Lancashire Heeler is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of quality dry dog food per day. Always remember that the amount of food, even the type of food, to feed your dog will basically depend on several factors including age, gender, size, health, activity level, and metabolism. It is best to consult a trusted veterinarian for a recommendation.
Typical daily calorie needs of adult Lancashire Heeler weighing 10 pounds:
It is important to feed the Lancashire Heeler dry dog food that is formulated for its size. Also as much as possible, limit the amount of human food since it may lead to potential mineral imbalances that will adversely affect their bones and teeth and facilitate obesity.
When properly cared for, the Lancashire Heeler can live 9 to 14 years. However, it is also predisposed to some illnesses that could hinder living out its maximum life expectancy. Awareness of its potential health disorders will help you take preventive measures so make sure to consult a veterinarian to determine the signs and symptoms. Be wary of the following health disorders common to Lancashire Heelers: Collie Eye Anomaly, Lens Luxation, Patella Luxation, and Cataracts.
The Lancashire Heeler is a ball of energy and must be kept busy; else it will become destructive. Provide this dog breed enough mental and physical stimulation to become happy and well-adjusted dogs. At least 2 hours of daily exercises are needed, in a nice back garden or the countryside. Do remember that most dogs are escape artists and the Lancashire Heeler is no exception so make sure that your back garden is well-fenced and secure.
The Lancashire Heeler is a rare breed with less than 300 registered in the UK and only a few puppies are bred each year. You would need to go on waiting list to obtain one and pay at least £650 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, be ready to spend £30-£40 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as food bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
When it comes to healthcare, you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some medical bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £23 for a time-limited cover up to £45 for a lifelong insurance cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size and weight, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £1000 annually. Roughly, you will be setting aside £60-£90 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose. This estimate is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
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