In the April 2023 the American Kennel Club Board voted to approve the Lancashire Heeler as the 201st AKC breed and will join the Herding group as the only herding breed to have heeler in the name. Being the smallest member of the herding group, this versatile, fearless dog will be bringing up the tail end of the group.
The Lancashire Heeler entered the AKC Foundation Stock Service program in 2001 and became eligible to compete in Companion and Performance events July 2009. The work by the Officers and Director moved the club from the FSS status to Miscellaneous which then qualified the breed to compete in the Miscellaneous class at All Breed shows. The requirement list is long and requires years to complete. It takes committed leadership to develop a health program, encourage health testing, develop judges education to ensure the standard is respected and mentor breeders. At the same time recruit loyal members that will show in conformation, compete in sports, provide loving homes, train, require their dog to be good canine citizens and support decisions by the leadership of the club.
Leading a club such as this takes a committed team of volunteers with the ability to envision what the path for the breed will be and help the members share in that vision. When the end of our journey for full recognition became a reality, achieving member club status with the AKC is already in development.
When a club accomplishes the requirement to move forward the excitement by the members and the fancy explodes and the interest in the breed is heightened. The members that have been with the club through this journey and were a part of the work need to be commended and their commitment celebrated. It takes a village to do all of this. We have a list of member breeders that had the litters, the members that stayed with the club to be counted, and members that love the breed.
When the announcement went out, we witnessed the public fall in love with this breed. They are very cute as puppies, stunning as adults, characters and little devils. Opinions vary around the globe as to what environment is suitable for the breed.
Are the good with children? Yes they are very good with children that have been taught to respect the dog. In fact a junior program is on the list for the club to develop and launch in 2024.
Are they good in apartments? Yes they are good in apartments as long as they get the required exercise and are given a job.
Are they good for older people as a companion? Sure, they are good as a companion, but they must be kept socialized so they do not become a menace in public.
Interested in a Lancashire Heeler? Go cautiously! Take your time, interview your breeder, get pictures, get health clearance proof and contact the USLHC to get a list of member breeders. firstname.lastname@example.org . Visit the club website at unitedstateslancashireheelerclub.com to get more information on the club, our breed standard and more information on the history of the breed. Be aware – they are cute, but they come with baggage and behaviors that may be a challenge for some, they are not right for every home.
It is important to remind you that the USLHC is an AKC Club. Not UKC or UK or any other kennel club. The work that went into this celebration was about being recognized by the American Kennel Club.
What can this breed do?
Every day this breed proves the how much it can do! The USLHC members are committed to the breed and recognize the intelligence of the breed and the need to please the shepherd. This breed has a long list of titles. Conformation titles, Companion sports titles like Agility, Obedience, Rally and Tracking to name a few. The Title Recognition program has attracted very competitive members to compete and earn titles in Barn Hunt, Trick Dog, Canine Good Citizen and the list goes on.
As the United States Lancashire Heeler Club President, I would like to welcome you to this robust dog’s world to find out if it is the right addition to your family!
AKC Jr Showmanship Judge
Mashury Lancashire Heelers
AKC Breeder of Merit
A proud responsible breeder
Photos submitted by: Sheryl Bradbuy