Rare Heeler Joins American Kennel Club

January 4, 2024

We are excited to welcome the Lancashire Heeler to the AKC registry as our 201st breed.

American Kennel Club Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo as the “world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs” recognized a rare herding breed, providing the dogs with eligibility to compete at thousands of dog shows in the United States, including New York’s famous Westminster Kennel Club show.

Big Picture: Lancashire Heelers are small dogs (about a foot tall at the shoulder) that date back to the 17th century in the United Kingdom. While their exact origin is unknown, they were historically “farm helpers that could both drive cattle and rout rats,” The Associated Press explains. The American Kennel Club says there are about 5,000 of the “affectionate, versatile and intelligent” dogs worldwide; in the U.K., they are considered a “vulnerable native breed” due to their low registration numbers in the country. President of the U.S. Lancashire Heelers Club Sheryl Bradbury said of the dogs, “It’s a breed that will work hard all day and is happy to curl up at your side and watch the TV news at night.”


Meet the newest breed to join the American Kennel Club, a little dog with a big smile (The Associated Press)

American Kennel Club Announces New Dog Breed, the ‘Small’ but ‘Powerful’ Lancashire Heeler (People)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas