Agility Activities And Work

Obedience Training and Lancashire Heelers

Many may think that Lancashire Heelers and obedience are a contradiction in terms! Nothing could be farther from the truth. Like their sheep herding counterparts, the Border Colllie, the Lancashire Heeler is a very intelligent dog that not only needs to have mental stimulation but absolutely thrives on it. Heelers, however, are wilful and as with any training and pastime associated with the breed the first hurdle to overcome is that your Heeler must 'want' to take part! Some are motivated by food, some by playing with a toy. Others are just happy to do anything that is rewarded with owner praise.

Obedience training, like agility can be fun and rewarding for both handler and Heeler. There are obedience training sessions held all over the UK. For details of classes in your area a good place to start is by contacting the committee of your Lancashire Heeler Breed Club or contact the Canine Activities Team within the Kennel Club. The sessions are a great way to meet like minded people and often run associated social events for dog lovers too. Another good way to start is by undertaking the Good Citizen Dog Scheme which is non-competitive and open to all, including unregistered dogs. From there you can progress to more advanced training and competitive obedience trials.

Robert and Nikki demonstrate off the lead heelwork

Robert Rennie and Nikki demonstrate off the lead heelwork

 

Robert Rennie

Robert and brother David hail from North Lanarkshire and have long been keen supporters of the breed. Robert has sent me some great shots of the obedience training he does with Lancashire Heelers Molly, Lucey, Nikki and Caeseur.

  • Nikki doing off the lead heelwork.
    Nikki doing off the lead heelwork.
  • Winners of the Inter Club Competition
    Winners of the Inter Club Competition
  • Molly, Lucey & Nikki doing downs and stays
    Molly, Lucey & Nikki doing downs and stays
  • Molly, Lucey & Nikki doing sits and stays
    Molly, Lucey & Nikki doing sits and stays
 

 

Lancashire Heelers at work

Dotty, a Lancashire Heeler in more than name!

Lancashire Heeler Dotty on her farm in Holland

Lancashire Heeler Dotty at work



There is much talk of Lancashire Heelers being fit for purpose. Those of us that have shown our dogs, or act as judges at shows, are fully aware that the Lancashire Heeler breed standard is set to depict a dog that is quick and agile in movement and the right size and shape to dodge the cut and thrust of an angry cow that may take exception to being moved in the direction a Lancashire Heeler decides it should go. Even the desired eye shape is described as 'almond shaped' and 'medium sized' as a larger bulbous eye would be more prone to damage from a well aimed kick.
In the modern world few Lancashire Heelers earn their keep as stock animals, although some individuals do still work their dogs in various ways. There are also documented tales of heelers used for rabitting, to herd sheep, herd chickens and even gather eggs. My own two dogs are excellent ratters and mousers. On a walk a few months ago I was stopped by a farmer who said that he hadn't seen Lancashire Heelers in years but about 30 years ago they were very commmon as a farm dog and regularly used to keep the cattle in a field for a farmer to save him closing gates as he went from field to field.

Pictures of Lancashire Heelers working cattle are few and far between. I am grateful to Astrid and Jean Paul van Zijl in Holland for sending me a wonderful collection of their heeler Dotty, some of which are shown here.

Dotty shows her LAncashire Heeler herding instinctsDotty the Lancashire Heeler gives a steer his marhing orders

LAncashire Heelers are agile enough to dodge the hooves of cattle


 

 

 

Druid Flies The Lancashire Heeler Agility Flag In California

Loyal and affectionate to owner...Druid has that part licked!Beverly Morgan Lews lives in Eureka California with her husband, David,and dogs Puck, Fern(Corgis) and Druid (Lancashire Heeler 'Pembrats Tail of the Sorcerer'). Whilst Beverly estimates that there are probably only 100 Lancashire Heelers in the United States, she and Druid are doing a great deal to promote the breed and in the most positive way possible - by showing a dog with a fantastic temperament, loyal to his owner, and with a gutsy attitude to life so typical of our breed. As well as being an AKC Agility Judge, and competing at agility with all 3 of her dogs, Beverly also finds time to attend and provide agility seminars and take part in Obedience Trials with the very successful Puck.

In the first half of this year Druid has also made a television appearance promoting a community show in California and appeared in the Times Standard, Humboldt County, California. He also has a great claim to fame accolade in being the very first Lancashire Heeler in the United States to win an agility award. Still more impressive are the equally joyous faces of Beverly and Druid in whatever activity they undertake, fantastic ambassadors for the Lancashire Heeler.
"Loyal and affectionate to owner..." Druid seems to have that part of the Breed Standard licked!
Photos by kind permission of photographer Jose Quezada
and owner Beverly Morgan Lewis.

Druid's TV appearance

Druid's TV Appearance

Druid, Lancashire Heeler Superstar

Posted by Beverly Morgan LewisMarch 2011

 

Druid's Agility - Inspirational Agility Videos

Druid's First MACh points run

Druid's First MACh points

Druid got his first MACh points on this run.

Posted by Beverly Morgan Lewis April 2011

Druid in action

Fun, encouragement, fun and....fun! Beverly makes this look easy in the videos but as you can see here a lot of work goes into Druid enjoying himself!
Click the image for a larger picture.
Druid clearly enjoys his agility practice  

 

Druid weaving his magic
Druid 'weaves' his magic!
Photo by permission David Mills
Druid 'in the frame' for points
Druid 'in the frame' for points
Photo by permission David Mills

Druid and Beverly

Beverly and Druid in perfect harmony"Just watch me Mom, I'll show you what to do..."
Photo by permission Jose Quezada


  • Lancashire Heeler Druid 'weaves' his magic
  • Lancashire Heeler Druid 'in the frame' for points
  • Fun, love and hard work - as secret recipe for success!

Trapsyke Lancashire Heelers

Trapsyke Agilty Album

Lancashire Flaxley over the agility jumps

I began agility with my 4th heeler in 2004, and as soon as I started I wished I'd known about it as a kid with my previous heelers!

Flaxley, who was acquired from Enid at the rescue in 2003 (aged 2 yrs), took to the sport like a duck to water, his confidence in general increased and he became a lot more sociable and less nervous around strange people and dogs, and although we never really competed seriously (as he is a bit of a 'one shot wonder'- he'll do one fantastic run at a competition, and then roll over on his back, 'on strike' on the start line, as if to say- 'you carry on mum, I'll wait here 'til you get back'), he always held his own at internal club competitions and still enjoys the local fun shows that are held near us and normally goes clear, sometimes earning him a place.

I know he's not really 'old' at age 9 or 10 but he had a toe removed a couple of years ago due to cancer, and his little 'Queen Anne' front is starting to collapse so we no longer train regularly and often only run him over Micro sized jumps- but we'll carry on until he no longer wants to take part- and Flaxley is very clear about it when he doesn't want to do something! (much to the amusement of onlookers!)

Lancashire Heeler Thistle in full flightMy next agility heeler is Bellsmond Skuttle of Trapsyke (Thistle to her friends), bred by Lyn Bell in 2005. We began training when she was 11 months old, and she showed much promise, but developed motivation issues, (unfortunately, as she was progressing so well, I think we maybe expected too much and progressed to the more complex courses too fast which knocked her confidence) however, after a year or so break- to have puppies, we went back to basics, on tiny jumps and since then she's been great.
Thistle is still never going to win any Kennel Club shows, due to her steady pace (and the fact that at KC we have to begin in grade 3 due to my first agility dog, a fabulous Dobermann X GSD called Kulu), but Thistle is always accurate, gaining us many clear rounds- just not fast enough to be in the placings!
Recently Thistle has been teaching a ten year old child how to do agility, and her steady pace and willingness to run for anyone really benefits her in this- we may even enter the pair in some junior handling in the future!

Thistle's daughter Pan (Trapsyke Pandemonium) covered the basics at a puppy class when she was 7 months old, and because of what happened with Thistle, I then concentrated on showing, terrier racing and obedience until she was more mature.
We began training in earnest with Tuffley Agility Club when Pan was 20 months old.
This approach seems to have paid off, as Pan is awesome, really enthusiastic, accurate, and speedy with it! So far, Pan has only competed at the local fun shows but she won the 'Nursery' class trophy from the autumn series of shows- even beating several collies on speed and accuracy, and she is well on the way to winning the 'Beginners' class in the winter series!
I'll probably give her another season before competing her at the Kennel Club and UK Agility shows, to make sure we have really got the hang of the weaves, but I have a feeling we won't stay in grade 3 for long!

Jess Flanagan
Trapsyke Lancashire Heelers

Trapsyke Agility Photo Album

  • Lancashire Heeler Flaxley over the jump
  • Honorary Heeler Kulu demonstrates the jump
  • Honorary Heeler Kulu demonstrates the see saw
  • Honorary Heeler Kulu on the turn!!
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle
  • Jess and Flaxley (Acquired from Breed Rescue 2003) demonstrating the see-saw at a display
    Jess and Flaxley (Acquired from Breed Rescue 2003) demonstrating the see-saw at a display
  • Jess and Lancashire Heeler Flaxley
    Jess and Lancashire Heeler Flaxley
  • Jess and Lancashire Heeler Flaxley
    Jess and Lancashire Heeler Flaxley
  • Jess and 'Dobersation' Kulu do 'The Weave'
    Jess and 'Dobersation' Kulu do 'The Weave'
  • Jess and 'Dobersation' Kulu celebrate a clear round
    Jess and 'Dobersation' Kulu celebrate a clear round
  • Kulu races ahead - Jess struggles to keep up!
    Wait for me! - Jess struggles to keep up with 'Dobersation' Kulu
  • Kulu demonstrates 'the Scurry'
    Kulu demonstrates 'the Scurry'
  • Kulu over the jumps - Jess trails behind
    Kulu over the jumps - Jess trails behind
  • Kulu in full stride
    Kulu in full stride
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle - keen as mustard - come on Jess!
    Lancashire Heeler Thistle - keen as mustard - come on Jess!
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle with Jess - over the jumps
    Lancashire Heeler Thistle with Jess - over the jumps
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle with Jess - over the jumps
    Lancashire Heeler Thistle with Jess - over the jumps
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle does 'The Scurry'
    Lancashire Heeler Thistle does 'The Scurry'
  • Lancashire Heeler Thistle Shows how it's done
    Lancashire Heeler Thistle Shows how it's done
 

 

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