Finding A Healthy Lancashire Heeler Puppy
The Lancashire Heeler is a small active and usually very healthy dog, living on average 10-14 years. A life span of 15+ years is not unusual, however, and we have known of Lancashire Heelers living as long as 22 years! Such a commitment is not to be taken lightly.
A reputable breeder will ask you many searching questions before parting with one of their much loved puppies. Some of the breeders whose names appear on this site have many years experience. They breed their litters with the breed in mind. Their litters are bred to maintain the health and soundness of the Lancashire Heeler breed. Their litters are planned to ensure that they have the time, energy and resources to whelp and look after that litter in the best possible environment.The commitment of such a breeder is also not to be taken lightly!
A Healthy Puppy Comes From A Reputable Breeder - How To Find A Reputable Lancashire Heeler Breeder
Finding a reputable breeder is not always straightforward. The Kennel Club have a puppy sales
register but this is for anyone who registers a litter so there is no guarantee of quality or health
testing. The KC have a section called Mate Select which anyone can sign up for and from there you can
check the breeding and health testing of all registered dogs if you know their registered name.
There are several online puppy sales sites, but caution needs to be taken when answering adverts as
although some may be genuine there can be scams where the pups do not even exist and people
have lost lots of money by sending payment for something that does not materialise. Breed clubs
will usually have a list of breeders or know of litters due, and this is the best way of contacting breeders who abide by the club and KC code of ethics. (See Lancashire Heeler Association Puppy Availability link on this page)
Any reputable Lancashire Heeler breeder would expect you to ask questions and to ask you many as well, about your lifestyle, working hours, family, home, previous experience – to some people this may seem like the third degree but we all want the best possible homes for our babies as we have put so much planning, time, effort and emotion into bringing them into the world and to be honest most of us would rather not sell them at all!
Stear clear of a seller who doesn't ask any questions or is quite happy to let you have a puppy without making any enquiries about you.
Sire And Dam
One thing that is often said is don't buy a puppy without seeing the mum – this is a very important point although there may be occasions where it is difficult because of distance, but there are ways of keeping in touch during the time you are waiting with photos, videos, emails etc and it may be that someone has to transport a puppy to a new home on behalf of the breeder/owner. Seeing the dad is also a good idea but not always possible, as breeders may have used a dog from a long way off to get the right breeding. Again photos should be available of dad, and certainly certificates of health testing.
Unregistered Lancashire Heeler Puppies
Whilst most puppies will be KC registered, occasionally a litter will be born that has not been registered. There can be various reasons for this but one important one to be aware of is endorsements on the registration put there by the breeder of the mum/dad, as for whatever reason they may have decided the dog should not be bred from. This will make no difference to your puppy as a family pet but would mean you could not enter licensed shows or register any puppies from them if you decide to breed later on. Puppies without KC registration are usually sold at a lower fee to reflect this. We sometimes get people wanting to breed a litter who then realise that the dog has an endorsement and it can be very difficult to get this lifted. Sellers need to be open as to why they have endorsed a Lancashire Heeler litter and what the requirements would be to lift them – ie if satisfactory health tests are to be carried out before lifting then all this needs to be put in writing and the buyer sign to say they understand and are in agreement.
Health Testing For Lancashire Heeler Puppies And Sire And Dam
Health testing for adults usually consists of a physical eye test carried out by a BVA specialist, which would show any clinical conditions that dog may have. Then there are DNA tests, which show if the dog is genetically clear of either PLL (Primary Lens Luxation) or CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly), or if they are carriers (which means they should never be affected but could pass it on to any future offspring) or affected (which they could be if two carriers were mated together). Reputable breeders know the status of their dogs ensuring that if a carrier is bred from they must be mated to a clear and ideally the pups would then be DNA tested themselves to determine if any are carriers, so future owners can be made aware of the consequences if they ever decide to breed.
If two dogs are both clear then all their puppies will be hereditarily clear. So far so good, but there is always a possibility that a hitherto unknown condition could arise in the breed, and we do in fact have such a situation at present. We refer to this as 'Mutation X' as some dogs have been DNA tested and should not be affected, but one or both eyes have been affected. It is often late onset and sometimes only in one eye and at present the Animal Health Trust are looking at this condition in the hope that we will have another DNA test for it in the not too distant future.
In summary, go for a breeder who is open about health testing, and will explain what it entails and the status of their dogs. This is one of the reasons that some Lancashire Heeler puppies are more expensive to buy than others,
because those who charge less for their puppies may well not bother to health test or register their pups. As they say, you get what you pay for!
Choosing Your Lancashire Heeler Puppy
If you are planning on buying a puppy, try to take your time and contact different breeders – attend shows or club events if possible to chat with them as most will attend some of them.
NEVER buy a puppy from a small ad in the newspaper or an internet website alone. ALWAYS insist on seeing the puppy in it's own environment. Visit the breeders home at least twice, preferably more: for your first visit leave your purse / wallet / cheque book at home! Visit if you can before pups are ready and if anything does not seem right then don't be afraid to walk away.
Its always better to make friends with breeders who will appreciate your efforts and will want to keep in touch anyway to see how the pups they produce turn out. They will be there at the end of the phone 24 hours a day if you have any problems and if the worst should happen and things do not work out they should be more than willing to take a puppy back. They will also know the nature of each puppy and will guide you to the best one for your lifestyle, as some are more laid back than others, while some will be climbing the walls if not given enough mental and physical stimulation.
Be guided by them and don't just choose the 'cutest' puppy – as they are often the most mischevious!
Good luck in your search for your Lancashire Heeler puppy. Don't forget to send us your pictures and experiences!
For the latest information on Lancashire Heeler puppy availablity check the list of available puppies and litters due on the Lancashire Heeler Association Breeders list.
Please note all breeders on The Lancashire Heeler Association list agree to abide by the LHA & Kennel Club code of ethics and health test parents/pups where necessary.
The Lancashire Heeler Association is a Kennel Club Registered Breed Club
For further information and education in what to look for in relevant health testing etc you may wish to join the Facebook Group Lancashire Heeler World, an active forum for Lancashire Heeler enthusiasts and Breed specialists.
For furthert information on Lancashire Heeler puppy availablity please contact Jacky Cutler, Lancashire Heeler Association.