Westminster Dog Show 2024 Live Updates: How to Watch Best in Show Competition

Callie Holtermann

You won’t see a Lancashire heeler competing for best in show on Tuesday, but the new breed quickly became a fan favorite.Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

Watch your backs, sheepdogs. The herding group had fresh competition this year from the Lancashire heeler, a sprightly breed that competed at Westminster for the first time.

A Lancashire heeler stands about a foot tall, with a pert snout, dark coat and elongated frame. Members of the breed may have descended either from corgis or Manchester Terriers, according to the American Kennel Club, but they are “friendly little dogs” either way.

“Small yet powerful and built sturdily, the Lancashire heeler is alert and energetic, excelling at herding cattle while also exhibiting terrier instincts for hunting rabbits and rats,” the Westminster Kennel Club said in an introduction of the breed.

A single Lancashire heeler, named Mando, competed in the group stage show this year. During the breed judging stage on Monday, he trotted into the ring with the confidence of a veteran in front of stands that were packed with press and onlookers.

“History!” one spectator shouted from the crowd.

Unfortunately for Mando, he did not make it out of the group stage, with Mercedes, a German shepherd, advancing to Tuesday’s best in show competition.

The United States Lancashire Heeler Club has been pushing for greater recognition of the breed since its founding in 2007. “This breed is a power chewer,” the club’s website cautions, and can be energetic to a point that overwhelms some owners. Shedding can be an issue, too.

“Brushing a couple of time a week, routine bathing when they get grimy or roll in something really stinky is needed,” the club said.

At Westminster, the breed was trying to fend off collies and corgis and all the other stars of the herding group. Judges were looking for erect ears, a fine undercoat and “small, firm and well padded feet.”

Closely overlapping lower teeth were a boon, as were “amply boned” forequarters.

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