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Lurcher

Lurcher

The Lurcher originates from...

Dating the early development of the Lurcher is difficult due to it not being widely referenced or recorded. Popular theory suggests that the Lurcher, a recognised cross-breed, developed in England in the 14th and 15th centuries when the ownership of sight hounds was restricted to the aristocracy, with governments banning common possession. This included the ownership of Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds and Scottish Deerhounds. For this reason, sight hounds were selectively bred with Border Collies and various Terriers in order to avoid complicated legal regulation, whilst ensuring only the best traits were retained. Primarily bred as efficient and trainable hunting dogs, or as companion dogs to Irish gypsies and tinkers, the Lurcher rose to great popularity in Great Britain and is still widely seen today, either in racing or coursing hares, rabbits, foxes, game birds and vermin.

The Lurcher is characterised by...

Lurchers can really be any size, as they are a cross of any of the sighthounds. If the cross contains greyhound and whippet, for example, the lurcher would probably be the size of a small greyhound, whereas a cross containing Irish wolfhound and Saluk would be much bigger. Typically, the Lurcher is lean and athletic with long legs, a deep chest for enhanced lung capacity, small, high-set ears and a defined muzzle. Unlike a Greyhound, the Lurcher coat is typically longer, as inherited from the Collie crosses. There is no breed standard when it comes to coat colour, due to the fact there is no standard breed pairing, although a Long-Haired and a Short-Haired variety are recognised. When it comes to shedding, some Lurchers will shed a lot, while others will shed little.

The average Lurcher...

Contrary to popular belief, the Lurcher is an amiable, relaxed and gentle breed, with a quiet temperament that enjoys regular human contact. Like the Greyhound, the Lurcher is neither aggressive nor highly strung, but docile and dependable towards its owners. Compatible with children and other house pets when introduced to them gradually, the breed is low maintenance and makes a great addition to any home setting. Whilst there are discrepancies across gender, the average Lurcher will weigh between 27-32 kg, with a life expectancy of approximately 12-15 years when shown appropriate love and care.

Because no breed is without its weakness...

Generally very healthy and long-lived, the Lurcher makes a relatively low maintenance breed choice when it comes to ensuring optimum health. That said, the Lurcher is not completely exempt from medical affliction, with documented cases of muscle and joint injury, as well as more serious incidences of bone cancer and gastric tortion being identified in the breed.

Our Lurcher owners have uploaded 281 photos

Our Lurcher owners' thoughts

Added on 15/01/2015

I have three lurchers ~ they are gentle loving, funny ~ a cross between a couch potato and a sprinter. They are so entertaining ~ will give lots of cuddles ~ will play hard but then collapse for a well earned rest. Love them.

Added on 17/01/2015

I own three lurchers there soo funny to watch and lovely natured dogs.

Added on 16/06/2015
Joined 01/09/2012
From North Ayrshire, United Kingdom

I own 2 lurchers and they are wonderful dogs. Both are very loving and my saluki/greyhound cross is a complete "couch potato". My collie/deerhound is a bit more "high maintenance" and does need plenty of exercise. He is very loyal and only leaves my side to play chases with my other lurcher.
The downside of lurchers can be their "chase/hunt instinct". I personally couldn't have cats or rabbits as pets with my two lurchers. Though I know that other lurchers live successfully with these. I also sometimes have trouble catching my saluki cross as she is too busy chasing the wild rabbits. Her recall has got better but she is still not perfect(salukis are bred to be independent hunters).
I would recommend a lurcher as a pet because they are so loving, though I would recommend thorough research was done first to the breed mix that was suitable for your household.

Added on 23/10/2015
Joined 20/08/2013
From Cornwall, United Kingdom

Jaynee is a lurcher collie cross. Her lurcher tendensis are to run like made while out and sleep for long periods when at home. She has a very loving nature and laps up every bit of attention she gets. A joy to have.

Added on 09/05/2016
Joined 09/05/2016
From United Kingdom

I have a Lurcher and a Miniature Jack Russell as well as a cat. My lurcher is much better behaved and easier then the Russell. She is also very devoted and loving. Her only fault is chasing cats (when they run) even though she lives with one.

Added on 08/07/2016
Joined 25/05/2016
From Kent, United Kingdom

I have only one Lurcher at the moment and he is fabulous, so gentle, loves meeting people and smiles almost all the time. Over the years I have had quite a few Lurchers, all rescues and they make the most amazing companions. Mine have lived with a cat, I have a rabbit and I am currently looking after 3 Chinese Hamsters but no problem at all as far as the dogs have been concerned.

Added on 13/07/2016
Joined 01/06/2015
From Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

We rescued Sunny, she was a stray for two years. She's the sweetest, most affectionate dog! Staffie/greyhound cross we think. She loves to run and will sleep all day :)

Added on 20/08/2017
Joined 28/08/2016
From Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Holly, a greyhound, german short-haired pointer cross is very gentle and loving. She needs at least 2 hours off lead exercise daily and loves swimming. Loves playing chase and racing games with other equally energetic dogs. Spends most of the rest of the day asleep next to my desk, or shadowing me when I go to make a drink. Travels exceedingly well on long drives so long as she gets to stretch her legs every couple of hours.

Added on 01/01/2018

I have a 7yr old lurcher, he is wonderful with my children, who have fallen out of bed onto him and he's just moved over and made a space for them, a true gentle giant, we've had him since 12 weeks old and he's the most wonderful addition to our family, we could never have cat's or rabbits with him, this has been tried and tested and failed, he hates cats, but is fine with our 3 gerbils and he is great with our Jack Russel who is 6yrs younger and a pain in the backside, she constantly wants to play but he's a couch potato, only recently has he started liking cuddles he's always been loving but not cuddly but he is now both, one thing I will say even though he's my husband's dog he is very protective of his mummy, people can't come in all hyped up and lairy and start throwing hugs to me or he jumps up and barks to warn them off, and when playing with the kids people can't get to rough he will intervene and politely let you know he's there and if you hurt them you have him to deal with, so protection wise my boy has mine and the kids back and must say I feel safe when he's with me., I would recommend a lurcher 100%, our boys is a cross of several dogs greyhound, alsation, whippet and bedlington terrier

The only down side with these as pets is make sure you have insurance, there skin is paper thin and our boy has a habit of running through bushes comes out with thorns between his toes and branches sticking out of his side and always on Sundays or out of vet hours so costs us a bomb, luck for us our bed knows and understands lurchers well

Best of luck for anyone getting one you won't be disappointed I dread the day out boy goes to heaven as I don't think we as a family will cope xx

Added on 14/02/2018
Joined 14/02/2018
From Merseyside, United Kingdom

My girl is a deerhound lurcher. She can be as mad as a box of frogs one minute and then laid on her back with legs in the air the next. She is very gentle and hasn’t got a mean bone in her body. She has a very high prey drive so could not live with little furriers. That said we can now walk the neighbourhood without her lunging at the cats. The only issue she has is that she has no spacial awareness and tends to bowl the grandkids over as she passes

Added on 23/01/2019
Joined 06/09/2017
From Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

I have one greyhound lurcher and two whippet lurchers and I adore them. They are not the most obedient of dogs and the greyhound lurcher never had a brilliant recall. But they are beautiful elegant animals, gentle and generous with other dogs, and loving. When older, very placid. They need a lot of exercise and quality nutrition with high protein content. My oldest lurcher is over 16 and he gets only freshly cooked meat, base food consisting of organic chicken, or halibut cooked with oats and Aberdeen angus raw beef added on top. He would not live this long on commercial diets. He still has brilliant sight, he can hear, his heart is perfect and he goes for 2 hour walks on the hills daily, with small help for a few spots of arthritis. I definitely recommend this breed, but only to experienced and devoted owners.

Added on 14/07/2019
Joined 22/03/2018
From Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

I have bred lurchers for over 30 years, starting with our rescue greyhound. They are wonderful , loyal , loving dogs, good with other dogs and children. You have to be aware they are bred to chase, so getting their recall perfect is pretty important when they are off lead. My last homebred, Alfie, sadly went to heaven this summer,aged 15yrs and Tiger, my present boy is 14 months and came to us as a bit of a delinquent having been abandoned tied to a tree and left to starve at 5 months. We have had him since March, and he has learnt so much, things like seperation anxiety etc is much improved and he now knows and loves his Dad and Mum, and he won most handsome dog at our local dogs show!

Added on 24/07/2019
Joined 21/02/2016
From Devon, United Kingdom

Very loyal, gentle and affectionate- he is a mummy’s boy and never out of my sight! Being 15 he is a bit wobbly at times but still loves walking and chasing squirrels!

Added on 14/10/2019
Joined 04/07/2016
From Devon, United Kingdom

Penny is our second rescue Lurcher, she was rescued from a hunting pack in Ireland, she is now approximately 8 years old and we’ve had her 6 years, she’s a beautiful sandy coloured bitch and is absolutely friendly to everyone, loves her cuddles and settee!! But she’s a sight hound and doesn’t like cats and her recall is non existent when she’s in cat chasing mode.
But I would thoroughly recommend the breed as they are wonderful with children even unruly ones, if she gets fed up she goes to another room and shows absolutely no aggression.