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.
Similar in size and structure to a Greyhound, the Lurcher is lean and athletic with long legs, a deep chest for enhanced lung capacity aiding stamina, 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.
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.
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.
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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.
I own three lurchers there soo funny to watch and lovely natured dogs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)