If you’re not super familiar with what a Lurcher dog is, don’t worry, not all that many people are. But for those who do know, it’s probably because they love hunting!
The Lurcher is a natural born hunter. A natural born hunter that was “designed” by man to combine some of the “best” hunting skills and attributes of two great dog breeds, the Greyhound breed and one of a number of different terrier breeds as well.
This is because…
The Lurcher is a hybrid dog or a cross-breed, developed by crossing breeding a sighthound such as Greyhound with a Terrier which in essence combines the traits of the greatest sighthound breeds with that of scent tracking ability of the terrier class.
As a cross-breed…
The Lurcher is mainly a hunting dog. He has the tenacity, scenting ability and intelligence of a Terrier and the speed, athleticism and power of Greyhounds. You should just see him go after rabbits. He can be relentless!
It should be noted that these dogs are also more than just a hunter’s dog because while Lurchers are called as poacher’s dogs and are bred for their speed, hunting ability and the fact that they never give up when on the hunt, they’re also very calm and composed dog, and is very loyal to his owners.
Which makes them…
Very comfortable in human company and is not the sort of dog to act aggressive against strangers. This is why these dogs have also been finding a place in homes where hunting isn’t a priority.
Which is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss the breed in a little bit more detail so that if you are considering adopting a Lurcher puppy or better yet a Lurcher rescue dog, you’ll know for sure if that is going to be a good idea!
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Lurcher Fast Facts
Countries of Origin: Ireland and the UK
Original Purpose: Hunting
Height: 27 to 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 35 to 100 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)
Life Span: 10 to 15 years
Origin of the Lurcher Dog Breed
Unlike most hybrid or designer dogs that have only been around for a few decades, there is evidence that the Lurcher breed may actually be much older than that.
Some believe that the first Lurcher may have been bred by noblemen in England in the Middle Ages by crossing the Saluki, Whippet, Deerhound, Wolfhound and the Greyhound, but since there is no definitive proof of this, we’ll leave it up to you to decide.
What is known is…
Ordinary folks or commoners were not allowed to own hounds like Lurchers. They were considered too precious. Lurcher puppies were stolen by poachers and brought up secretly in the wild. The punishment for owning a Lurcher illegally was death.
In the UK…
Lurchers are used to hunt rabbits, hares, foxes, rate and game birds. They were used as messenger dogs by the British Army in World Wars I and served admirably well.
The Lurcher dog breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or even the United Kennel Club which is probably because there really is no set “standard” for what makes up the Lurcher breed. You see, breeders are a bit “loose” with the different dog breeds that they use to create Luchers which is probably why they will continue to remain “un-recognized”
But that hasn’t…
Prevented the Lurcher dog from becoming quite popular in America, where hunters and farmers like to use them to hunt foxes, coyotes and jackrabbits. They’re also used for lure coursing as well. But when it comes to hunting dogs, there are few better than Lurchers.
Physical Characteristics of the Lurcher dog breed
Lurchers are tall dogs, and have a lean, mean and hungry look about them. They can rise up to a height of 27 to 30 inches and weigh between 30 and 100 pounds.
They also have…
A short and harsh coat, a long, tapering tail and a small head with pricked ears. The coat can be of the colors black, black and tan or grizzle.
Lurchers are often compared with other crossbreeds such as Longdogs. Lurchers and Longdogs are both sighthounds and have the same lean, mean and hungry look. But they are not the same: A longdog is a cross between two sighthounds while a lurcher is a cross between a working dog such as a terrier and a sighthound.
It should be noted that…
Lurchers are not as fast and athletic as Longdogs, but are much easier to control, or keep up with. You would probably find it easier to have a Lurcher at home rather than a Longdog this is why many folks believe that Lurcher’s make for a better family dog – although both Longdogs and Lurchers are bred to be hunting dogs and not family dogs.
Lurcher Dog Breed Personality
Lurchers are similar to greyhounds in many ways. They are loyal to their owners, very affectionate and caring. They are good with children as well. In fact, Lurchers are fine with humans – it’s the other animals that they don’t like.
And as you…
You can probably guess, the Lurcher is a very athletic dog and requires a lot of exercise. He is not suitable to the city life and would probably find it boring to live in an apartment. He likes to sleep a lot as well.
This is why…
He is ideally suited to life in the countryside. He loves outdoors and enjoys going out, running, swimming, trekking or hiking with you. He is good with people, and has no problem socializing with strangers.
What he doesn’t like…
Is being ignored by his family. He is a sensitive dog and can get hurt easily and sulk in a corner.
Now can Lurchers be family pets?
Yes, but that depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a family dog or a companion dog, then there are many better options available to you.
The Lurcher is no guard dog or watchdog. He is primarily a hunting dog. Is that what you want? Then go for it, get a Lurcher puppy from a reputable breeder.
Or better: adopt a Lurcher rescue dog from the local animal shelter.
Lurcher Dog Health Issues
The Lurcher is one of the healthiest breeds out there and has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. But he is susceptible to the following major and minor health concerns…
- Gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) or bloating,
- Foot and toenail injuries,
- Lens luxation.
Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.