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Lurcher Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re unfamiliar with a Lurcher dog, don’t worry; not all that many people are. But for those who do know, it’s probably because they love hunting! You see, the Lurcher is a natural-born hunter. A natural born hunter “designed” by man to combine some of the “best” hunting skills and attributes of two great dog breeds, the Greyhound breed and one of several terrier breeds.

This is because…

The Lurcher is a hybrid dog or a crossbreed, developed by cross-breeding a sighthound such as a Greyhound with a Terrier, which, in essence, combines the traits of the most excellent sighthound breeds with the scent tracking ability of the terrier class.

As a crossbreed…

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! But it should be noted that these dogs are also more than just a hunter’s dog because while Lurchers are called 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 a 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 aggressively against strangers. This is why these dogs have also found a place in homes where hunting isn’t a priority. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss the breed in a little 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 will 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 be much older. 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 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 holding a Lurcher illegally was death. In the UK, lurchers hunt rabbits, hares, foxes, rats, and game birds. They were used as messenger dogs by the British Army in World War 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 is no set “standard” for what makes up the Lurcher breed. You see, breeders are a bit “loose” with the different dog breeds they use to create Luchers, which is probably why they will remain “un-recognized.”

But that hasn’t prevented the Lurcher dog from becoming quite popular in America, where hunters and farmers like to use it to hunt foxes, coyotes, and jackrabbits. They’re also used for lure coursing as well. But there are few better than Lurchers when it comes to hunting dogs.

Physical Characteristics

Lurchers are tall dogs and have a lean, mean, and hungry look about them. They can rise to a height of 27 to 30 inches and weigh between 30 and 100 pounds. They also have a short, harsh coat, a long, tapering tail, and a small head with pricked ears. The skin can be black, black, tan, or grizzle.


Lurchers are often compared with other crossbreedss, such as Longdogs. Lurchers and Longdogs are both sighthounds with the same lean, mean, and hungry look. But they are different:  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 Lurchers make for a better family dog – although both Longdogs and Lurchers are bred to be hunting dogs, not family dogs.

Personality and Temperament

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. Lurchers are OK with humans – it’s the other animals they don’t like. And as you can probably guess, the Lurcher is a very athletic dog and requires a lot of exercise. He is unsuitable for 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 the outdoors and enjoys 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, many better options are available. You see, 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.

Potential Health Concerns

The Lurcher is one of the healthiest breeds, with a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. But he is susceptible to the following primary and minor health concerns…

And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, 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 suitable 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.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Melissa April 15, 2020, 8:20 pm

    Do you know any lurcher breeders?

    • indulgeyourpet April 16, 2020, 8:31 am


      We’re pleased that you find this breed a great one too, however we don’t have any particular advice for you as to how to find a quality Lurcher breeder in your area.



    • holly c. March 29, 2021, 11:55 am

      we have a lurcher called willow and she is 8 weeks old she is really cute and she is very active so I recommend getting one if your looking for a dog

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