Skip to content

Lurcher

Lurcher Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A crossbreed between a greyhound/sighthound and a herding/terrier dog, they are known for their speed and agility.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Lurchers are typically considered a Medium-sized dog breed.
Weight:20-35 kg.
Height:60-75 cm (24-30 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:60-75 cm.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Lurcher is around 12-15 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Lurcher, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Lurchers are a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed, typically a terrier or a herding dog. As a result, their personality and temperament can vary depending on the breeds involved in their lineage. However, there are some general characteristics that are common among Lurchers.

Lurchers are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. They are loyal and devoted to their owners and love to be around people. They are also intelligent and curious, always eager to explore and learn new things. Lurchers have a strong prey drive, which means they may chase after small animals such as squirrels or rabbits. However, with proper training and socialization, they can learn to control their instincts.

Lurchers are generally calm and laid-back dogs. They are not usually aggressive or territorial and they get along well with other dogs and pets. They are also good with children and make excellent family pets. Lurchers are not typically barkers, but they may howl or make other vocalizations when they are excited or anxious.

Lurchers are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy going for walks or runs and playing games such as fetch or tug-of-war. They are also good at agility and other dog sports. Lurchers can be sensitive and may become anxious or fearful if they are not socialized properly. They may also have a tendency to wander or chase after small animals if they are not trained to do otherwise.

In summary, Lurchers are gentle, affectionate and intelligent dogs that make great family pets. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation and can be sensitive and anxious if not socialized properly. With proper training and socialization, they can be well-behaved and obedient companions.

Intelligence

Lurchers are generally considered to be intelligent dogs. They are a crossbreed between sighthounds and other breeds, which gives them a combination of intelligence, speed and agility. Lurchers are renowned for their ability to think independently and problem-solve, which makes them excellent hunting dogs. They are also quick learners and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including obedience, agility and even search and rescue. Overall, Lurchers are considered to be smart and adaptable dogs that can excel in a variety of roles.

Trainability

Lurchers are generally considered to be intelligent and trainable dogs. However, like all dogs, the ease of training will depend on the individual dog’s personality, temperament and previous experiences. Lurchers are known to have a strong prey drive, so it is important to socialize and train them from a young age to prevent them from chasing after small animals. Positive reinforcement training methods, such as using treats and praise, can be effective in training Lurchers. Consistency, patience and a firm but gentle approach are also important when training Lurchers. Overall, with proper training and socialization, Lurchers can be well-behaved and obedient companions.

Sleep

Lurchers, like all dogs, need a lot of sleep to stay healthy and happy. On average, Lurchers sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may need more sleep, while younger, more active Lurchers may need less. It’s important to ensure that your Lurcher has a comfortable and quiet place to sleep and that they are able to get the rest they need to stay healthy and happy.

Bark

Lurchers are generally not excessive barkers. They tend to bark only when necessary, such as to alert their owners of potential danger or to communicate with other dogs. However, like all dogs, individual Lurchers may have their own unique personalities and tendencies, so it is important to socialize and train them properly to minimize any unwanted barking behavior.

Drool

Lurchers are not heavy droolers. However, like all dogs, some individuals may drool more than others. Factors such as age, health and breed can also affect the amount of drooling. Overall, Lurchers are not considered to be a breed that drools excessively.

Lick

Lurchers, like most dogs, may lick their owners or themselves occasionally as a way of showing affection or grooming themselves. However, excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety or boredom and should be addressed. It is important to observe your Lurcher’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if you have concerns about their licking habits.

Jump

Lurchers are a crossbreed between a Greyhound and a working breed such as a Collie or a Terrier. They are known for their speed and agility, which makes them excellent jumpers. On average, Lurchers can jump up to 6 feet high, but some can jump even higher due to their size, strength and training. However, it’s important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints, so it’s best to limit their jumping activities and provide them with proper exercise and training.

Dig

Lurchers are not excessive diggers. However, like all dogs, they may dig occasionally, especially if they are bored or trying to escape from a fenced yard. Providing your Lurcher with enough exercise, mental stimulation and attention can help prevent digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Lurcher the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Lurcher.

Exercise

Lurchers are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They typically need at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs and playtime in a secure, fenced area. Lurchers also enjoy activities such as agility, lure coursing and other forms of dog sports. It’s important to note that the amount of exercise a Lurcher needs can vary based on their age, health and individual temperament, so it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer to determine the appropriate level of exercise for your specific dog.

Space

Lurchers are medium to large-sized dogs that require a moderate amount of space. They are active and energetic dogs that need daily exercise and playtime. Ideally, they should have access to a securely fenced yard where they can run and play safely. However, they can also adapt well to apartment living if they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. As with any dog, it’s important to provide them with enough space to move around comfortably and access to fresh air and natural light.

Apartment

Lurchers can be a good dog to get if you live in an apartment, but it depends on the individual dog and their needs. Lurchers are a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed and they can vary in size and energy level. Some Lurchers may be more active and require more exercise than others, so it’s important to research the specific breed mix of the Lurcher you are considering and make sure their exercise needs can be met in an apartment setting. Additionally, Lurchers can be sensitive and may not do well in a noisy or chaotic environment, so it’s important to provide them with a calm and comfortable living space. Overall, Lurchers can make great apartment dogs if their needs are met and they receive proper training and socialization.

Left Alone

Lurchers, like any other dog breed, may have varying degrees of tolerance for being left alone. However, as a general rule, Lurchers are social animals and may not do well with prolonged periods of isolation. They thrive on human companionship and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long. It is recommended to gradually introduce them to being alone for short periods of time and provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them occupied while you are away. Additionally, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to check on them during the day can also help alleviate their anxiety and loneliness.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Lurchers can be good with kids and families. They are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, which makes them great companions for children. However, it is important to note that Lurchers are sighthounds and may have a strong prey drive, which means they may chase small animals or even small children if they are running around. Therefore, it is important to supervise interactions between Lurchers and children, especially younger ones and to train them to be gentle and calm around kids. Overall, Lurchers can make great family pets if they are socialized and trained properly.

Perfect Fit

Lurchers are a great fit for households that have a lot of space for them to run and play. They are active dogs that require plenty of exercise, so families with a large backyard or access to a nearby park or trail would be ideal. They also do well with families that have older children who can handle their energy and playfulness. Lurchers are generally friendly and affectionate dogs, but they may not be the best fit for households with smaller pets like cats or rabbits, as their prey drive can be quite strong. Overall, Lurchers make great pets for families that are active and have plenty of love to give.

Pros and Cons:

Owning a Lurcher also comes with its own set of pros and cons.

ProsCons
1. Loyal and affectionate1. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
2. Low maintenance grooming2. High energy and require lots of exercise
3. Excellent hunters and great for outdoor activities3. Can have a high prey drive and may not be suitable for homes with small pets
4. Good with children and other dogs4. May have health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems
5. Unique and eye-catching appearance5. Can be prone to separation anxiety and destructive behavior if left alone for long periods of time

Overall, owning a Lurcher can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and exercise them properly. However, it is important to consider the potential challenges and health issues that may come with this breed before making a decision to bring one into your home.

Cost:

The cost of a Lurcher in Australia can vary depending on factors such as the breeder, location and the dog’s age and pedigree. On average, a Lurcher puppy can cost between $500 to $1500 AUD. However, it is important to do thorough research and choose a reputable breeder to ensure the health and well-being of the dog. Additionally, there may be additional costs such as vaccinations, microchipping and registration fees.

Breed History:

Lurchers were originally bred in the United Kingdom as a type of sighthound that was used for hunting game such as rabbits, hares and foxes. They were created by crossing various breeds of sighthounds, such as Greyhounds, Whippets and Salukis, with working dogs such as Terriers, Collies and Bulldogs.

The resulting Lurcher was a versatile hunting dog that could use its speed and agility to chase down prey, as well as its intelligence and tenacity to track and catch game. Lurchers were often used by poachers, who would crossbreed sighthounds with working dogs to create a dog that was fast, agile and could work silently.

Today, Lurchers are still used for hunting and coursing in some parts of the world, but they are also popular as family pets due to their loyal and affectionate nature. They are known for their athleticism, intelligence and adaptability and can excel in a variety of activities such as agility, obedience and flyball.

Current Usage

Lurchers are commonly used as pets, but they also have a history of being used as working dogs. Here are some of the ways Lurchers are currently being used:

  1. Hunting: Lurchers are often used for hunting small game such as rabbits and hares. They have a keen sense of smell and sight, making them excellent at tracking and catching prey.
  2. Racing: Lurchers are also used in racing competitions, where they compete against other dogs in a race to the finish line. These races are often held at country fairs and other events.
  3. Therapy: Lurchers make great therapy dogs due to their calm and gentle nature. They are often used in hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort and companionship to patients.
  4. Search and Rescue: Lurchers have been trained to assist in search and rescue operations. They are able to cover large areas quickly and can use their sense of smell to locate missing persons.
  5. Agility: Lurchers are also used in agility competitions, where they navigate obstacle courses and perform tricks. They are known for their speed and agility, making them great competitors in these events.

Overall, Lurchers are versatile dogs that can be used for a variety of purposes. While they are commonly kept as pets, they also have a long history of being used as working dogs.

Guard Dogs

Lurchers are not typically known for their guarding instincts and are not commonly used as guard dogs. They are more commonly used for hunting and as companion animals. While they may bark to alert their owners of potential intruders, they are generally not aggressive and may not be effective as guard dogs. If you are looking for a guard dog, it is best to consider breeds that are specifically bred for this purpose.

Where Are They Found?

Lurchers are most popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were originally bred in these countries for hunting and racing purposes and they have remained popular as companion animals. Lurchers are also gaining popularity in other countries, such as the United States, Canada and Australia, where they are appreciated for their athleticism, intelligence and affectionate nature.

Climate

Lurchers can adapt to a variety of climates, but they are best suited to moderate climates with mild temperatures. They have a short coat that does not provide much insulation, so they may struggle in extreme cold or hot weather. Lurchers also enjoy being active outdoors, so a climate with moderate temperatures and plenty of opportunities for exercise would be ideal for them.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Lurchers in the world as they are not recognized as a distinct breed by most kennel clubs. Lurchers are a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed, typically a working breed such as a terrier or a herding breed. They are popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland as hunting and racing dogs, but they are also kept as pets. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Lurchers in the world, but there is no accurate count available.

Physical Appearance:

Lurchers are a type of dog that typically have a lean and athletic build. They are usually medium to large in size and have a long, slender body with long legs. Their coat can vary in texture and length, but is often short and smooth. Lurchers can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including black, brindle, fawn and white. They have a long, narrow head with a pointed snout and large, expressive eyes. Lurchers are renowned for their speed and agility and are often used for hunting and racing. They have a gentle and affectionate nature and make great family pets.

Coat:

Colours:

Lurchers can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including black, white, fawn, brindle, blue, red, cream and more. They may also have markings such as spots, patches or stripes. The exact color and pattern of a Lurcher can vary depending on the breed(s) that make up its genetic makeup.

Hair/Fur Length:

Lurchers can have varying lengths of hair depending on their breed mix. Some Lurchers have short hair, while others have medium to long hair. It also depends on the individual dog’s genetics and coat type.

Shedding:

Yes, Lurchers do shed, but the amount of shedding can vary based on the specific dog’s coat type. Lurchers with a short, smooth coat will shed less than those with a longer, wiry coat. Regular grooming and brushing can help to minimize shedding and keep the coat healthy and shiny.

Grooming:

The grooming needs of a Lurcher depend on the type of coat it has. If it has a short, smooth coat, it will require minimal grooming, such as weekly brushing to remove loose hair and dirt. However, if it has a longer or wiry coat, it may require more frequent brushing and occasional trimming to prevent matting and tangling.

Lurchers do not typically require haircuts, but some owners may choose to trim the hair around their ears, paws and tail for a neater appearance. It is important to note that cutting a Lurcher’s hair too short can expose their skin to the sun and cold weather, so it is best to consult with a professional groomer before making any major changes to their coat.

Hypoallergenic:

Lurchers are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a short, smooth coat that sheds moderately, which can cause allergies in some people. However, some individuals with allergies may be able to tolerate Lurchers better than other breeds due to their low dander production. It is recommended that individuals with allergies spend time with a Lurcher before adopting one to see if they have a reaction. Regular grooming and vacuuming can also help reduce allergens in the home.

Speed:

Lurchers are a crossbreed between Greyhounds and other breeds and they can run at a top speed of around 72 kph (45 mph).

Health:

Lurchers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues Lurchers may face include:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness.
  • Bloat: a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply to the organs.
  • Heart disease: Lurchers may be prone to heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Skin allergies: Lurchers may be prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness and hair loss.

It’s important to work with a reputable breeder and schedule regular vet check-ups to help prevent and manage any health issues that may arise.

Teeth:

Lurchers typically have 42 teeth, which is the same number of teeth as most other dog breeds.

Eyesight:

Lurchers are sight hounds, which means they have excellent eyesight. They have a keen sense of vision and are able to spot prey from a distance. Their eyes are also adapted to low light conditions, making them effective hunters during dawn and dusk.

Nipples:

Lurchers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Lurchers can vary based on the size and breed of the parents. On average, Lurchers can have litters of 4-8 puppies. However, some litters may have as few as 1-2 puppies or as many as 10-12 puppies. It is important to note that the size of the litter can also be influenced by factors such as the age and health of the mother, as well as the quality of care she receives during pregnancy.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Lurchers, which are a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed, is typically around 63 days. However, the exact length of gestation can vary slightly depending on factors such as the size of the litter and the health of the mother. It is important to provide proper care and nutrition to the pregnant Lurcher during this time to ensure the health of both the mother and the puppies.

Heat:

Lurchers, like all dogs, go into heat or estrus cycles, which typically occur twice a year. However, the frequency of heat cycles can vary based on the individual dog and breed. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for managing your dog’s heat cycles.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Lurchers, like most dog breeds, have some differences in terms of size and temperament. Males tend to be larger and more muscular than females, with a height range of 25-31 inches and a weight range of 50-70 pounds, while females typically stand between 24-29 inches and weigh 45-60 pounds. In terms of temperament, females are often more independent and reserved, while males tend to be more outgoing and affectionate. However, these differences can change greatly due to the individual dog’s personality and upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

If you are considering adding a Lurcher to your family, here are some tips and advice for caring for them:

  • Exercise: Lurchers are high-energy dogs that require plenty of exercise. They love to run and play, so be sure to provide them with plenty of opportunities to do so.
  • Training: Lurchers are intelligent dogs that are eager to please, but they can be stubborn at times. Consistent training and positive reinforcement are key to helping them learn and grow.
  • Socialization: Lurchers are social dogs that thrive on human interaction and companionship. They also get along well with other dogs, but early socialization is important to ensure they develop good social skills.
  • Grooming: Lurchers have short, smooth coats that require minimal grooming. However, they do shed, so regular brushing can help keep their coat healthy and shiny.
  • Nutrition: Lurchers have high metabolisms and require a balanced diet that is rich in protein and nutrients. Be sure to feed them high-quality dog food and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.
  • Health: Lurchers are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Regular vet check-ups and preventative care can help keep them healthy and happy.
  • Safety: Lurchers are fast and agile dogs that love to chase, so it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a secure, fenced area to prevent them from running off or getting into dangerous situations.
  • Love and attention: Lurchers are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on love and attention from their owners. Be sure to give them plenty of affection and attention to help them feel happy and secure.

Food:

The amount of food a Lurcher needs depends on their age, size and activity level. Generally, adult Lurchers need 2-3 cups of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two meals. However, it’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their food intake accordingly.

Lurchers can be food-oriented dogs, but it varies from individual to individual. Some Lurchers may have a strong food drive and be more motivated by treats, while others may not be as food-motivated. It’s important to use positive reinforcement training techniques and find the right motivators for each individual dog.

Facts:

Lurchers are a type of dog that have a fascinating history and unique characteristics. Here are three interesting facts about Lurchers:

  1. Lurchers were originally bred in the United Kingdom for hunting purposes. They are a cross between a sighthound (such as a Greyhound or Whippet) and a working breed (such as a Terrier or Collie). This combination created a dog that was fast and agile, with a keen sense of smell and a strong prey drive.
  2. Lurchers are known for their intelligence and trainability. They are quick learners and excel in a variety of activities, including agility, obedience and lure coursing. They are also often used as therapy dogs due to their gentle and affectionate nature.
  3. Lurchers come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. They can range from small and wiry to large and muscular and their coats can be smooth, rough or wiry. They also come in a range of colors, including black, white, brindle and fawn. This diversity makes them a popular choice for dog lovers who are looking for a unique and versatile companion.

Names:

Lurchers are a unique breed that often have a mix of different breeds in their lineage, making them a versatile and adaptable companion. When it comes to naming your Lurcher, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their individual personality and characteristics. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Lurcher:

1. Scout6. Juno11. Koda
2. Luna7. Jasper12. Ryder
3. Finn8. Blaze13. Phoenix
4. Willow9. Nova14. Maverick
5. Ace10. Zephyr15. Indie

Famous:

Lurchers are a unique breed of dog that have been used for hunting and racing for centuries. Over time, they have become popular as pets and have even made their way into popular culture. Here are some of the most famous Lurchers of all time:

  1. Gypsy – Owned by Queen Victoria, Gypsy was a beloved Lurcher who accompanied the queen on many of her travels.
  2. Hairy Maclary – The star of a popular children’s book series, Hairy Maclary is a mischievous Lurcher who goes on many adventures with his friends.
  3. Greyfriars Bobby – While not technically a Lurcher, Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became famous for guarding his owner’s grave for 14 years. In the movie adaptation of his story, he is portrayed as a Lurcher.
  4. The Greyhound in “The Artist” – In the Academy Award-winning movie “The Artist,” a Lurcher (played by a Greyhound) named Uggie steals the show with his charming antics.
  5. The Lurcher in “Peaky Blinders” – In the popular TV series “Peaky Blinders,” the character of Alfie Solomons is often seen with his Lurcher, who he affectionately calls “Dog.”
  6. The Lurcher in “Game of Thrones” – In the hit TV series “Game of Thrones,” the character of Sandor Clegane (aka The Hound) travels with a Lurcher named Stranger.
  7. The Lurcher in “The Witcher” – In the Netflix series “The Witcher,” the character of Geralt of Rivia has a Lurcher named Roach who accompanies him on his adventures.

These famous Lurchers have captured the hearts of many and have helped to make the breed more well-known and beloved.

Summary:

A Lurcher is a type of dog that is a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed, usually a herding or terrier breed. They were originally bred in the United Kingdom for hunting small game, such as rabbits and hares.

Lurchers are famous for their athleticism and speed, as well as their intelligence and loyalty. They are typically medium to large-sized dogs, with a lean and muscular build. Their coat can vary depending on the breeds they are crossed with, but they are generally short-haired and easy to maintain.

In terms of personality, Lurchers are often described as gentle, affectionate and playful. They are known to be good with children and other pets, although they may have a high prey drive due to their hunting instincts.

Lurchers have a long history in the UK, dating back to the 14th century. They were originally bred by poachers who crossed sighthounds with other breeds to create a dog that was fast and agile enough to catch small game, but also versatile enough to work in different terrains.

As pets, Lurchers can make great companions for active families or individuals who enjoy outdoor activities. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation, but are generally easy to train and eager to please their owners. However, potential owners should be aware of their high prey drive and ensure that they are properly socialized and trained.