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Lurcher Breed Summary

Energetic, Fast, Affectionate and Sociable

The Lurcher is a specific type of mixed breed dog rather than a breed of its own; a combination of any type of sight hound mixed with any dog that is not a sight hound. This can have a variety of different results and although Lurcher-type dogs are typically long, lean, and leggy, they can vary quite a bit in size and structure, as well as in color, coat type, and in the shape and color of their eyes. They are typically quiet, gentle dogs which, with the proper exercise, can thrive in apartments as well as in larger homes, but they do have an extremely high prey drive and, in some cases, may not be able to be trusted around smaller animals.
Lifespan 12 - 15 years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 22in - 28in
Weight Males and Females 60lb - 70lb
Coat They can have either Fine and Close Coats or, they can have Rough, Coarse Coats or Smoother Ones (Dependent on Parent Breeds)
Color Black, White, Red, Blue, Fawn, Fallow, Brindle
Eye color Dark
Common health issues Bloat, Heart problems, Bone cancer, A sensitivity to anaesthetic and certain drugs, Ivermectin sensitivity, Sodium pentothal anaesthetic sensitivity, Eye issues, Hypothyroidism, Muscle and foot injuries, Torn toenails

Lurchers are well known for their calm and affectionate ways; however, they can become very timid or aggressive if not trained properly. It is therefore vital to start training and socializing these pups from a young age to stop any unsavory personality characteristics from developing. Because they are built to run, you will need a high and strong fence to stop your pooch from running into roads or other busy areas. Needless to say, these dogs are not happy if solely kept outside, but would rather be inside with the attention of their families where they can be sociable and warm. This breed loves to go on long walks, so it’s vital they get exercise every day and also the opportunity to run free in a large, safe and enclosed area so they can release some energy!

A Lurcher, rather than being an actual breed of dog, is a specific category of mixed breed dog, the combination between any breed of sight hound and any other breed of dog, although the shepherding breeds, hunting dogs, and terrier breeds are the most common crosses. While accidental breeding between sight hounds and other dogs have probably been going on as long as there have been sight hounds, most accounts indicate that the intentional breeding of the dog that we call the Lurcher started in Great Britain in response to laws enacted during the Middle Ages that prevented the common people from owning sight hounds. In order to skirt these laws, the common people frequently bred their dogs with the sight hounds, giving them mixed-breed offspring that were not illegal to own, but still possessed the speed and prey drive needed to effectively hunt and kill game for the dinner table.

While Great Britain is most likely the origin of the name Lurcher and may be the largest contributor to the Lurcher population, restricting ownership of sight hounds to nobility also occurred historically in certain parts of Spain, which may have led to the breeding of Lurcher-type dogs there as well. A large number of Lurchers include Greyhound DNA as their sight hound contribution, but Lurchers with contributions from Whippets, Irish Wolfhounds, and Salukis are also popular. None of the major Kennel Clubs recognize the Lurcher as an independent breed, and no standard has been developed, but there are multiple dog shows and competitions in Great Britain that feature Lurcher dogs, usually alongside Terriers.