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The Lurcher dog breed originated in Ireland and other parts of Great Britain. He is a mixed breed that was created by crossing Sighthounds and non-Sighthounds, which are commonly herding breeds such as Collies or Terriers.
The Lurcher dog is prized as a skilled working dog that is made to hunt game birds, deer, and rabbits.
Lurcher dogs are excellent family pets as they are people-loving, great with kids, and highly adaptable. As they are very family-oriented, they cannot be left on their own at home. Their training is more complex than other dog breeds, so these dogs are more suited for experienced owners.
The Lurcher dog breed is low-maintenance and doesn't require intensive grooming. Since he is bred to hunt, he's an active dog that needs lots of exercises. The average lifespan of this dog breed is 12–15 years.
Are you planning to buy a Lurcher puppy? Here is a brief background of this one-of-a-kind dog breed.
Lurcher dog was bred to be a multipurpose working dog with excellent hunting skills. At the same time, he has the intelligence and loyalty of a companion dog, which are often traits of Pastoral dog breeds.
It is believed that the Lurcher dog breed was brought to Europe by travelling Romany gypsies in the 1600s. This dog was kept as a hunting dog for rabbits, hares, birds, and deer.
Since Lurcher dogs are athletic and graceful canines, it wasn't long before the breed became widely popular as a travelling companion in the UK and Ireland. In 1948, Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald established the Lurcher dog breed standard.
However, major kennel clubs have not yet recognised this dog breed, including the Kennel Club in the UK. Regardless, this hunting dog remains a popular choice in the dog community.
The Lurcher dog is a cross between a Sighthound and another type of dog that is usually a Terrier breed. Some of the breeds of dogs that were used to develop him are the Border Collie, Bedlington Terrier, Bull Terrier, as well as Greyhound, Saluki, Whippet, Scottish Deerhound, and Irish Wolfhound.
Since the Lurcher dog is a cross-breed, he comes in different sizes depending on his mother and father. There is no official standard for this breed.
However, Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald’s rule of thumb states that a true Lurcher adult dog should not exceed 60 centimetres (24 inches) in height and should weigh about 22 kilos (50 pounds).
The Lurcher dog breed’s coat should be short and harsh with a long, thin, tapering tail. Head like a Greyhound with small pricked ears and a deep chest. Colours are grizzle, black, or black and tan.
Since this is not an official standard for the Lurcher dog breed, it is rarely utilised as a basis for breeding.
Some Lurcher dogs with Irish Wolfhound in their bloodline are large, whilst those with the Whippet bloodline are significantly smaller. What they have in common is their elegant and athletic appearance, which is the goal of breeding this dog breed.
Lurcher dogs can either be smooth-coated or rough-coated. Regardless of their coat type, these pooches are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Brushing their coat once or twice weekly will suffice to make sure it is in top condition.
Brushing the Lurcher dog breed also frees his coat from dead hair and matting. However, they shed all-year round and more during spring and autumn, which means they will require frequent brushing.
Aside from making sure that the Lurcher dog breed’s coat is healthy and clean, other grooming aspects must not be overlooked. It's also essential to check and clean the dog's ears regularly to avoid wax build-up and becoming a host of bacteria that often leads to infection.
The same goes for the Lurcher dog's teeth. Brush his teeth preferably daily, if not, at least a couple of times a week. Also avoid painful and uncomfortable overgrown nails that often get tangled on fabric by trimming regularly.
Although the Lurcher dogs are easy to train, they are not ideal for first-time owners. These dogs require more challenging and intensive training sessions that are specific to their needs, which experienced handlers are more capable of carrying out.
Lurcher dogs are good with children, but they are more suitable to live in a home where there are older kids who know how to behave around dogs with a boisterous nature. Regardless of whether the interaction is with older or younger children, they must still be supervised.
The Lurcher dog breed’s temperament varies depending on his parentage. However, a few things are surely accurate, such as being an obedient, well-mannered, loyal, and lovely dog.
Since the Lurcher dog is a cross between a Sighthound and a non-Sighthound, he may exhibit behaviour that is typical to a Hound dog.
Yes, Lurchers are good family pets. It would be fair to define them as endearing and playful dogs, which are affectionate and sensitive at the same time.
No, the Lurcher dog breed cannot be left alone for long periods. He is the type of dog that constantly wants to be together with his family. If left by himself at home, this dog will become destructive and may exhibit separation anxiety. He is not suitable for people who have a hectic lifestyle.
No, Lurchers are not aggressive dogs, but if they lack proper socialisation, it can lead them to exhibit aggression. For this reason, Lurcher puppies should be socialised at a young age. Abuse can also result in aggression. Thus, be sure that your home is a safe and comforting place for your mixed-breed dog.
No. Generally, Lurchers do not bark a lot. But some tend to be barkers, especially if they are bred from yappy breeds such as the Border Collie.
The Lurcher dogs were developed to be stealthy hunting dogs with a friendly nature. They are not natural watchdogs, but they can be trained to let their owners know when someone is around.
Yes, Lurchers tend to bite and nip as they have a high prey drive. They are not ideal for families with small dogs and cats. When socialised early, they can coexist with other pets, especially when they grow up together.
An adult Lurcher dog needs around 2–2.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day. Providing your dog with a balanced diet with the proper amount is vital to keep him healthy.
The type and amount of food to give to your Lurcher will vary depending on his age, size, activity level, build, and metabolism. To accurately judge how much to feed your dog, consult a trusted veterinarian.
Here are the typical daily calorie needs of an adult Lurcher dog weighing 27 kilos (60 pounds):
Feed your Lurcher dog breed commercial dog food with balanced nutrition wherein animal protein is the top ingredient. However, the most suitable diet for this dog breed is a raw diet with lots of bones.
Also, since the Lurcher dog breed is an active dog, make sure that you buy premium-quality dog food that is formulated for dogs with high energy levels.
The Lurcher dog is a generally healthy breed, but he is not immune to health issues. Health problems affecting this dog breed may include:
It is a painful bone tumour that is commonly affecting the limbs. Although this disease cannot be cured, treatments are available to ease the pain. Commonly, a dog with osteosarcoma needs to have his affected limbs amputated.
It is a condition wherein the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This is one of the common contributors to the development of hypothyroidism in Lurcher dogs. Annual health testing for this disease is recommended to ensure that your dog is free from this disease.
Contrary to popular belief, Lurcher dogs are couch potatoes. However, they have high energy levels and cannot live indoors without sufficient exercise. To keep your dog fit and mentally stimulated, he should have 1–2 hours of exercise and playtime daily.
Take your Lurcher dog for a long daily walk, especially if you live in a home without a back garden. This dog breed loves to run and will like nothing more than to give chase to whatever is running.
Indulging the Lurcher in his favourite activity, which is to run free, would be good, but make sure that it's done in a safely enclosed environment where there are secured fences to keep him from escaping.
The Lurcher dog breed has an average lifespan of 12–15 years. As this breed is susceptible to several health issues, it would be best to keep up with regular vet check-ups.
The price tag for Lurcher puppies for sale usually ranges from £500–£1,000. Acquire your dog from a reputable breeder who makes sure that their puppies that are ready to leave are healthy and stable-tempered.
Your Lurcher puppy will require high-quality dog food to keep him well-nourished. His monthly food cost will range from £20–£30.
If you plan to welcome a new canine companion in your home, you will need to purchase his doggy supplies. The overall expenses for necessities such as lead, toys, collar, and food and water bowls are around £100–£400.
Maintaining your Lurcher puppy’s health means he needs to be vet-checked regularly. You may need to spend approximately £30–£60 for each check-up session.
Vaccinations are needed in young puppies to lower the risk of contracting fatal canine diseases. Prepare to pay around £100–£150 for your Lurcher puppy’s first vaccine shots. Don’t forget to set aside £50–£60 for annual boosters.
When caring for a Lurcher puppy, dealing with expensive medical bills is inevitable. Get pet insurance to reduce his vet expenses. Opting for a lifetime coverage has a monthly fee of £18–£80. If you settle for a time-limited package, you will have to pay around £15–20 every month.
Lurcher dogs are commonly used for hunting. It is with a heavy heart to know that when they are no longer of use to their owners, these dogs are then neglected and abandoned.
We encourage potential Lurcher owners to consider adoption. Countless Lurcher dogs are sent to Lurcher rescue organisations and in need of loving and committed family homes.
Are you sure the Lurcher is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still not sure about the Lurcher? Check out our Pet Finder for other suggested breeds that you may find suitable.
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A Sighthound is a branch of the Hound Group, which is a classification of dog breeds created for tracking and capturing prey. Dogs that fall under the Sighthound category were bred to hunt by sight and speed. For this reason, they are popularly known as ‘Ferraris of the dog world.’