Lurcher is a playful, affectionate and agile dog that is derived from sighthound crosses. The name Lurcher is derived from ancient Romani language words “lur” meaning thief and “cur” meaning mixed breed of dog.
Lurcher breed dogs were originally developed in Ireland and Great Britain during the late 1600s by Romany Gypsies when common people were banned from owning purebred sighthounds like Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound and Whippet.
Hence, the breed was developed by cross breeding of sighthounds and other breeds like herding dogs, terriers or collies. Lurcher dogs are more common in UK than other parts of the world. These dogs are generally used for hunting hares and foxes.
The breed is not recognized and hence there are no specific breed standards for Lurcher dogs. Still, generally, these dogs tend to be similar to Greyhound dogs in terms of size.
Their legs are mostly long, straight and muscular. Chest is deep. Their small eyes are dark in color and round in shape. The high set ears are likely to be small in size and feathered with wire hair. Ear cropping and tail docking is usually not done.
Color: These dogs are available in a variety of colors, depending on the parent breeds.
Height: The average height of both male as well as female Lurchers is usually about 22 to 28 inches.
Weight: The average weight of Lurcher dog breed ranges between 60 to 70 pounds.
These dogs are generally considered healthy. Nonetheless, issues like bloating, Arthritis, eye problems and other common dog diseases are not uncommon in them.
Life Expectancy: On an average, Lurcher life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: Variable
Lurcher dogs are available in two varieties, that is, short haired or long haired. Some of these dogs are likely to shed the hair coat heavily whereas some shed moderately.
Lurcher grooming focuses on regular brushing and combing of the hair coat, whether it is long or short. Other grooming responsibilities include bathing, nail trimming, checking and cleaning the eyes and ears etc.
Lurcher temperament is loyal, obedient, calm, affectionate, fun loving and easy going. Besides, these agile dogs have strong hunting instincts. In fact, they were originally used for hare coursing. The larger ones were also used for hunting large game like deer and wild boar.
Nowadays, they are also adored as delightful family pets. More often than not, Lurcher dogs are mild mannered and gentle around other people. They are generally tolerant with kids.
In terms of dog training, Lurcher puppies are easy to train because they tend to learn commands quickly. Apart from training, early socialization helps to keep these dogs disciplined and avoid behavioral problems.
They enjoy human companionship. Lurcher dog personality depends a lot on the temperament of parent breeds used for developing these dogs.
You may be wondering that these fast and highly energetic dogs must be requiring plenty of exercise. But, this is just a misconception. These dogs just require moderate amount of exercise.
Thus, Lurcher dogs should be provided with ample space in a safe enclosed area where they can run off leash. In addition, you need to take the dog out for his routine walks, at least once every day.
Lurcher dogs are not considered suitable for urban dwelling because of their immense energy. Moreover, they love to chase and kill smaller animals. In terms of competitions, Lurcher dogs can be good at sports like dog racing, obedience and agility.