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Breeds 101

Lurcher

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Lurchers were bred to hunt rabbit and hare in Ireland and England by Irish gypsies and tinkers in the 1600's; Lurcher is a crossbreed, usually three quarters sight hound but can have any amount of sight hound. The most common combinations are the Greyhound-Collie, and the Greyhound-Terrier.

Poachers and hunters given the lurcher’s combination of speed and intelligence. The breed has the strong hunting instincts of the sight hounds; also proved to be a good, obedient dog that learns commands fast. Most prized was the short haired Lurcher, descended from greyhounds, and used for poaching rabbits and hares.

The name Lurcher is a derived from the Romany word lur, which means thief. The archaic meaning of the word Lurcher is a prowler, swindler, or petty thief.

Rarely seen outside Ireland and Great Britain, and never bred to a specific standard, the Lurcher is still an extremely common dog in its native islands.

Today, breeding is carried out in a more systematic manner, with Lurcher bred to Lurcher to perpetuate the breed’s prowess at rabbit and hare coursing. There are both, short and long haired varieties.

This dog is gentle with people, but it has high energy demands and is not well suited to city life. It is a natural racer, and will chase and kill any small game.

Size:

22 to 28 inches; 60 to 70 pounds. Lurchers vary in size and coat type, depending on the cross used to create them. They may be as small as a Whippet or as large as a Greyhound or Scottish Deerhound, with a weight range of 35 to 100 pounds.

Colour:

Variety or colours.

Temperament:

The Lurcher’s temperament varies depending on whether your dog is a Sighthound-Terrier cross, or a Sighthound-Collie cross. Generally, this is a gentle, good natured dog who needs a definite pack leader.

Energy level:

High.

Best owner:

Active owner in a suburban home. The Lurcer is usually not recommended for city life; it is a very high energy dog.

Needs:

The Lurcher needs to go for a walk at least once a day; it is extremely fast and it’s a natural racer; be sure to provide a safe area for this dog to run so it does not get hit by a car; Both, the longhaired and shorthaired variety of the Lurcher should be combed and brushed regularly.

Life expectancy:

About 13 years.