Lurcher Dog Breed Facts & Information

Lurcher Dog Breed Facts & Information
credit: charlilsams1

They're tall. They're thin. They're the models of the doggy world. Lurcher dogs are a crossbreed between a sighthound and usually a collie or a terrier.

Originally used as hunting dogs, Lurchers are bred more for their working ability than their looks. These pups are agile, fast, and have excellent eyesight. We refuse, however, to leave out just how adorable they can be! Check out some essential facts about these lean, skilled beauties.

The Basics

Known mostly for their long, thin legs, lurchers are tall dogs with agile bodies. On average, they fall between 22-28 inches and 60-70 pounds with a life expectancy of approximately 13 years. Lurchers belong to the sighthound group and do not have any major health problems. Occasionally, however, they may have issues with hip dysplasia, back problems or bloating.

Lurcher
credit: hjbliss

The History

Lurchers were originally associated with English poachers and gypsies from the early 18th century. The crossbreed's name comes from the word lur meaning "bandit" or "thief."

Lurchers are a mix between sighthounds and either herding or terrier breeds, depending on the desires of the breeder. They were bred for their high-level hunting skills. Although the breed is not that common in the U.S., lurchers are still used as hunting dogs in Great Britain and to a lesser extent the U.S. They have their own shows and are at times used as racing or coursing dogs.

As strictly working dogs, there is still no push to get this crossbreed recognized by any registry including the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.

Lurcher in snow
credit: ladydina

The Personality

As a hunting dog, a prized Lurcher has speed, courage, intelligence, and endurance. Lurchers are not ideally made for city life and thrive in large spaces as they have high energy levels. These spaces, however, should be enclosed with a large fence. If a lurcher spots other small animals, its hunting instincts will kick in and the dog may take off running after its perceived prey.

Lurchers require an owner who is experienced and that can train the dog with a firm, consistent, and kind approach. Due to the high intelligence, this breed is easy to train, even with their independent nature. Training should begin from a young age. Ideally, owners want to look for a lurcher that has parents with nice personalities and start socialization early.

With his owner, a lurcher is calm and affectionate and can spend time relaxing on the couch when he's not out chasing bunnies. The dog is friendly and affectionate with children; however, may become confrontational with other small animals, especially cats.

The Appearance

Lurchers have short or long coats with smooth undercoats that thicken in the winter. Their long legs are a key contributor to their speed while their deep chests provide the long capacity for high endurance. Because Lurchers ascend from sighthound crosses, their coats can vary greatly in color.

This breed sheds a lot, whether short-haired or long-haired. These dogs are not ideal for those with allergies.

Lurcher essential facts:

  • Personality: Intelligent, courageous, affectionate
  • Energy Level: Very active
  • Barking Level: Moderate
  • Shedding: Frequent
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Trainability: Very good
  • Height: 1

    22-28 inches

  • Weight: 60-70 pounds

  • Life Expectancy: 13 years