Lurcher

60-70 lbs
22-28"
Great Britain

The Lurcher is a specific type of mixed breed dog rather than a breed of its own; a combination of any type of sighthound mixed with any dog that is not a sighthound. 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. 

Purpose
Hunting
Date of Origin
Middle Ages
Ancestry
Sight-hound

Lurcher Health

Average Size
Male Lurcher size stats
Height: 22-28 inches Weight: 60-70 lbs
Female Lurcher size stats
Height: 22-28 inches Weight: 60-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Heat Stroke
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat
Minor Concerns
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Foot and Toenail Injuries
  • Eye Conditions (Cataracts, Lens Luxation)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Osteosarcoma
Occasional Tests
  • Eye Examinations
  • Blood And Urine Analysis
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging
  • Bone Biopsy

Lurcher Breed History

A Lurcher, rather than being an actual breed of dog, is a specific category of mixed breed dog, the combination between any breed of sighthound and any other breed of dog, although the shepherding breeds, hunting dogs, and terrier breeds are the most common crosses. While accidental breeding between sighthounds and other dogs have probably been going on as long as there have been sighthounds, 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 sighthounds. In order to skirt these laws, the common people frequently bred their dogs with the sighthounds, 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 sighthounds 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 sighthound 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.

Lurcher Breed Appearance

The appearance of the Lurcher dog can vary quite a bit from dog to dog. Most of these dogs will have the long, lean shape of the sighthound, along with their deep chest, and powerful, muscular legs. They have heads that tend to be rather long and narrow in shape with muzzles that are long and either straight or tapered. Because there are a number of crosses that can legitimately be called a Lurcher dog, there can be quite a bit of difference between dogs when it comes to size, color, facial features, and coat quality. The most popular Lurcher combinations generally end up being between twenty-two and twenty-eight inches at the shoulder and between sixty and seventy pounds, but that can vary based on parentage. While the sighthounds typically have a very short, single-layer coat, some of the dogs that they have been mixed with have very different coats, which they can pass on to their offspring. 

Eye Color Possibilities
blue Lurcher eyes
Blue
hazel Lurcher eyes
Hazel
brown Lurcher eyes
Brown
amber Lurcher eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
blue Lurcher nose
Blue
black Lurcher nose
Black
brown Lurcher nose
Brown
isabella Lurcher nose
Isabella
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Lurcher coat
Brindle
sable Lurcher coat
Sable
white Lurcher coat
White
pied Lurcher coat
Pied
silver Lurcher coat
Silver
blue Lurcher coat
Blue
fawn Lurcher coat
Fawn
isabella Lurcher coat
Isabella
cream Lurcher coat
Cream
red Lurcher coat
Red
brown Lurcher coat
Brown
gray Lurcher coat
Gray
black Lurcher coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Lurcher straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Lurcher Breed Maintenance

The Lurcher is typically a fairly easy dog to maintain, although this can vary somewhat, depending on the breeds that were combined to develop your particular canine. In most cases, bathing will only be required a few times a year, and overly frequent bathing may even strip natural oils from the coat of this dog, particularly if they inherited a double-layer weather resistant coat from their non-sighthound parent. Those that are mixed with dogs like Bull Terriers will retain that short, single-layer coat which can typically be kept clean and healthy with weekly brushings with a rubber curry comb or a gentle wipe down with a moist towel. Many of the Shepherding dogs may contribute a double layer coat which can sometimes be thicker and require more grooming and dogs with wire-haired Terrier influence may have a coat that requires occasional stripping. 

Brushes for Lurcher
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Lurcher requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Lurcher Temperament

The Lurcher tends to retain the gentle, good-natured quality that you will find in most sighthound breeds, but are also typically fun-loving canines with a great deal of affection for their family. They are typically well-mannered, except for their habit of stealing food that doesn’t belong to them, and they are known for their exceptionally strong prey drive, particularly those with Terrier influence as well as sight-hound. They do tend to do fairly well with children, but how well depends a great deal on the influence of the non-sighthound contribution. Its safest for both child and canine to ensure that all interactions between children and canines are closely supervised. Lurchers are not typically recommended for homes with other small pets such as cats, rodents, or even other smaller dogs, unless they can be socialized early as their prey drive may cause them to give chase to other animals and sometimes even kill them.  

Lurcher Activity Requirements

Lurcher type dogs seem to be universally active in short spurts, much like their sighthound ancestors. While they require a place to get a little running in on a daily basis, they have a tendency to be real couch potatoes at home. Along with running and walking, an activity that should never be done without a leash due to this dog’s highly-developed prey drive, your Lurcher may enjoy and even excel at activities such as lure coursing and agility training. They also tend to be very quiet compared to many breeds and even the larger Lurchers can make suitable pets for people with smaller living spaces, provided they get enough activity during the day. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Lurcher Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Lurcher Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Lurcher size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 45 lbs
Female Lurcher size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 45 lbs
12 Months
Male Lurcher size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 58 lbs
Female Lurcher size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 58 lbs
18 Months
Male Lurcher size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 65 lbs
Female Lurcher size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 65 lbs

Lurcher Owner Experiences

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