Are Lurchers Dangerous Dogs? End the Stigma!

by Sonya | Last Updated:   January 3, 2021

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Thinking about having a Lurcher as a pet? Do you want to know whether Lurcher is dangerous or not?

Lurchers are usually a cross between a sighthound breed and a Collie or Terrier. They are quiet dogs who are placid, gentle, loving, and loyal. Lurchers are strong, muscular dogs, with a keen eye and a talent for sprinting.

Lurchers are bred for speed, hunting ability, intelligence, and tenacity. They hunt quietly, without giving any voice.

Are Lurchers dangerous dogs? NO! They are not dangerous dogs. In fact, Lurchers have an undeserved reputation for being dangerous dogs, which causes shelters and pounds to overlook them, unfortunately.

The Lurcher’s temperament resembles that of the sighthound. They are calm and affectionate but not demonstrative. Lurchers have a strong desire to run. Lurchers enjoy long daily walks and the opportunity to run free in a large fenced yard.

Early and frequent socialization is essential to help prevent the development of destructive behaviour or aggression.

Lurcher dog in field sniffing grass

Are Lurchers Aggressive?

Lurchers are generally good-natured dogs. However, being a hunting dog, they can fight under certain circumstances. If your Lurcher needs to defend their territory or are really stressed, they will show their hunting skills.

The aggressive behavior is connected with an attack or an impending attack. Any dog can become aggressive if it has not been socialized in puppyhood. 

A Lurcher may show the following warning signs when it becomes aggressive:

  • Growling and snapping
  • A rigid body and quickly wagging tail
  • Lip licking or yawning
  • Averting gaze
  • Raised fur
  • Cowering and tail tucking
  • Seeing whites of the eyes

You need to figure out what is causing your Lurcher’s aggression. Some of the possible reasons behind a dog’s aggression are:

  • Some Lurchers growl as someone approaches them while they are eating or chewing a bone.
  • Lurchers may become aggressive towards other pets if they lack socialization.
  • Lurcher may be trying to defend its space or your home from what it deems to be an intruder.
  • Mother Lurchers dogs are also extremely protective of their puppies and may become hostile toward anyone who goes near them.
  • Your Lurcher may show aggression when it’s injured or in pain.
  • Two male Lurchers or two female Lurchers become aggressive when vying for the attention of a mate. This can be avoided by spaying and neutering dogs.
  • Your Lurcher may behave aggressively without much warning when exhibiting predatory behaviour. You may observe this when your dog chases a passing squirrel or cat. Being so fast, they may be quick enough to catch them!

Lurchers need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. If you introduce your pup to new people, places, and adventures during their young age, they grow up as a well-rounded and friendly dog.

Pet parent tip: Punishing your Lurcher for aggressive behaviour usually backfires. The chances are that punishments can escalate the aggression.

Are Lurcher dogs friendly?

Lurchers are generally friendly and non-defensive dogs when properly socialized. They love to live inside around people. A well-trained Lurcher is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog with a sound and reliable temperament.

Lurchers are primarily hunting dogs, known for their stealth and silence. A Lurcher’s temperament is also variable, again dependent on parental influence. As with all dogs, temperament can be modified by socializing the puppy.

Let’s have a look at Lurcher’s friendliness towards children, strangers, cats, and other dogs:

Dog friendly:

When socialized properly, Lurchers are very good with other dogs. However, an untrained and unsocialized Lurcher tends to be reactive toward other dogs. Lurcher owners should remain vigilant and supervise interactions with other pups.

Cat friendly:

Lurchers have strong hunting instincts and prey drive. They have an inborn desire to chase and catch something. 

Outside of your home, they are likely to chase your neighbour’s cat or a passing squirrel due to their sighthound instincts. They can share their territory with feline companions when introduced young and trained not to chase the cat.

Stranger friendly:

Lurchers will not greet your guests with wagging tails and nuzzled. However, they will not bark unnecessarily on strangers and your guests.

Kid-friendly:

Lurchers tend to be fairly playful and easygoing around children. If trained properly, they are more tolerant of children’s behavior.  Be sure that any small child around a dog is taught how to interact with dogs respectfully and gently.

Pet parent tip: You should always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children, no matter how friendly and loving a dog maybe.

If you want your Lurcher to get along well with kids, your guests, and other pets you must start socialization early and reward them for good behaviour.

Studio shot on plain background of a pretty long-haired lurcher bitch head in profile

What is the average lifespan of a Lurcher dog?

Lurchers have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. This can only be so if proper care and nutrition are given to them. 

Lurchers should be given regular exercise to avoid health problems. Keeping your dog at an appropriate weight range is one of the easiest ways to extend its life.

Do Lurchers have health problems?

Lurchers are hardy breeds and generally have few health problems. Lurchers that aren’t normally aggressive but suddenly develop aggressive behaviors might have an underlying health problem.

However, like any other breed, there are certain health conditions for Lurchers they are prone to.

  • Gastric torsion
  • Torn toenails
  • Foot or muscle injuries 
  • Heatstroke or heat exhaustion
  • Eye problems
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)

You need to talk to the vet to determine if this is the case with your Lurcher. Treatment or medication may make big improvements in your Lurcher’s behavior.

Dog Training

  • The Emmy-winning host of “Lucky Dog”, Brandon McMillan is an expert trainer dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. In his MasterClass, Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog.

Final Thoughts

All you need to do is to socialize, socialize, and socialize your Lurcher pup. If you don’t have much time to devote to your Lurcher puppy, consider getting it into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old. 

Although Lurcher is not a dangerous breed, they are still a victim of being overlooked at shelters and pounds. Give your Lurcher the love and care they crave. You’ll definitely have a loyal, friendly, and lifelong companion.

If you have any comments, please do let us know. We would be happy to hear from you. 

Continue Reading:

  1. Saluki Lurcher Dog Breed Guide
  2. Are Rottweilers Good With Cats?
  3. How To Tell How Big A Mixed Breed Puppy Will Get
  4. Top 10 Most Exotic Dog Breeds
  5. 10 Best Breeds of Guard Dogs
Sonya is a software engineer by day and recently earned her MBA degree, but she also loves spending her free time writing about her favourite passion, dogs! Click here to read more.
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