If you’re a more active person looking for a loving companion, you might want to consider getting a Lurcher. These types of dogs enjoy being around you, and won’t want to leave your side for long.
But you will need to be willing to walk them regularly and give them a large outdoor area to play in.
So, is this the right choice for you? Let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to think about if you’re planning on getting a Lurcher.
Lurcher Breed Appearance
There are many different types of Lurcher on the market. This is because they are a cross-breed of a greyhound with another type of dog. Typically, this will be a Collie or a Terrier.
As a result, there are many types of Lurchers, depending on who their parents were.
This mixed parenthood can impact on all aspects of the species. As a result, you might want to contact a vet when you first get your Lurcher. This will let them examine them to determine how they’ll need to care for them.
This examination can give you a better idea of their healthy weight range.
Generally, though, they will weight between 27 to 32 kg and stand at between 55 to 71cm when fully grown. The fur colors will be very hard to predict and will often depend on the parents of the dog.
The length of the coat will also vary, depending on the type of dog that you have.
Despite the wide range of Lurchers available, this species shares a few characteristics. First, they will tend to have the pointed ears that are synonymous with a greyhound.
They also tend to be very slim and muscular.
They have deep chests, which will allow them to suck in a lot of oxygen. Because of this, they can be talented runners.
They also have slim faces. Though their eyes aren’t overly large, they are evenly spaced and are capable of delivering plenty of emotion.
Exercise Needs for Lurchers
Before choosing any dog species, you’ll need to make sure that you’ll be able to give them enough exercise.
In most cases, the lurcher will require daily exercise. Typically, this will mean one or two long walks. You’ll need to do this regardless of the weather conditions.
This ensures that they’ll be kept in excellent condition.
The dog will often determine the amount of exercise that you’ll need to do. For example, some might need a morning walk to burn off their energy but are happy to spend the rest of the day relaxing on the couch.
However, other dogs will need to be walked in both the morning and afternoon.
Walk Them On The Lead
When you’re going on your daily walk, you’ll need to make sure that you keep the Lurcher on a leash. They are sighthounds, which means that they have a natural instinct to chase smaller animals.
If you aren’t careful, they might end up sprinting away from you in pursuit of a smaller animal. When this happens, they can become so enthralled in the chase that they disregard you calling for them to return.
This can lead to some embarrassing scenes as you end up running around the local park pursuing them.
Even if your local dog park is fenced, you might want to keep them on the lead. They might chase smaller dogs around the enclosure. This can be a potentially dangerous situation.
However, over time, you’ll be able to train them to stop this kind of behavior.
One of the best things about the Lurcher is their personality. Like their appearance, this can often be influenced by their parentage. However, there are a few general behaviors that most Lurchers will display.
First, they are loving dogs and will want to spend their time around you. They also tend to want to please you. They tend to be very calm, as long as you meet their daily exercise requirements.
You should be aware that it’s rare for a Lurcher to bark. So, if they are vocalizing, it can be a sign that something is wrong.
Though their size might be enough to scare some burglars away once they get past the door they’ll discover the Lurcher is a big softy.
Because they have such a strong bond with you, they can sometimes get separation anxiety. Some signs that this might be happening are if they are scratching at the doors whenever you leave them alone.
They tend to be a better choice for someone who can work from home.
If you need to travel into the office, you might want to start training them to get used to being without you for a long time.
You might also want to talk to your vet to see if there is anything you can do to stop your Lurcher feeling so anxious. If this is a problem, you can use these separation anxiety tips.
You should also be aware that they have a mischievous side. Because they are so fast, they’ll steal food from the kitchen.
By the time you notice it’s gone, it will be too late. While training might be able to help you stop this behaviour, sometimes the smell of the food can be too good to resist.
There are a few habits that the Lurcher will tend to develop. Though not all dogs will express these, depending on what species their parents were. One of the most common behaviours is the tendency to lean on you, which most Lurchers will do. This is most likely because of the greyhound in them.
Lurchers tend to use their leans to show that they are connected with you. In some cases, they might also do this is they are feeling anxious.
There are a few common leaning behaviours that you might experience. First, you might be sitting down and the Lurcher will come and sit on top of you, using their weight to bond.
In other cases, they might try to snuggle up close to you when you’re lying in bed.
Whether you want to encourage this will depend on you. Some people love cuddling up with their dogs while watching a movie. Others might think that it’s too much.
If you re-enforce this behaviour through patting, they’ll want to do it more often. If you ignore them, they’ll find other ways to express their affection.
You’ll often hear this breed referred to as a sighthound, but what does this mean? This term describes the way that they hunt.
Unlike other dogs that rely on their keen sense of smell, the Lurcher uses their sharp eyesight. They will be able to detect animals moving in the undergrowth. Then, they’ll be able to use their speed and agility to catch up with them.
This can make them formidable hunters. These days, most Lurchers are family dogs using their skills to play games with their owners.
Sadly, though, some people might abuse these dogs, using them to participate in races.
When they start to get older, and can no longer compete, these owners might misuse them and they end up getting sent to the pound in poor condition.
Shockingly, the Irish pound is made up of 70 percent sighthounds.
Living With Children And Other Pets
The Lurcher might be an excellent choice if you have a family. In most cases, they will be fairly docile and relaxed, curling up to sleep in a sunny spot.
They tend to make a great companion for older teenagers and children, as they’ll be able to exercise together.
However, if you have younger children you might want to supervise them as they play with the dog. Sometimes they can get too rough with their petting and end up accidentally hurting the animal.
However, it’s unlikely that the Lurcher will hurt them. Though, you might want to introduce them gradually. This will ensure that the Lurcher doesn’t feel anxious.
The Lurcher can make a great companion for a fellow dog, giving them a playmate, so they can chase each other around the yard. They can even befriend a cat, as long as they are introduced from a young age.
However, they might not be a good choice if you have any smaller animals, like rabbits or guinea pigs. When faced with these species, their instinct to hunt can be too strong.
This can cause some big problems if the animals ever get out of their cages.
Caring For Lurchers
Before you purchase a Lurcher, it’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to take care of them. In most cases, this tends to be a fairly laid-back species.
This makes the Lurcher a reasonably low-maintenance breed.
However, to make sure that you care for your Lurcher there are a few things that you should be doing.
Fencing The Yard
Lurchers typically get the most enjoyment out of a big backyard. This will give them plenty of space to run around and burn off some of their excess energy.
If you don’t have a property with a backyard, you might need to give them more trips to the dog park, where they’ll be able to go for a run.
However, you must make sure that your backyard is properly fenced. This will ensure that the Lurcher won’t be able to get out during the excitement of a game.
If you own this dog it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the right type of fence. First, it will need to enclose the entire outdoor area. You’ll often be surprised at how easily a big dog can squeeze through a narrow gap.
You’ll also need to make sure that the fence is tall enough to prevent them from jumping over it.
When feeding your Lurcher, you’ll need to separate it into two meals, giving half the food in the morning and the other half at night. This is because they are so thin.
This can limit the amount of food that they can eat in one sitting.
As we mentioned, it can be difficult to judge the amount of feed required, unless you know the parentage of the dog. Because of this, you might want to consult with the vet.
During the day, you can feel free to give a few treats. But, be careful not to overdo it, as you don’t want your dog to become overweight.
For some more on dog food check out these posts:
It tends to be fairly easy to groom a Lurcher. They can have either short or medium-length coats, depending on their history.
It’s important to make sure that you are brushing them at least once a week. This will stop dead skin from building up in their coats.
During the grooming process, you might also want to check that their ears have been kept clean.
This will ensure that they aren’t exposed to any potentially harmful bacteria.
If their ears have dirt, gently wipe them out with a cotton bud that has been treated with an ear cleaning solution.
To make grooming a little easier and a little more comfortable for your Lurcher, you may want some doggie specific grooming items.
If you’re looking to give your Lurcher a unique style, you can get some dog clippers as well!
Training Your Lurcher
If you have a Lurcher, it’s important to make sure that you’ve trained them properly. This will ensure that you’ll be able to take them off the leash without fear of them running off.
In most cases, they will be fairly intelligent animals, willing to listen to your commands.
However, they can also be a bit stubborn. The key to successfully training a Lurcher is being able to be very patient. Also, trying to get them to get rid of their natural hunting instincts will often be impossible.
Instead, focus on giving them a healthy outlet to get rid of these emotions.
You’ll be able to start training your Lurcher from a young age. This is the best way to make sure that you’ll be able to create a strong impression on them.
In most cases, you’ll want to take them to visit a professional trainer. They will be able to teach you some effective techniques that you’ll be able to use.
Training Course for Lurchers
Dog’s brains are like ours, their soft and malleable. This means they are always capable of moulding and changing to learn new habits and behaviours.
I’m assuming there’s at least one thing you wish your puppy would do differently (ok, let’s be honest, about 10 things!).
And with recent advances in neuroscience, we’re understanding that age really doesn’t matter for making changes in the brain. So in case you do, stop saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”!
And training your Lurcher isn’t just about getting them to shake a paw or sit when you ask them to. It should be about making them more intelligent. A more intelligent dog will:
- be better behaved
- be more obedient
- learn new skills faster
- have a stronger bond
- have an increase in overall well-being
So if you’re a new pet parent to a puppy, or you’re just wanting to learn some new skills, I recommend embarking in some sort of training.
Professional training, however, can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
I really like this training course (opens a new tab). It’s online, it was created and updated by a professional dog trainer and it really helps you understand how to better stimulate and enrich your dog’s life.
The course is designed to help you work and improve on these problems you may be having with your puppy or dog:
- Potty training
- Dealing with aggression
- Excessive barking
- Impulse control
- Ignoring your commands
- And more
You’ll also get access to a private forum and updated content. Don’t get me wrong, this course isn’t perfect and won’t turn your dog into a show winner.
What it will do is help you better connect with your dog which will improve your overall bond, and help you to understand how you may be able to make changes in your approaches with training and trying to change behaviours.
It’s really not that expensive and a resource I think a lot of dog parents will benefit from.
Like all dogs, the Lurcher will be susceptible to some diseases. In most cases, though, these dogs will be fairly healthy.
They tend to have fairly good genes which might protect them from a range of diseases.
However, there are still a few conditions that you might want to be on the lookout for. First, they have been known to develop toe and foot injuries, commonly known as corns.
The main symptom of this condition is that a dog has suddenly started limping or having pain when walking.
They can also be at risk of heat exhaustion. To prevent this, you want to make sure that you keep a bowl of water available for them to drink from.
You might also want to try to avoid physical activity in the middle of the day.
Finally, you can protect the health of your Lurcher by taking them for regular appointments with the vet.
Often, the quicker you detect an illness the easier it will be to treat it. You can also take some preventative actions, like trying to maintain a healthy weight range.
Dog Insurance for Lurchers
Just like humans, dogs make bad decisions and find themselves hurt or injured, and the Lurcher is no different (no matter how smart they may be!)
And, unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can get sick with disease or illness. Trips to the vet should be included in your cost analysis when deciding on getting a dog.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to practice preventative healthcare. We discussed the risks with obesity, so making sure your dog is eating the right amount and exercising can do wonders for their health and vet bills when compared to sedentary dogs eating low-grade food.
Making sure there isn’t unnecessary wear and tear on your Lurcher’s joints can help improve their long term wellbeing as well.
It’s always best practice to visit the vet instead of google, and dog insurance makes this easier to do. I often recommend Embrace Pet Insurance which you can get a free quote for by clicking here.
History of Lurchers
The Lurchers have an interesting history. It’s believed that they originated sometime in the 14th to 15th Centuries. During this time sighthounds, like Greyhounds and Irish Wolfhounds were restricted to the wealthy aristocrats.
As a result, there was a big market for these animals. To avoid getting into legal troubles, breeders decide to cross-breed the sighthound with other dogs, like terriers and collies.
This allowed them to create a breed that would have the best qualities of both species.
Because of this, the Lurcher rose to prominence, becoming one of the most popular dog species in England and Ireland. To this day, they remain a fairly common species in these areas.
Where To Get A Lurcher
There are several breeders that will be able to get you a Lurcher. This will give you more assurances about their parentage and can provide some insights into how they might behave.
Before paying any money, make sure that you’re using a reputable breeder.
However, the best option might be adopting a Lurcher. These tend to be one of the most common species at pounds and adoption organizations.
This ensures that you’ll have plenty of dogs to choose from. Many of these organizations offer support to make the rehoming process as smooth as possible.
The Lurcher is a great family dog, with many people falling in love with their friendly laid-back nature. In many cases, they will want to be near you, going as far as to curl up in your lap while you’re watching TV.
However, there are a few things you’ll need to do to take care of them properly. For example, you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking them for a walk every day, regardless of the weather.
They’ll also need a big backyard or regular trips to the dog park. But, if you’re willing to do that, the Lurcher will make an excellent lifelong companion.