As a general rule lurchers needs more excercise than the greyhound and are not so good at being left, if you work. They also need a fully secure garden. The hairy or rough coated lurchers are often croseed with a terrier or a collie and are therefore often more active and intelligent. The smooth coated lurchers are more like greyhounds – although not as lazy.
A lurcher is technically the result of a greyhound crossed with a working dog like a collie or a terrier. Although we also class small whippet type dogs, salukis and greyhounds crossed with a whippet for example, as lurchers. The vast majority of lurchers arrive at KGR via the dog pound, where they have been adandoned or handed in by their previous owner once they are deemed not good enough to work (catching rabbits for example). The dogs usually adapt very easily to being domesticated pets and very quickly learn to enjoy the good things in life! You will need a completely secure garden if you are looking to adopt a lurcher – they can and will jump over anything less than 6 foot.
We do sometimes have lurcher puppies looking for homes. We can never guarantee what the puppy will be when it grows up – their DNA will dictate how large or small they will be and without knowing their parentage it is pretty impossible to predict what the puppy will look like or how large it will be. We will have an educated guess but we cannot guarantee anything – a lurcher is a cross breed dog and has no breed standard. If you want a dog that is a certain height or appearance, you need to be looking to adopt an adult dog.
We cannot recommend dog training enough for lurchers – by this we mean regular weekly classes where you go along each week and start with the basics. This is not just about getting your dog to give a paw – it is about both your dog learning respect for you and you building a stronger bong with your dog. Most teething problems will be sorted out with regular classes. In most cases we do not recommend a behaviourist as that is usually a one off and offers no socialisation.
Lurchers love company and so they make ideal companions. They are suited to active homes but if they get sufficient exercise they can often be quite lazy dogs at home, and seem to prefer snoozing somewhere warm and comfortable in the house – preferably on an old duvet or sofa. Like other dogs, they don’t relish being left alone and are not suitable if you work full time. They usually love the company of other dogs. In general they need a lot more exercise than the greyhounds, as they have more stamina, but this may vary considerably depending on the type of cross. Please do not think a lurcher or whippet type is a small greyhound – and therefore an easier option. The lurchers will need a walk everyday what ever the weather and will you need to spend more time exercising them – although how much will depend on the actual dog. The majority of lurchers will enjoy going to training classes and we highly recommend that you do this.
On and Off The Lead
Lurchers are sighthounds and if they have come from a working background they will have been taught to chase small furry animals. You must keep a lurcher on a lead when you’re outside until you are absolutely certain that your dog will always come back to you on command. Also, you will need to be sure that it won’t chase other people’s small pets. With love and patience your dog will soon learn on which side his bread is buttered and will only want to please you.
We cannot stress enough the importance of dog training classes – especially for the lurchers. They need to be off lead and dog training classes will not only help with their recall, it will make your dog a better doggie citizen with other dogs. Dog training classes are inexpensive and are held in lots of church halls and village halls around the UK. If you are unsure, please ask your Vet or local pet shop where classes are held.
Another widely held belief is that Lurchers can’t co-habit with smaller furries like cats. This isn’t always the case and in this respect they are no different to any other rescue dog. By talking to a rescue used to homing lurchers, like us, you can be sure the re-homing volunteers will be able to advise you on whether a particular hound will be suitable to live with cats or other small furries. They will also give you advice on how to make sure the introduction goes as smoothly as possible.
Temperament can vary depending on the type of cross of your Lurcher. Many Lurchers have temperaments that are very similar to purebred sighthounds like the Greyhound, but some have temperaments that are influenced by other breeds like herding breeds and terrier breeds.
Because Lurchers are a crossbreed there is no set type, so they can be as small as a Whippet or as large as a Deerhound. The coat type and upkeep requirements will vary depending on the type of cross. Coat types range from being short and smooth like that of a Greyhound, to slightly longer and thicker like a collie, to rough and broken like a terrier.
Lurchers as Pets
Nowadays, Lurchers are becoming very popular as they make exceptional family dogs. They are generally good with children, gentle, loving, very affectionate and loyal.