Lurcher1 August 2023
Preparing for a new addition to the family? The loyal Lurcher is a great choice! We all need some support from time to time, did you know BorrowMyDoggy connects you with verified and trusted borrowers who can help with exercise and company?
Or maybe you just love Lurchers or you’re considering getting one of your own and want to learn more - why not experience the breed and borrow a pooch in your local area?
Let’s talk about… Lurchers: what are they?
- Lurchers are dogs that are a crossbreed between a sighthound and another breed, usually a working or terrier type.
- They were originally bred in the United Kingdom for hunting and coursing.
- Lurchers come in various shapes, sizes, and coat types, depending on their lineage.
- They can have the sleek and elegant appearance of a sighthound or a mix of characteristics from both parent breeds.
- Lurchers have an average height ranging from 46 to 76 cm and can weigh anywhere from 9 to 40 kg, depending on their size and breed combination.
- They have a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years.
What is the temperament of Lurchers like?
- Lurchers have a versatile temperament, and their traits can vary depending on the breeds involved in their lineage.
- Generally, they are intelligent, affectionate, and loyal companions.
- They can be gentle and calm indoors but have a strong prey drive outdoors, making them keen hunters.
- Lurchers are usually good with children and can be sociable with other dogs when properly socialised.
- As sighthound crosses, Lurchers have a strong instinct to chase small animals, so caution should be taken when introducing them to smaller pets such as cats or small rodents.
- Early socialisation is crucial to help them become well-rounded dogs and to manage their prey drive appropriately.
How much exercise do Lurchers need?
- Lurchers are active and athletic dogs that require a significant amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
- They need a minimum of 1 to 2 hours of exercise each day, involving both physical and mental stimulation.
- Lurchers excel at activities like running, chasing, and playing fetch.
- As puppies, Lurchers should have controlled exercise to protect their developing joints and bones.
- Short and frequent play sessions in a safe and secure environment are ideal.
- Consult with your veterinarian for specific exercise guidelines based on your Lurcher's age and breed mix.
- Generally, Lurchers can handle more intense exercise once they reach 12 to 18 months of age.
- It's important to provide a variety of exercise outlets for Lurchers to prevent boredom and satisfy their instinctual needs.
- Mental stimulation through puzzle toys, obedience training, or scent games can help keep their intelligent minds engaged.
Do Lurchers need a lot of grooming?
- The grooming needs of Lurchers can vary depending on their coat type.
- Some Lurchers have short, smooth coats, while others may have longer or more wiry hair.
- Generally, Lurchers have low grooming requirements compared to breeds with dense or double coats.
- Regular brushing is beneficial to keep their coat clean, remove loose hair, and prevent matting.
- The frequency of brushing will depend on the length and texture of their coat.
- Lurchers with longer or wiry hair may benefit from occasional hand-stripping or trimming to maintain a tidy appearance.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Lurchers easy to train?
- Lurchers can be moderately easy to train, but their trainability can be influenced by their individual traits and the breeds involved in their lineage.
- They are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.
- Lurchers are eager to please and can quickly learn new commands and tricks when training sessions are consistent, patient, and rewarding.
- Start training your Lurcher from an early age to establish good behaviour and obedience.
- Focus on socialisation to ensure they are comfortable and well-behaved around people, other animals, and different environments.
- Positive experiences and exposure to various situations will help them become confident and well-adjusted dogs.
- Lurchers may have a strong prey drive, so it's important to teach them reliable recall and practice commands like "leave it" or "drop it" to manage their instincts when encountering small animals or distractions during walks.
- Training should be a lifelong endeavour, as ongoing reinforcement and mental stimulation are necessary to keep them engaged and well-behaved.
What do Lurchers eat?
- A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Lurcher.
- Choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
- Most do well being fed twice daily.
- Lurcher puppies should be fed a specially formulated puppy food that supports their growth and development.
- Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old, when they should be reduced to twice daily.
- Follow the guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with your vet for specific recommendations based on your Lurcher's age and breed mix.
- As Lurchers transition into adulthood usually between 12-18 months depending on their cross, they can be moved on to an adult dog food.
Are Lurchers healthy?
Lurchers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Being a mixed breed, Lurchers can benefit from hybrid vigour, which refers to the potential for increased health and vitality due to genetic diversity.
However, it's important to note that Lurchers can still be susceptible to health issues that may affect their parent breeds. Some common health concerns that can occur in Lurchers include:
Bones and Joints
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
- Osteosarcoma - Greyhounds have a higher risk of developing bone cancer compared to other breeds
- Periodontal Disease - a buildup of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth leading to inflammation, infection and tooth loss
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!
This list of health concerns is not exhaustive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your Lurcher or want to discuss further if this breed is right for you, consult with your veterinarian.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.
Sighthound Dog Breeds
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