What is the origin of the Lurcher?
The Lurcher type of dog can trace its origins to the Romanichals (gypsies) of Ireland and Great Britain. It is a sighthound crossed with another breed of dog depending on which traits a breeder is looking for. Collie and Terrier crosses are common. In the U.S. crosses with scenthounds are more popular.
The belief is that from the 14th to the 16th centuries, commoners were not allowed to own sighthounds. Poachers decided to create an intelligent, cunning dog with the use of sighthounds as the major contributor resulting in a clever and speedy dog. Today, Lurchers are being bred to other Lurchers to maintain their abilities. Lurchers are not recognized as a “breed” of dog because of the different crosses.
What does the Lurcher look like?
Lurchers vary in size depending on the breed cross, but are usually medium to large dogs. Any coat color is acceptable. Coats can be short and smooth, longer and thicker or rough, also depending on the cross.
What is the temperament of the Lurcher?
The Lurcher has developed into a loving family dog. They are affectionate and their high intelligence allows them to learn quickly. Lurchers require lots of physical activity and exercise. They have been bred to have a high prey drive. They are best suited to active families who enjoy the outdoors. They should have a securely enclosed area to run in.
What is the Lurcher used for?
Lurchers excel at many forms of dog sports including racing, lure coursing, obedience, agility. Alaskan sled dogs are being bred to sighthounds to create speedier dogs. Today, Lurchers are used to hunt rabbit, hare and fox and sometimes larger game. Sadly there are breeders who will kill or turn loose, Lurchers that don’t fit their requirements. If your family enjoys hiking and the great outdoors, a Lurcher may be the dog for you.