Lurcher Quick Summary
Also Known As
OriginGB, Ireland
Height (at withers)Varies
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter sizeVaries
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The Lurcher is a type of dog rather than a purebreed or even a simple crossbreed. It is a cross between a sighthound and any other breed, often a herding dog or terrier. As a result there are no exacting definitions for a Lurcher, and they can vary in almost all aspects: size, weight, colour and coat, although a size similar to that of a greyhound and the distinctive traits of a sighthound are much preferred. They tend to be very agile dogs capable of great speed.


Lurchers are sighthounds crossed with a variety of other dogs, and so their temperaments can vary somewhat to include traits from that of greyhounds, terriers and herding dogs. However, on the whole they tend to be relatively calm dogs but with great energy and stamina reserves when required, and so can take off pretty quickly if something catches their eye. Thanks to their cross-breeding history, they are intelligent and highly trainable, but are best suited to experienced dog owners because when young they can be hyperactive and destructive if not given adequate exercise. Lurchers get along well with older, more considerate children, and also with other animals as they are not usually aggressive, but those with high prey drives may try to chase or herd smaller animals.

History & Skills

Lurchers originate from in and around the UK and date back to the 1500s when Queen Elizabeth the First banned commoners from owning greyhounds and other purebred sighthounds. As most of the land at that time belonged to the nobility and other rich land-owners, only they were allowed to own purebred sighthounds for hunting; anyone else was deemed a poacher. To get around the ban people began cross-breeding greyhounds with other dogs, resulting in the Lurcher. The Irish Gypsies were instrumental in developing the breed, and the name stems from the Romani word lur, meaning thief. They ensured a good proportion of greyhound was kept so as to maintain the sighthound qualities required for hunting. Originally used for poaching hares, rabbits and other small creatures, these days they excel at sports like lure coursing and often make for great family pets and are still rare outside of Great Britain and Ireland.

Breed Specific Ailments

Lurchers tend to live between 12 to 15 years, on average, and as they are crossbreeds of various dogs with sighthounds they tend to be fairly healthy with few genetic disorders.


As Lurchers are crossbreeds their coat type and length can vary greatly, from short and close-fitting like that of a Greyhound to a little longer and more dense like that of a Collie. As a result their shedding and grooming requirements will vary to suit. In most cases they tend to be low-shedders and so can be suited to those suffering from allergies. Bathin should be carried out as required using a mild shampoo, and the ears should be checked and kept clean to reduce the chance of any infection setting in.

Exercise & Environment

Lurchers are calm but agile dogs thanks to their generous share of sighthound genes. They tend to live indoors with their families but will need plenty of exercise in the form of a daily walk, plus access to a secure outdoor area. As they are sighthounds and are extremely fast and agile, these areas must be secure and they should be kept on a leash during any walks.


KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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