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A lurcher is a kind of dog that is a crossbreed, usually of a sighthound and any other breed. Typically a sighthound is bred with a terrier or pastoral dog, with collies being the most commonly used in these dogs that are known for their intelligence and speed. Lurchers can typically be as little as a whippet or as big as a deerhound.
*Weight- Varies greatly depending on the cross-breeding, but the average
is about 60 to 88 pounds
*Height- Varies but averages around 27 to 30 inches.
*Coat- Varies depending on cross. Ranges from smooth and short haired like a greyhound to rough and broken like a terrier to longer and thicker like a collie.
*Lifespan- 12-15 years
The lurcher was originally bred in Ireland after Queen Elizabeth I banned commoners from owning greyhounds. Irish Gypsies and travelers were highly responsible for the breeding of lurchers in the 17th century and were mainly used for poaching small creatures like rabbits. The name is derived from the word "lur" in the Romani language, which means thief. While the lurcher is still common in Great Britain and Ireland, it is rarely seen outside of these locations.
Irish Gypsies were the most instrumental in the development of the breed, which they almost exclusively bred with greyhounds and typically treated lurchers that were not part greyhound as inferior. These lurchers were usually not kept and were sold at discounted rates. The main goal in breeding these animals was to create a sighthound with more intelligence. Most original lurchers were heavy coated dogs due to the fact that there was a steep fine for commoners owning a sighthound, so their appearance could not be too similar or the owner would have to face the penalty.
Today lurchers have become family pets to many households and are known as an exceptional family dog. They are also used in hunting to catch many types of animals and are also known for excelling at sports such as dog racing and lure coursing.
The temperament of a lurcher usually varies depending on the cross-breeding. While many do have temperaments similar to a purebred sighthound, it will be affected by the temperament of the other breed involved as well. Some have laid back personalities, while others may be hostile towards strangers.
Since lurchers are not a full bred dog, the genetics will all depend on the makeup of the dogs being bred. To determine any health problems that might be an issue, it is recommended to check into any problems that might pertain to the individual breeds used to spawn any particular lurcher.