The Lurcher is not a recognised breed but a mixture of breeds. Typically a Lurcher is a combination of a sighthound (often a Greyhound) and another type of working dog, thereby creating a dog with a combination of speed and intelligence. All sorts of combinations are possible in creating a Lurcher: Salukis, Whippets, Border Collies, Retrievers, and different types of Terrier. The Lurcher’s coat will vary depending on the parent breeds. He was once known as something of an outlaw or poacher’s dog but nowadays lives mostly as a companion dog. It is essential that a Lurcher is allowed to run free and ideally should be given frequent opportunities for high energy runs. he is not suited to town life. Typically he is a loveable rogue, smart, sensitive and loving.
Inbreeding coefficient – COI
(should be as low as possible and not higher than 6%)
Health and welfare problems due to conformation
(body shape and physical characteristics)
- Gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV) (Bloat/Torsion) (the stomach fills with air and rotates causing vomiting and pain – urgent veterinary treatment is needed) Associated with deep chested breeds.
BVA/KC Health Schemes www.bva.co.uk
DNA tests available
Parents should be tested for:
- Ivermectin sensitivity (MDR1) (Lurchers with Collie ancestry)
Unofficial (breed club) schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents (or check the KC’s health test results finder). If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other diseases reported
(for which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Large Lurchers, especially those including Deerhound as well as Greyhound may have heart problems. Most common is Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged and weakened. Affects middle aged dogs.
- Ivermectin sensitivity (in Lurchers with Collie ancestry)
- Sodium pentothal anaesthetic sensitivity (common in Greyhounds)
- Cancer: Osteosarcoma (bone cancer – common in Greyhounds and Deerhounds)
Lurchers tend to have a lower incidence of inherited disease than the more inbred pedigree breeds. Non recessively inherited diseases that are known in the parent breeds, however, can occur.