Updated: Mar 18, 2019
Lurchers are a mixed breed, and usually the offspring of a sighthound crossed with a terrier or a hunting breed. They vary in looks, size, shape, weight, personality and life expectancy depending on their cross.
We talked to Amber who rescued her lurcher, Luna, about 3 years ago. Luna is fairly small at about 25kg, but has a big personality and would definitely beat anyone in a race;)
Why did you get a Lurcher?
I have always loved sighthounds. There is just something about those long, sad faces that really melts my heart. When we were looking around local rescue centres for a dog to adopt, I saw Luna and I just knew that she would be coming home with me. It was love at first sight.
Is this the first time owning this type of dog?
What were the first 12 months like?
The first 12 months were hard. Luna had been picked up as a stray at around a year old, so we didn’t know anything about her upbringing. Although she bonded with us immediately, it was clear that she had some psychological scars which would take a while to heal. Luna suffered from separation anxiety for several months, and her panic at being left alone manifested itself in howling, pacing and chewing. We lost many pairs of shoes in those first few months! But with a lot of patience and love we now have a happy, confident dog who is incredibly easy to care for.
Was training a Lurcher easy?
The hardest thing about training Luna is that she is not food orientated. If she is not in the mood for training, there is very little that can persuade her otherwise. She is also incredibly lazy which means that progress is slow. You just have to keep trying and hope that one day she will listen and react how you want her to. Luna knows the commands for sit, wait, come, and cross but we haven’t been successful in teaching her anything else yet.
What is the best thing about having a Lurcher?
Watching Luna run is also one of my favourite things in life. Even after 3 years, I still get the same sense of joy watching her run as I did when she first joined the family. A sighthound at full sprint is a marvel of nature, a true fulfilment of purpose.
A lurcher is also a very good fit for our lifestyle. Myself and my partner are both busy professionals, so we wanted a dog that wouldn’t need endless amounts of exercise. As long as Luna has a good 45 minute off-lead walk in the morning, she will lounge around for the rest of the day. She is happy to lie in on the weekends and snuggling up on the sofa with us in the evenings is her favourite hobby. Oh, and she doesn’t shed very much hair either. Daily hoovering is not required!
What is the hardest thing about having a Lurcher?
Lurchers are unbelievably lazy and anything they do decide to do will always be on their terms. This means that lurchers are not the most loving of dogs. If Luna has had a playdate in the daytime, I have grown used to the fact that I will not be greeted at the door by an excited dog. Instead, I might get a half-hearted wag of the tail as she decides she can’t be bothered to move from the sofa.
Does your Lurcher have any funny quirks?
Luna makes me laugh all the time. She is quirky and goofy and never fails to brighten my mood with her eccentric behaviour. She sleeps in the strangest of positions, often with her legs in the air and her body twisted at different angles. She also has several bald patches on her legs and tummy which accentuate her comical appearance.
Tell us a funny story about your Lurcher.
Not long after she joined the family, I was sat at the dinner table and decided to throw my last meatball to Luna as a reward for behaving so nicely while we ate. I launched the meatball into the air fully expecting her to jump up and catch it. Instead, she watched the meatball fly towards her, but did not make any kind of movement and let it bounce off her face. Once on the floor, Luna happily tucked into her treat and then looked at me. She had a red circle on tomato sauce on her forehead that the meatball had left behind! To this day, she has never attempted to catch a piece of food in flight.
What piece of advice would you tell someone thinking of getting a Lurcher?
Lurchers are very laid-back dogs and on the whole, they are very easy to care for. However, their natural instincts remain strong. We must pick the locations for off-lead walks carefully to minimise the risks should Luna come across game and give chase. Although she has always come back to us, she returns on her terms, only once she has decided that the chase has ended. If you do not live close to wide-open areas that would be safe for lurchers to run freely in, perhaps a breed with better recall may be worth considering.
Thank you Amber and Luna!
Want to see a video of Luna running at full speed across a beach?! Click here to our post about recall and scroll down for the video!