Lurcher Breeding?

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2469 by cassandra1260
cassandra1260 created the topic: Lurcher Breeding?
I am wondering , with all this discussion on Lurcher breeding...why the people doing the breeding do not simply breed two Lurchers. This is what most breeders do...we use 2 of the same breed that have qualities we desire - as per the breed standard. Then pray and hope our years of experience pay off. We also consider several previous generations of family gene pool...to be sure we do not add any undesirable traits or health concerns. I like 7 generations. Temperment is another concern, we do not want to include in any bloodline any animal with an undesriable temperment..if there is a relative who is undesiable in this area..they are omitted. Am I wrong to assume that these things are not being considered at this time in Lurcher breeding - that is my concern.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2475 by Sid
Sid replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
It's not the same as pedigree breeding, though. Work is the only criterion that's considered. By and large, lurchers are not bred for the pet market and there's quite a considerable amount of wastage when the type produced isn't what was required. And you don't usually breed lurcher to lurcher because the Greyhound type is what's required, so you have to keep crossing back to the Greyhound to maintain type.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2522 by Emmabeth
Emmabeth replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
Some people DO breed lurcher to lurcher - a good friend of mine has just had a litter of lurcher pups.

She knows her lines as well as any pedigree breeder and whilst work is the guiding criteria (and as she said to me last night, these pups have got WORK stamped all through them like a stick of blackpool rock!) conformation and type is involved too.

After all, they are bred to work certain quarry and certain terrain ... the work one might breed a lurcher for can be very very specific indeed.

Most lurcher people would only breed lurcher to lurcher if they have a very good idea of the ancestry of their dogs though. Sticking any old lurcher to any other old lurcher is very likely to produce throwbacks, as is sticking a pedigree over a lurcher (i own just such a throwback...hes a short dog!!)

Because lurchers are a mix of dogs, as i mentioned before, for specific quarry adn specific terrain... just putting two dogs together might well not produce the results wanted.

My friends line is very uniform in type and the bitch ive met is a fantastically put together dog, and shes been breeding them long enough to know what she wants and what shes likely to get.

Technically though a lurcher is a sighthound capable of work x with a working dog, be it a terrier or pastoral breed or even some of the gundogs (though those are rarer).

Whilst many would say that any sighthound x any other breed is a lurcher i would argue (pedantic as it may be) that given the purpose of a lurcher is to hunt and retrieve its quarry, breeding from parents incapable of work does not result in a lurcher.

Thus breeding a showbred wolfhound to a show bred old english sheepdog, whilst on paper being a sighthound to pastoral x, would not result in anything capable of a days work (the last wolfhound x i saw was unfortunately possibly THE ugliest dog ive ever seen, so long in the back that as an adolescent it looked crippled already, ive seen milk cows that could move more athetically!)..

Some of the common first and second crosses are very predictable in appearance and temperament, so those are generally repeated rather than being taken on into further generations. Lurcher shows have bedlington whippet classes for that reason, because the very vast majority of beddy x whippets will be knee high, blue, rough coated, athletic with a good bite and game as all get out. Greyhound x collie is another and 3/4 greyhound to collie (a second cross, greyhound x collie back to greyhound) fairly predictable cross.

Deerhound x's i know less about as i dont own one (and i do own a beddy x whippet/greyhound x bearded collie lad, who looks like every other beddy x whippet but is even MORE nuts because of the beardie blood), but whenever ive discussed themw tih lurcher working people and breeders the concensus is (and this is interesting re the debate about size), the greyhound often brings the size of the deerhound down to a more workable level.

Technically though with my pedants hat back on a deerhound x greyhound is a longdog... not a lurcher.

I own a saluki x greyhound (three quarters saluki, 1/4 greyhound, shes very firm on that point), another longdog, and its easier to see why this cross is done, to give the greyhound base a bit more stamina and i would say, a bit more nouse! Even at nearly 13 my old girl will out catch and out think a purebred greyhound, though shes slowing down now shes a million times smarter and a lot more interested in pleasing me (if it suits her, she doesnt fanny around doing tricks).



Greyhounds are most often used these days because you can get hold of an entire dog or bitch with at least an ability to run, for nothing, get a trainer to drop one off at your house, its easy enough, and of course there are few (asides from whippets, deerhounds and salukis) sighthounds that ARE still worked to any reasonable degree.

Sadly there are lurchers being bred for the pet market, and its happening more and more because they are one of the latest fashion dogs (though, not as bad as labradoodles)... david hancock breeds for anyone whose got the cash and his dogs these days rarely have any working ability

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2531 by cassandra1260
cassandra1260 replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
Thanks guys..we were wondering..you talk of lurchers shows? Do you mean you can show non purebred dogs? Are these sanctioned shows? With offical judges? Points? Is there an association - who keeps track of bloodlines..points..breedings? Curious..this is new to us here in Canada.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2537 by Emmabeth
Emmabeth replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
There are lurcher shows held, by various clubs and organisations. These are not affiliated with the KC in any way (well im fairly sure they are not, cant see it myself :lol:). Some are fun/charity type shows and some are entirely more serious events with various tests of a dogs working ability as well as conformation showing and with specialist lurcher judges (as opposed to the more fun/charity shows who generally have local personalities, rspca employees etc).

These are usually held along side working terrier shows and often there are joint lurcher and terrier clubs or seperate clubs will join up to run a show.

There is no particular registry that holds onto records and bloodlines or points but that is certianly NOT to say that there are not records of pedigrees, wins, working ability held..

Lurchers have a somewhat murky past, their existance originally being due to the fact that only nobility could own a sighthound, because the only purpose for such a dog was to hunt and all the quarry one would hunt belonged to the nobility also (as did all the land).

Those caught owning such an animal risked the dog being crippled and various narsty penalties applied to themselves, not limited to body parts being damaged or removed, or being hung depending on if you were just caught with the means to commit the crime, or the evidence that you had been doing so.

So sighthounds were crossed with the generic 'does everything around the place' farm dog who could herd, drove, rat, guard, retrieve.. all in a shaggy weatherproof coat. Those abilities combined with the sighthound build and hunting ability... in a package that looked like a lightly longer legged, pointier faced farm 'collie', made for a stealth hunter that could do all manner of jobs and hopefully not land you in trouble for its appearance.

These days its no longer crucial to disguise the sighthound appearance and with the wider variety of breeds available there are more 'types' of lurcher.

Common ones include those with a good dollop of bull and terrier, smaller combinations of whippet, greyhound and terrier (usually bedlington but is nto limited to that), taller hairier dogs such as deerhound x, with collie, greyhound, saluki, whippet...

Some people prefer the border collie and some the working bearded collie, and some a cross between the two.. sometimes more 'exotic' terriers are used such a the kerry blue or the soft coated wheaten.

It really does depend on what someone wants the dog to do, where and when tehy are to do it, and soemtimes how. A very tall dog wouldnt be the first choice for primarily taking rabbits or hare on rough ground, shorter dogs might not be your first choice if working to larger quarry..

There are a fair number of books on the subject available through amazon and its interesting to see how the typical lurcher breeding changes around the UK - whippet/terrier bred dogs are still very common up north, for some reason I see a lot of greyhound/gsd (i would imagine these are 3/4 greyhound) in the north east), seems to be more saluki bred dogs further south.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2541 by Terry
Terry replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
Emmabeth, you've done a great job of giving an overview of Lurchers. My Yorkshire friend, who bred Lurchers, prefered a greyhound--Bedlington mix and he kept records of his breedings. The same waws done by the people from whom I got my lurcher. I've mentioned her in other posts so I won't say more here.

Some one had mentioned Temperment not being good in a working dog/Lurcher and I think thet you have to distinguish between Prey Drive versus agressiveness. One is most valuable in a working dog and the other is detrimental don't you think.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2543 by cassandra1260
cassandra1260 replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
Are you saying that you feel the lurcher is better at catching rabbits than the other sighthounds/ Wondering - if so - why/ I've had Afghans and Borzoi cathc fox, rabbits,cats & on. Zippo (Deerhound caught a rabbit last fall and almost had another last night in school across from home. Good thing it was late. He so wants to show daddy what he can do!

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2547 by Lurch8252
Lurch8252 replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
It depends what type of Lurcher it is if you want it for rabbiting, the Deerhound crosses are too big, you know yourself with your DH, when they catch rabbits it is more luck, unless he is a smaller nimble type. Murphy has had a few, but and a big but, they were lucky. Most rabbits tend to graize near to the hedge, so he tends not to bother with them, if however they sit in the centre of the fairway (golf course) then he will have a good run on one, not always resulting in a catch as the DH, being a big lump doesn't turn as well as a Whippet, so a BedlingtonxWhippet is an ideal rabbiting dog.
Does anyone know what breeds went into the Norfolk Lurcher, my brother in law used to have one, Fly and I keep meaning to ask him what she was made up of.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2578 by Emmabeth
Emmabeth replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
cassandra - its not just the catching of the quarry that makes up the job a lurcher does.

Sighthounds in their pure form have generally (although its not wise to generalise) played a very specific role in any part of a hunt.

Some kill, some bring down and someone/thing else kills, some hold at bay, some really just exist to chase (greyhounds for example for hundreds of years now have predominantly been used to course either a lure round a track or a live hare - in neither activity is actually catching the quarry the point of the exercise)..

The lurcher came into existance to be a multipurpose, multi talented dog.

Depending on what your purpose is and the breeding of the dog, you can have a lurcher who retrieves live to hand (and some purebred sighthounds will as well but a lot less reliably), one who can sit calmly whilst bolting rabbits out wiht a ferret, one who can go on all night (a lot of sighthounds lack stamina)..

They are smart dogs, but generally easier to train than a purebred sighthound, the addition of the working pastoral breeds makes them much more interested in doing as you say.. the addition of working terrier breeds gives them a bit more fire and courage - for a dog working fox that terrier 'never say die' attitude is invaluable (obviously... when that were legal in the uk)

Thats not to say that purebred sighthounds cant do the job but teaching a dog wiht a good dollop of collie brains to retrieve is a darn sight easier than teaching a deerhound to do so - the deerhound in my experience might do it once or twice, but after that, sod it.. go fetch it yourself! The collie on the other hand, theres few collies that wont retrieve to you all night long and be overjoyed at being asked to do so.

Norfolk lurchers are something of a mystery and everyone will tell you differently (go on a lurcher forum and ask about smithfield collies, the same will happen).

I personally think there is an element of deerhound going back to the reds/fawns, and an element of terrier, quite possibly wheaten, some of them are quite heavy coated. But really... its all a bit of a guess!

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10 years 2 weeks ago #2618 by chrishafod
chrishafod replied the topic: Re:Lurcher Breeding?
I have a friend, a game keeper, who has 2 huge lurchers, which he uses on rabbits and, unbelievably, for putting pheasants up.They are Deerhound on greyhound x Pit bull and lovely natured dogs.
His view is that the Deerhound brings a more strategic outlook to the hunt. Instead of just going in a rush of enthusiasm, greyhound fashion, the deerhound crosses will work to get between the rabbit and hedge before starting to run. He certainly rates them much more highly than Greyhounds, as rabbit dogs, despite their size.

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