Am thinking of a lurcher as a pet, but havent a clue where to start because there are so many cross breeds. I am not sure of a collie cross with a greyhound or a whippet with a greyhound. I have four children 4, 5, 8, 12, so we all enjoy going out for walks. I have read many things about their personality, endearing qualities but the only thing that concerns me is that their instinct is to chase and and kill small animals. Does anyone have a problem with this. When it is trained I would love to let it off the lead to run but without the misfortune of some poor animal losing its life. Any tips gratefully received.
I would not be too fussed about the cross but think more about the temperament of the particular dog. It's not always possible to work out the cross of a lurcher in any case. Ours has rough collie (lassie dog) in it and is a real joy - very sweet natured and quite trainable (except when it comes to stealing food). Even tries to be nice to the cat. I would avoid a known saluki cross as a first dog as their recall can be non existant.
I suspect he was dumped as he doesn't have much of a chase instinct. That said, he will run after squirrels. I think it's probably only a matter of time before he gets one. You can manage this by only allowing off lead in open areas. In our case, we've decided that's the best thing to do to avoid him crashing into things and hurting himself.
They are the loveliest dogs - gentle, quiet, don't need too much exercise. To watch them run is one of the greatest joys in life - but they are bred to run fast for a reason. And you can always use a muzzle
If you're worried about any potential dog killing rabbits etc, I wouldn't get a lurcher. They are bred to hunt. A lurcher is any dog crossed with a sight hound (whippet, greyhound, saluki etc). All sight hounds have been bred to chase and kill and if you tell them off for doing what they exist for then you will confuse and distress them. You may be lucky and get one without a chase/kill instinct, but it is unlikely. When my greyhounds caught rabbits/squirrels I just looked on it as pest control. Both lived happily with cats and bantams btw.
I would get in touc with a greyhound/lurcher rescue who can advise you and match you with the right dog.
About 20% of greyhounds are small, furry trainable. Our whippy probably could be trained to live with cats etc, but our lurcher, not. We think our lurcher was probably worked in the past though and when she does come off lead she is always muzzled. Some rescues will insist on always muzzling off lead greyhounds and lurchers, which does have the advantage that people steer clear of you....
There are plenty of lurchers in rescue who will have been small, furry tested. Best is to speak to a rescue about what you are looking for and go from there.
My greyhound is small furry animal safe as in she lives happily with the cats and doesn't bother about the chinchillas or the rabbit.
She has good recall and is walked off lead every day.
However this time of year for the next couple of months is a nightmare. It's hare season. She doesn't bother about rabbits but hares are a different story. Her recall goes to zero. I don't even think she has to see one, she knows roughly where they are and just disappears on a hunt for them.
She's out of sight and god knows where for at least ten mins, often longer. I wait and she always comes back. But by the time I spot her heading back she's often four fields away, a little blob in the distance. So she goes a long way. And this is a dog which supposedly had no chase instinct and wouldn't race!
I have two, one greyhound type and yes he does like to chase but with lots of training it's becoming less of an issue. His recall is good now and once hed met a small dog or two who snapped at him he soon learnt that small dogs are not to be eaten. It's not unusual to muzzle them.
He is also very lazy, anti rain and a joy to watch running.
I've just adopted one (last Oct) - even the lurcher rescue can't say what cross she is - but probably a bit of Bedlington in there somewhere, not that you would guess from her size. She's full on gorgeous though.
I would not worry about saying what cross you want if you're looking to rescue as its better to decide what character you want and go from there with the rescue and get advice on which dogs might suit.
Ours is, we think, a failed worker - we now know why as she's normally too busy playing with a stick to notice the squirrels. However, we wouldn't worry if she did catch those or a rabbit - she's not interested in catching other small dogs which is the main thing.