Rescuing a lurcher

(8 Posts)
ConfuciousSayWhat Wed 06-Jul-16 19:07:10

We've fallen in love with a 4 year old lurcher at the local rescue. Hes beautiful and tbh looks like a whippet but as a stray they're hedging their bets and saying lurcher due to unknown history.

So sighthounds are an unknown quantity to us, we have both always been around dogs with brilliant recall, which I know is a failing of the sighthound! What do we need to know before we fully commit to him? We fully intend to take him to some classes so we can socialise him and work on recall but at the age of 4 is he a lost cause? He's a smart boy and very food orientated so in theory very trainable.

What about walks? Will we ever get to the point where we can see him run off lead and know he'll come back? grin or is he going to be a purely on lead dog?

CMOTDibbler Wed 06-Jul-16 19:20:15

If he's very food orientated, you have a good chance. Any idea on his background?

With recall, I recommend a book called Total Recall. Both my lurchers recall to the whistle (so does ds..) because they know that the reward for doing so is going to be worth it.

You can also join the fb group for secure dog fields where people also organise sighthound playdates. But often you can find areas which are better for recall - our local countryside centre has a series of fields which are fenced in enough to allow dogs to go offlead who aren't going to make a mad dash for it, but aren't yet reliable.
Until you know them better, you might also want to get a muzzle for your own piece of mind when they are off lead. Not that their prey drive is necessarily higher than other dogs, just that a terrier isn't fast enough to catch a squirrel!

ConfuciousSayWhat Wed 06-Jul-16 19:27:41

Thanks for replying we Only know that he's been a stray was rehomed once unsuccessfully as the new owner had an unexpected baby and couldn't work on his training. Hes extremely affectionate and keen to please but also very alert and prey driven but the rescue say he should be manageable. He's lovely on the lead, doesn't pull, hes a dream of a dog and no one can work out why he's taking so long to find a home.

I'll look for that Facebook group and the book, thank you. It's nice to know there is hope!

CMOTDibbler Wed 06-Jul-16 19:34:13

Since I've owned lurchers, I've found people can be really weird about them - for instance telling me that they kill cats don't they (we have 3 who exist very happily with the dogs), can't go off lead (once said when my had patently been off lead and in the river), are standoffish (ddog1 has his head in my lap right now, waiting to go to bed with ds), and don't play (far from the truth).

If he's lovely on the lead, then even if it came down to on lead only except in enclosed spaces, then it wouldn't be the end of the world. Mine love running with me on the lead.

ConfuciousSayWhat Wed 06-Jul-16 19:46:20

That's a shame. Everything I've heard about sighthounds is that they're extremely loving and basically overgrown lap dogs.

ConfuciousSayWhat Wed 06-Jul-16 19:46:46

As in other people's reactions are a shame. Your dogs sound lovely

EllenTheEgret Wed 06-Jul-16 22:30:10

We're fostering a 6 year old lurcher. She has a really high prey drive and at first we didn't think she'd ever be ok off lead but actually she's developed a good recall (especially with a whistle). She still can't be trusted around cats so we keep her on lead in residential areas or near the road. All dogs are different of course, but just because he's an adult lurcher doesn't mean he's a lost cause at all.

poorpaws Wed 06-Jul-16 22:35:43

I've got two lurches one was a rescue at 5 months old. They have lived with a cat (who sadly died last year). Mine are walked off lead and are pretty good. Recall to their name is very good and recall from a whistle is brilliant. Both of mine are ball obsessed so run and play a great deal. They do get a lot f exercise. They are so so loving and definitely lap dogs and very eager to please. I adore them (and my third little dog). We see quite a few on our walks and it's very common to hear "once you've had a lurcher you won't ever want another breed" and I wholeheartedly agree.

Just for extra info the hounds I do see on leads are ex racing greyhounds. We know of several who are wonderful but always have to e on a lead.

I'd say go for it!

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