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Lurcher or whippet? Advice please!

(17 Posts)
TheHouseofMirth Tue 22-Jan-13 19:54:37

My 2 sons (4 & 7) are very keen on a dog. DH is very reluctant. He grew up with labradors and I think their greediness, neediness and slobber really put him off dogs. I am keen to convince him that not all dogs are the same.

I work very part-time. From September this will be 2 school days, so I'd be out of the house 9-3.30pm 2 days a week. A friend has a greyhound and in terms of temperament and the fact she only needs two twenty minute walks a day, I think this would suit us well but I feel a greyhound is just a bit big (especially for our car and inevitably, the sofa!)

So I was wondering about whippets or lurchers. I don't know anyone who has one and I'm wondering if they're as easy-going as greyhounds?

foolonthehill Tue 22-Jan-13 21:19:54

we had a small lurcher who was exactly the temperament as a greyhound BUT it does vary depending on what mix is in there.

i have never owned a whippet but my friends have 2 and they are couch potatoes who love a couple of walks a day (20 mins or so) and the occasional blast off the lead. the only problem that they have encountered was separation anxiety...solved by whippet number 2.

I love pointy hounds and although would not exchange foolishdog (springer) for anything might head in that direction.

there are plenty of pointy hounds in rescues so have a look around and talk about your needs. Good rescues excel at matching people with the right dog, and you'll be giving a great new life to a needy animal.

chickenyummychicken Tue 22-Jan-13 21:23:05

we have a lurcher that is very greyhound x saluki
very like you say

MagratGarlik Tue 22-Jan-13 21:23:54

We have a whippet and a whippet x greyhound. Whippets are lovely dogs. They do have slightly more energy than greyhounds (greyhound owners tend to refer to our whippet as a 'live-wire'), but tbh this is all relative. He sleeps for a good part of the day, likes a walk, which if it is a long one, fine, but if it is only two half hour walks per day, also fine. He is gentle with the dc's and follows them everywhere. He is a very sensitive soul, who didn't need much encouragement to get trained and I couldn't think of a better type of dog.

Scruples Whippet rescue operates nationwide and uses foster homes, rather than kennels. They have some lovely dogs looking for homes atm.

Lurchers can be very different from each other, depending on their mix. Ours is very like a greyhound in a much smaller package, but those with collie or lab in the mixture can be a bit more boisterous. Lurchers do come into rescue much more frequently than whippets and places like dogs trust frequently have lots, some of which may be suitable with young children. There are lots of other fab lurcher rescues and some people on here are actively involved with some, so would be able to recommend.

fluffygal Tue 22-Jan-13 21:24:13

I have a lurcher and a greyhound. My lurcher is crazy, needs more walking and generally a pain in the bum! My greyhound is a huge one, he is placid, affectionate and everyone who meets him falls in love with him! You can get smaller greyhounds, but the bigger the more placid in my experience.

I foster Lurchers and greys and in my experience Lurchers are a lot more lively, but a rescue can match you to a calmer dog, be it a lurcher or a whippet!

fluffygal Tue 22-Jan-13 21:25:41

Also, my lurcher used to chew our front door when left on her own, this destruction was solve with the arrival of my greyhound though!

LostInWales Tue 22-Jan-13 21:30:21

Definitely depend on the lurcher mix, there were some collie/whippet crosses available round here and whilst they looked gorgeous one farmer I know who took one (and has always had collies) says it's the most insane dog he's ever had! I have a whippet and he is placid, friendly, great with children and other small creatures and follows me around with his nose to the back of my knee until I will sit down so he can cuddle up and go to sleep. He is my best decision ever grin.

Scuttlebutter Tue 22-Jan-13 22:17:53

Come on over to the Pointy Hounds thread for even more discussion on all things pointy. Not much to add to what most have already said, except to say there is a surprising amount of variation in greyhound sizes. For instance, I make greyhound coats, and know greys that are a 32" back and some that are a 24" - they also vary in their frame with some being very deep chested and quite stocky and some being very light framed. Our four vary in weight with the heaviest being around 37kg and the lightest around 22/23kg. Lurchers are a wonderfully varied bunch - one of my best friends has two bonkers lurchers who are both tiny but insane, another close friend has a deerhound X, much bigger but the gentlest, quietest old boy you could ever wish to meet. Have a chat with a few rescues. Scruples already mentioned - I'd also recommend Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue - I'm currently besotted with their foster girl Maggie, an elderly and whiskery lurcher girl. If we didn't have four here already, and DH wasn't allergic to longer haired hounds, I'd have snaffled her by now. grin I help do transport runs for them and they can rehome nationally.
Just one warning - pointies are wonderful but incredibly addictive... grin

canutesauntie Tue 22-Jan-13 22:21:17

Lost is right, it depends on the lurcher mix and if rescued how much of a working dog they used to be. Ours is a Saluki /Greyhound cross. Shes lovely and bonded quickly with DS2 when she arrived. He was 12 then and shes his dog really. This cross is not easy, separation anxiety for a start. It wouldnt be a good cross in a town, here she can indulge her rabbiting instincts to the full!
Greyhounds though are much more laid back, gentle and loving. One would probably be great with your DCs. I dont think size is a problem they're slim, curl up small and ours takes up a lot less space than next doors Lab when it comes to stay.
They joy of any sighthound though is watching them run, I could watch for hours! Good Luck

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 22-Jan-13 22:46:43

I have a wonderful rescued whippet-lurcher.

He is currently curled up ont he sofa snoozing. He is mostly to be found on the sofa, snoozing! He is very calm in the house and remains calm even if circumstances dictate he only gets two 20 minute walks a day. But on less pressured days he is happy to walk for over an hour so he is very flexible smile

He did suffer from separation anxiety when we first got him and we solved that by crate training him. Now he is happy being left for up to four hours when I work. I think a second dog would have solved the problem too but for now that is not an option...

He is incredibly gentle and my best friend's dc who used to be terrified of dogs loved him so much they now have their own rescue dog!!

He can be mad and bouncy and a bit of a live wire but only for a short period of time and will soon settle down. (unlike my dearly departed bonkers cocker spaniel who was permanently mad and bouncy and quite exhausting!

I love the gentle-ness of Sam, I think it is the whippet in him. I think going forward any future dog I own will have some sort of whippety in him /her!

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 22-Jan-13 22:48:52

So, to answer your question, go for a whippet lurcher but check carefully what the other breed(s) in the mix are.
As for our Sam, we have no idea what else is in him. Pics on profile, answers on a postcard please!
I think he is 90% whippet with a smidge of cat and a smattering of bat grin

SpicyPear Wed 23-Jan-13 09:31:05

Lurcher definitely depends on mix. If it's important to you that they are calm I would personally stick with a whippy.

I have a whippy x JRT, 5 months. The only thing whippy about him is his skinny body and the way he sleeps with his legs in the air. He is very hyper and always on the go. Yesterday for unavoidable reasons (me falling on some ice and DH working late!) he had one lunchtime walk and he spent the entire evening going crazy.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 23-Jan-13 09:44:32

Spicy, while I agree Lurchers depend on the mix and in the main part Whippets are calm, but there are always a few who buck the trend. My Dad's two lurchers are calmness personified, his Whippet is nicknamed the flying whippet based on her penchant for launching herself across the room at your head, she constantly dives on my children and chases them around the house. Calm is the opposite of what she is grin

I would say if you want a calm dog, tell the rescue that this is important to you and forget about which breed you want. The rescue, if it is a decent one, will point you in the right direction.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 23-Jan-13 09:51:16

Have always had whippets, and they are fab. My experience is that they need a good 3-4 miles in the morning (that's 3-4 miles for the human; the whippets are off the lead so probably do closer to 6 miles). They need to be let off the lead miles and miles away from roads, as they will see prey and chase it regardless (they turn a deaf ear to owners when in hot pursuit). Once they've had a blast, they will then settle for the day. They do like a shorter evening walk, but it's not an absolute must.

I would think very carefully, though, about having any dog if you're out from 9 -3.30, even if only for two days a week. It's a very long time to leave them. I would say 4 hours max.

I can't speak for lurchers - but as others say, I think it depends on the mix. I am quite tempted, but do like the placid whippet temperament.

SpicyPear Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:43

Oh D0oin maybe he's more whippy than we realised! We had a bit of an, um, incident last night where he randomly launched himself onto my face when I was sitting on the sofa with an iPad in one hand and medicinal wine in the other. Which got a sleeping SpicyDog all excited, and she somehow caught her nail in my ring, hurting her and me... DH was very tired, but I'm a still a bit peeved that he just sat there and watched for ages before rescuing me.

Skullnbones Wed 23-Jan-13 11:49:44

I could have written this. Though we have decided on a whippet. Have filled in an adoption form for scruples. I am so desperate for one! I had the best dog growing up and she was a mongrel. Have never seen a dog like her. I have since discovered she was probably part whippet which made me want one. Still waiting to hear of scruples have approved us. We have our heart set on a rescue and not going down the puppy route, no matter how tempting it may be!

I was adamant we would never get a dog too!!

TheHouseofMirth Wed 23-Jan-13 22:04:57

Thanks everyone. Lots of helpful info here. Now just to work on DH...

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