A medieval illustration of hunting hounds

Lurchers and Longdogs: HDC Episode #15

Uncover the little-known world of sighthound hybrids, developed for highly-specific working and hunting purposes

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In this episode, we take a detour off the path of well-known sighthound breeds and venture into the somewhat murky and mysterious world of lurchers and longdogs.

A lurcher is a hybrid dog resulting from the cross of a sighthound with another working breed of dog. Their origins reach back far into history, when purebred sighthounds were highly revered and could only be owned by the wealthy and noble. Commoners secretly took advantage of opportunities to breed their farm dogs to the noble greyhounds and deerhounds, thereby creating a versatile hybrid that could hunt, protect, and work with great speed and drive. By their very foundation, lurchers have historically been affiliated with poachers and other “below the radar” activities… an association which is not readily rejected by modern-day enthusiasts!

Longdogs, by contrast, are the result of a cross between sighthound breeds. These hybrids are intended to capture the best traits of the two hounds, uniquely suited to a particular application.

Both lurchers and longdogs represent hybrid dogs that are intentionally developed for a very specific purpose, pursuing very specific game, and covering very specific terrain. For example, the needs of a rabbit hunter in rolling heather meadows is slightly different from that of a farmer looking to keep the coyotes away from the chicken coop. Sighthounds are of great use in both cases, but the characteristics can be further dialed in with particular breed influences.

Tune in to learn more about the murky world of lurchers and longdogs, including some unusual examples such as the Alaunt and the Nebraska Coyote Dog.

As always, we thank you for listening and hope you’ll continue to reach out with your comments, questions, and ideas. We can be reached at HDC@northwoodscollective.com.

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Hunting Dog Confidential is presented by Eukanuba Premium Performance Dog Food and supported by Dakota 283.

Last modified: November 13, 2020

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