The Longdog, a cross between two sighthounds, is a dog type bred for pursuing and catching a game. Although it does not have the same working ability as a Lurcher, it is known for its speed and agility. Another aspect in which it differs from the Lurcher is that the latter was an outcome of crossing a sighthound and non-sighthound.
|Alternative names||Kangaroo Dog Lurcher|
|Size/Height||Medium; 24-30 in|
|Size of Litter||6-8 puppies|
|Temperament||Affectionate, devoted, active, sensitive|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Ireland|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||No breed standards by any kennel club; registered with the NALLA (North American Lurcher and Longdog Association)|
Back in the 1950s, rabbit population in Western Europe severely declined due to the outbreak of myxomatosis, a viral disease that did not infect the hares. Even though Lurchers were previously used to catch rabbits, they were not quick enough to pursue hares that can easily reach a speed of 72 km per hour. Consequently, Longdogs were bred in an attempt to produce faster dogs that could be used for chasing and hunting hares.
Longdogs are typically produced by crossing Greyhounds with one of the other sighthounds, which may include Whippets, Salukis, or Deerhounds. The common crosses of this type include:
- Saluki X Greyhound: Have the heat resistance and endurance of a Saluki and the drive and speed of a Greyhound
- Whippet X Greyhound: Known for their acceleration, tenacity, fast recovery, and compactness
- Deerhound X Greyhound: Used for hunting fox and deer in the UK; fox, hare, rabbit, and boar in Australia; influenced the American Staghound in the US
Temperament and Behavior
Being gentle, loving, and friendly by nature, the Longdogs are considered to be wonderful family companions. They are not aggressive or hyperactive, and hence they make good apartment dogs, which can live happily in quiet environments. They enjoy the attention of their family members and may be unhappy if left to dwell by itself.
These dogs do well with kids who know how to approach a dog. They are known to co-exist with other dogs, but should be kept under extreme supervision when they are around cats or toy dog breeds.
Though its mighty size may be sufficient enough to ward off an intruder, it is quite stranger-friendly and also possesses a laid back attitude which comes in the way of making it a good guard or watch dog.
Despite its hunting tendencies, the Longdog does not need much exercise. Walk your pup regularly, as it will stop it from getting bored and keep it in shape. Leave some toys such as balls and indestructible chews in the yard so that your Longdog can enjoy tossing, flinging, or pouncing on them. Make sure that your backyard has a solid fence set high enough to keep it from chasing rodents and cats.
Brush its coat regularly with a hound mitt to manage its shedding. When its coat is dirty, use a quality dog shampoo for bathing. Basic care such as trimming its nails, brushing its teeth, and cleaning its outer ear are needed.
The Longdog may get affected by some of the health conditions common in its parent breeds including dermatitis, liver cancer, cardiomyopathy, achalasia, osteosarcoma, and anesthetic intolerance.
Though it has an independent nature, training it using positive reinforcement methods might help shaping up its personality in a proper way.
- Obedience training: Since Longdogs have excellent eyesight and can spot movement from a great distance, they should be first trained in an indoor facility so that they do not get distracted. Once they have mastered the commands, take them outdoors where they can learn to ignore distractions.
- Leash training: After adopting a Longdog, walk, run, and play as much as you can with your new pet in the first 3-4 weeks. When walking your pup, use a normal 6 ft leash, keeping the dog to your left. To earn its respect, you should always be in the alpha position while walking.
How much an adult Longdog eats depends on its age, build, and activity level. On average, males need 2.5-4 cups of dry food per day while female dogs need 1.5-3 cups a day.
- The famous English folk and acoustic duo Show of Hands sung the Longdog song, which signifies that those who own a Longdog are most likely to be poachers.