The Lurcher was developed as a sighthound during the 17th century by Irish and British travellers to hunt hare and rabbit (coursing), for poaching and for unofficial racing.
The original Lurchers were Greyhound / Collie crossbreeds, although any cross between a sighthound and either a terrier or member of the pastoral group of dogs is considered to be a Lurcher. That having been said, the ideal Lurcher should be about the size of the Greyhound and have a definite ’sighthound’ look.
Lurchers were originally developed because during the Middle Ages only the nobility were allowed to possess purebred sighthounds such as the Deerhound, Greyhound or Irish Wolfhound. Since Lurchers were considered to have no value, it was considered acceptable for the common man to possess such dogs.
Today however, despite the fact that the Lurcher is still considered a type of dog rather than a breed in its own right, Lurchers are highly regarded not only for their original purpose, but because their excellent temperament makes them ideal family pets and companion dogs.