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Example of a Longdog (Greyhound x Deerhound)
Other names Kangaroo Dog
Country of origin Ireland
Coat Any
Color Any
Litter size 6-8
Life span 12-15 years
Longdogs may be registered with the North American Lurcher and Longdog Association (NALLA)

A Longdog is a type; it is a crossbreed between two sighthounds [1]. They are distinct from the Lurcher which is a cross between a sighthound breed and a non-sighthound breed (usually a herding breed or a terrier)[2]. The Longdog is an attempt to create a better coursing dog, and is not expected to have the working qualities of a good Lurcher, although a few come close.





Because they are crossbreeds, longdogs vary in appearance depending on which breeds were used in the cross. They can be as small as a whippet or as large as a wolfhound. Their coats will also vary depending on the breeding. Some have short coats, some have long coats and some have broken coats.

Longdog crosses

Common longdog crosses are Saluki crossed with Greyhound, Deerhound crossed with Greyhound, and Whippet crossed with Greyhound. These dogs are generally bred for some of the same purposes as the Lurcher, but usually have more speed as opposed to the generally greater endurance and trainability of the Lurcher.

  • The Deerhound x Greyhound is considered a top fox and deer sighthound in the UK with good endurance and weather resistance. In the US, it appears to have been the foundation of the American Staghound (coyote sighthound).
  • The Whippet x Greyhound is prized for its compactness, acceleration, agility, tenacity, heat resistance, and fast recovery. Depending on the individual dog, it can be successfully used on all UK game but excels at lamping rabbits, and is generally a decent hare courser.


Lurchers were originally kept to catch rabbits when driven from their burrows; In the early 1950s, myxomatosis wiped out most of the rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) but did not affect the hares (Lepus europaeus).[3] Faster dogs were needed for coursing, or running down the hares (the hare can run at speeds up to 72 km/h / 45 mph.) The Longdogs were developed, mixing various types to get a dog with the preferred style of coursing. Coursing with purebred Greyhounds is still considered an "elite" sport.[4]

Popular culture

"Longdog" is a song by folk duo Show of Hands - the gist of the song being that if you own a Longdog you are probably a poacher. Show of Hands' fan club members refer to themselves as Longdogs.

See also

Further reading

  • Walsh, E.G. "Lurchers and Longdogs" Woodbridge:Boydell 1977
  • Walsh, E.G. "Longdogs by day" Woodbridge:Boydell 1990


External links


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