Information about the Longdog
A Longdog is a type of dog; it is a crossbreed between two sighthounds. 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). 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.
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 Saluki x Greyhound is especially prized as a hare coursing dog in the UK, and more recently in the US on jackrabbits (typically Black-tailed Jackrabbit and White-tailed Jackrabbit). The best have near the endurance and heat resistance of the Saluki, and near the acceleration and drive of the Greyhound.
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) in western Europe, but did not affect the hares (Lepus europaeus). 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.