Of course I’m a Whippet lover but I actually love most Sighthound breeds as well as Lurchers. Today though I’m going to turn my eye on another Sighthound related mix… the Longdog.
For reference, before I begin though… a Longdog is not a Dachshund!
By the end of this post you should have a clear idea of what Longdogs are. You’ll also understand why people specifically breed Longdogs and have an appreciation of what Longdogs are like.
Table of Contents
- What Are Longdogs?
- Why Do People Breed Longdogs?
- Longdog Characteristics
- Choosing a Longdog Puppy
- Related Posts
What Are Longdogs?
A Longdog is a Sighthound mix. That means it’s a cross between Sighthound breeds alone, with one of the breeds typically being a Greyhound.
So unlike Whippet mixes, whereby a Whippet is crossed with other non-Sighthound breeds (Whippet Lurchers for example), Longdogs will typically be a Greyhound crossed with a Whippet, Saluki or Borzoi… or any other breed from the Sighthound family.
Why Do People Breed Longdogs?
Historically, it’s likely that Longdogs were bred to create fast and agile dogs for hunting.
While a Greyhound is fast, probably the fastest breed in the Sighthound family. However, it’s not as agile as some other members, such as the Whippet, as it’s a much larger dog.
Crossing a Greyhound with a Whippet then, results in a dog that’s still an extremely fast runner, but one that’s able to change direction quickly, since its somewhat smaller than a purebred Greyhound.
Equally, a Longdog might be bred to create a dog that’s fast like a Greyhound but with more stamina. Given that most Sighthounds are not designed for hunting over long distances where endurance is important, this is no mean feat.
That said, some Sighthounds such as the Saluki, have incredible stamina, especially given their size. Indeed, while the Greyhound is one of the fastest dog breeds over short distances (up to 800 metres), the Saluki is much faster over longer distances.
Since Longdogs come from mixes of Sighthound Breeds they share many of the same temperament characteristics. Of course, individual dogs can be completely different from what’s considered the norm in terms of temperament. However, by and large Sighthounds share many similarities.
Find out about the Whippet temperament.
As a general rule and depending upon the Sighthound mix, Longdogs are calm and loving in the family setting. As very affectionate and personable dogs, you probably wouldn’t chose a Longdog if you needed a guard dog!
Longdogs may also be a little reserved / aloof around strangers, but once befriended they’ll treat you like a family member. This is another reason why you might look to another breed for guard dog excellence!
They can be high energy dogs, they’re built for running fast after all, so it’s important Longdogs have adequate time for a daily run. For the most part this will be an hour off lead each day. Assuming they have sufficient exercise most Sighthounds are happy to lounge around and snooze!
How Much Exercise Does a Whippet Need?
On or Off Lead?
Because they’ve been bred for their skills at chasing, it’s never a good idea to allow Longdogs off the lead outside of enclosed areas, such as in the street.
The natural urge to run after small, furry things will likely be too much to overcome for them, so off lead walking in urban areas is not advisable. Cats, squirrels and even birds can trigger a the chase instinct, and in areas where there’s traffic this can be extremely dangerous.
Like their Sighthound parents, most Longdogs will be a little on the “independent” side where obedience is concerned. That’s not to say that Longdogs can’t be trained, it just means you’ll need to be consistent, committed and train / socialise them from an early age.
In terms of physical traits, Longdogs will vary according to the size, colours and coats of of the Sighthound parents.
For example, a Greyhound crossed with a Whippet will probably be slightly smaller than a pure Greyhound and have a very smooth coat. However a Greyhound crossed with a Saluki will possibly result in a bigger Longdog with a longer coat.
Choosing a Longdog Puppy
Like many mixed breed dogs, the subject of Longdogs is divisive. some people believe that mixing dog breeds to suit a fashion is reprehensible.
Some people label popular crosses like Cockapoos as “designer dogs” bred only as a means for breeders to make money without regard for the dog they’re creating. They argue that the motivation is to create an attractive looking dog to satisfy market demand and that as a result the resultant dog might suffer health problems or physical defects as a result.
Others believe that selective mixing helps to wean out negative traits, such as a propensity for certain illnesses or conditions in purebred breeds.
My view on Longdogs or any other mix is that if you’re going to choose to own a crossed dog you should be absolutely sure about the breeder, their motivation and the care they take to ensure healthy puppies.
If a breeder is churning out Longdog puppies as a money making venture, they’re unlikely to care about the wellbeing of the litters and so should be avoided.
I talk more about how to approach buying a puppy here: Buying a Whippet Puppy.
Summary… What Are Longdogs?
A Longdog is a mix of two Sighthounds, most typically where one of the parent breeds is a Greyhound. Longdogs are not a recognised breed and because there is so much variety in the Sighthounds group, there is no definitive standard that can be applied to the group as a whole.
However, in terms of personality, many Sighthounds have similar characteristics. This means that Longdogs are most often friendly and loving and they make great pets.
Do you own a Longdog? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment or ask a question in the comment section below.
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I have had 2 greyhounds: one an ex racer the second was bred for racing but refused (that was my girl). They are the most beautiful dogs lovely temperament very funny. My second died suddenly 18 months ago. I miss her so much, she had such a profound effect on my life. After terrible treatment by the vet to myself and her I feel unable to have another.
Oh Sara I’m so sorry to hear this.
Sara Miller says
Thanks for your kindness.
I had a Greyhound/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. He was the best dog ever. He was a rescue. He went everywhere with me. He died of cancer at 14.5 years old. He did have a protective instinct and saved me from an intruder. Even the police were impressed. He was loving, gentle, independent, and funny. When he was older, I trained him as a therapy dog, he loved it. I miss him terribly.
He must have been such great company. It’s so sad when they leave us.
David Goldenberg says
Hi Sara – So sorry for your loss.
The only way to carry on is to go get another. As an adopter of ex-racing greyhounds for over 25 years I can honestly say that I continue to fall in love all over again.
My beautiful Suki was the most loving gentle dog I have ever known in my life. She was like a human with so much sole who comforted me whenever I was upset or feeling down. She was so funny and such a character. She Sadly passed a few years ago but my love for her will always remain.
My heart goes out to you Gail as it’s such a difficult thing to deal with.
Sara Miller says
Gail, I think I know just how you feel, my thoughts go out to you.
Christina Elliott says
I have recently lost my Scottish deerhound due to heart failure. The time he was with me was a very loving affectionate and happy time. He wasn’t difficult to house train and was very obedient. To say I am heartbroken and devastated is being flippant but I am very much so. I can’t think about him without crying he is so missed.
Oh no… I’m so very sorry Christina. It’s so sad our dogs have to leave us. I hope you’re okay.
Hi I’ve had 3 greyhounds that were retired racers and they were the most loving dogs I’ve ever had…each had a different personality but all friendly and loving they were my babies…they’ve since passed the last one almost 2 years ago ..when I’m ready for another dog it will be a greyhound!
Hello Sandy. A good friend of mine has a retired Greyhound too. They’re gentle giants aren’t they? Such affectionate and kind dogs.
Shirl Roush says
I enjoyed your article 🙂. I had dogs All my life. I’m also a Great Dane lover, so can relate to the personalities these large dogs have (they’re more human and they think they are!
Thanks Shirl… I really appreciate the feedback.