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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Sporting Lucas Terrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Sporting Lucas Terrier
Breed Specific Buying Advice
The Sporting Lucas Terrier is one of the lesser known native terrier breeds that's a relative newcomer to the dog scene. They were first developed back in the forties by crossing Sealyham Terriers with Norfolk Terriers although Plummer Terriers were introduced into the mix later to create the dogs we see today.
Sporting Lucas Terriers are outgoing, confident characters that love nothing more than to be kept busy and they are just at home in a family environment as they are working in the field. They are quite different than other terrier breeds when it comes to their character, being less demanding and calmer by nature in many ways. However, because breed numbers remain low, anyone wanting to share a home with a Sporting Lucas Terrier would need to register their interest with a reputable breeder and may have to go on a waiting list for the pleasure of doing so.
Lucas Terriers appeared on the scene during the 1940's when Sir Jocelyn Lucas developed the breed by crossing Sealyham Terriers with Norfolk Terriers with an end goal being to produce a lighter working dog. However, over the following years the Lucas Terrier started to lose some of the characteristics they originally boasted and which Sir Jocelyn rated so highly. The traits he wanted in his terriers was the ability to track ground prey and to flush out any animal that went to ground when necessary. As such, during the nineties the Plummer Terrier was introduced into the mix by Brian Plummer and so the Sporting Lucas Terrier was born.
Today, these terriers are highly prized in the field for their working abilities, but they are just at home in a family environment and true to the "terrier" nature, they love being kept busy and involved in everything that goes on around them. Sporting Lucas Terriers are not yet recognised by The Kennel Club (April 2018). However, the Lucas Terrier Club of the United Kingdom has been established with an end goal being to ensure responsible and careful breeding continues produce healthy and robust Sporting Lucas Terriers.
Height at the withers: Males 25 - 30 cm, Females 23 - 28 cm at the withers
Average weight: Males 6.4 - 9.0 kg, Females 4.98 - 7.71 kg
The Sporting Lucas Terrier may be small in stature, but they are sturdy, robust little dogs that boast a wiry, stiff coat. They have strong, broad heads with a nice width between their ears and a well-defined stop. Their muzzles are strong and broad at the nose. They have a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Ears are set high and drop forwards forming a V-shape, both when a dog is at rest and when they are alert. Their eyes are dark, and a nice oval shape being set quite deeply and quite far apart on a dog's face. Their lips are dark and tight.
They have a nice strong neck that's moderately long and slightly arched, merging nicely into a dog's shoulders. Their front legs are straight and well-muscled with small, round front feet that boast hard, firm pads and strong toes. Chests are broad with dogs having well sprung nicely laid-back ribs. Their topline is level and loins strong, yet supple. Their backs are short, but flexible with dogs having a slightly tucked up belly which adds to their athletic yet compact appearance.
Tails are set level with a dog's topline which has a gentle slope to the croup. Lucas Terriers carry their tails upright. Their hindquarters are well muscled, but not too broad and back legs are straight, strong and muscular with dog's having small, compact round back feet with firm, strong pads and toes. Their nails are dark and very strong.
When it comes to their coat, the Sporting Lucas Terrier has a wiry, harsh to the touch, straight coat that lies close to the body and a thick, dense softer undercoat. They typically have two colour combinations which are as follows:
When a Sporting Lucas Terrier moves, they do so with great purpose covering a lot of ground with short, energetic strides when they do.
Prospective owners should be wary of any puppies or dogs that show any sort of exaggeration whether in their looks or conformation and that extra-small dogs often come with many health issues, so they are best avoided. A responsible breeder would always ensure that puppies they produce are of a good size and conformation and would avoid breeding extra small dogs for these reasons. Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
The Sporting Lucas Terrier is an intelligent, alert and energetic dog. They are feisty, fearless and they love nothing more than to be kept busy. However, unlike some other terriers, they are not hyperactive dogs although like other terrier cousins they tend to be a little independent by nature. With this said, in the right environment and with the right amount of training, these little terriers respond well and quickly to any commands they are given.
Although very courageous by nature, a Lucas Terrier is smart enough not to get themselves into too much trouble. They are friendly but can be a little wary of strangers preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone. A Lucas would rarely show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards a person though. They are known to be a lot less excitable than some of their terrier cousins which is why they are so highly valued as working dogs in the field.
When a Lucas barks, it's for good reason and rarely one of these terriers just bark for the sake of it which is another "un-terrier-like" trait. As such the one thing these terriers are not, it's yappy. They are a good choice for first time owners who have the time needed to dedicate to a canine companion because if left to their own devices for longer periods of time, a Lucas Terrier would quickly get bored and this could lead to them developing some unwanted and destructive behavioural issues around the home. They are a good choice for people familiar with this type of energetic terrier and where one person in a household usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house.
As previously mentioned, Sporting Lucas Terriers are a good choice for first time dog owners providing they have the time to dedicate to a highly intelligent and energetic canine companion and one that loves being given something to keep their minds occupied.
The Sporting Lucas is a terrier although their prey drive is not as intense as other terrier breeds. With this said, care must always be taken as to where and when a dog can run off the lead, more especially if there is livestock and/or wildlife close by.
Sporting Lucas Terriers have a very playful side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They are known to be a little mischievous when the mood takes them and being so clever they learn new things quickly which includes how to please an owner, so they get their own way.
Although a Sporting Lucas Terrier is a highly adaptable dog, they are better suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like an energetic, intelligent terrier at their side.
Sporting Lucas Terriers form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out, so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained.
Unlike many other terrier breeds, when a Sporting Lucas barks, it’s usually always for a very good reason. They are not known to be “yappy” or “barkers” and will only voice an opinion when they think it is necessary to do so.
Most Sporting Lucas Terriers love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a dog off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own. It is also very important to thoroughly dry a dog’s ears to prevent any issues from flaring up.
Sporting Lucas Terriers like all terriers are always on the alert which means they are good watchdogs, but not very good guard dogs given their size. However, rarely would a terrier show any sort of aggressive behaviour preferring to stand their ground and bark.
Although a Lucas Terrier is independent by nature, in the right hands and environment, they are very responsive when it comes to training and love nothing more than to please. In short, it's easy to keep them focussed during a training session. They thrive on the one-to-one attention they are given and because they are always so eager to please, they pick commands up extremely quickly which makes the whole experience so enjoyable.
As with many other breeds, the Lucas Terrier is quite a sensitive dog and as such, they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy-handed training. However, they are extremely responsive to positive reinforcement which get the very best results out of them.
Like all puppies, the Sporting Lucas Terrier is incredibly cute when young which means that it is all too easy to spoil them when they first arrive in new homes. Once a puppy is nicely settled in laying down ground rules and boundaries helps them understand what is expected of them and what is acceptable behaviour. It also helps establish a pecking order and who the alpha dog is in a household. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
The Sporting Lucas is just as happy in a home environment as they are out in the field working and they thrive on being around the people they love which includes the children. They are known to enjoy playing games with the kids although playtime can sometimes get a bit boisterous. As such, any interaction between the kids and a dog should always be supervised by an adult to make sure things don't ever get too rough.
They are also known to be good around other dogs, more especially if they have been well socialised from a young enough age. If a Lucas has grown up with a family cat in the house, they usually get on well together, but if another cat ventures into their territory, a Lucas Terrier would quickly chase them off. Care must be taken when they are around smaller animals and pets, just in case.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Sporting Lucas Terrier is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Lucas Terrier is a robust and healthy dog that does not appear to suffer from some of the hereditary health issues that are known to affect their parent breeds. With this said, the conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
Sporting Lucas Terrier puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different, and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
As with other breeds, some Sporting Lucas Terriers gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight, it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
The Sporting Lucas Terrier is not generally known to suffer from allergies, but it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
For the moment, the Sporting Lucas Terrier is considered a healthy breed and as such there are no specific health tests necessary.
Because the Sporting Lucas Terrier is not a Kennel Club recognised breed, there are no official breed specific breeding restrictions in place. However, all breeders should follow KC breeding guidelines to ensure the continued health and welfare of the breed.
The Sporting Lucas Terrier is not a Kennel Club recognised breed (October 2018) and as such there are currently no Assured Breeder requirements in place.
As with any other breed, Sporting Lucas Terriers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Sporting Lucas Terrier puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or, so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Sporting Lucas Terrier puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out making them withdrawn, timid and shy.
As previously mentioned, Sporting Lucas Terrier puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older Sporting Lucas Terriers need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Sporting Lucas Terrier in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Sporting Lucas Terriers need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Sporting Lucas Terriers don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
The Sporting Lucas Terrier has a short, wiry and stiff coat with a thicker, softer undercoat. However, they are low maintenance when it comes to keeping their coats tidy and in good condition. A weekly brush is all it takes to keep on top of things and to remove dead and loose hair. As with many other breeds, they tend to shed all year round with the added bonus being they are known to be low shedders. With this said, and like so many other breeds, they tend to shed the most during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary.
To make life easier, many owners opt to have their terrier's coat professionally hand stripped when they shed the most which makes life a lot easier in between visits to a grooming parlour. Another plus point about a Sporting Lucas is they don't have any sort of doggy smell about them.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax builds up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections because the breed is known to suffer from them quite badly.
The Sporting Lucas is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need to be given anything from 40 to 60 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Sporting Lucas would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing must be extremely secure to keep these high energy dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Sporting Lucas puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Sporting Lucas puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise, so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Sporting Lucas Terrier puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 11 months old, they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Sporting Lucas Terrier should be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult dog can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Sporting Lucas Terrier, you would need to pay upwards of £1000 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Sporting Lucas Terrier in northern England would be £20.34 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £42.56 a month (quote as of April 2018). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Sporting Lucas and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Sporting Lucas would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a healthy, well-bred Kennel Club registered pedigree Sporting Lucas Terrier puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Finding well-bred Sporting Lucas Terrier puppies can prove challenging which means that puppies can often command a lot of money. As such, with the Sporting Lucas Terrier there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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