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
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 at a later date 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.
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 as yet recognised by The Kennel Club (June 2016). 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:
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.
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.
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 has to 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:
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.
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 is allowed to build 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 has to 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.
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 £18.12 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of June 2016). 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 or not 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 all 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 pedigree or other puppy.
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