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In search of the Unobtainable. Creating the perfect Lurcher.
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Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 1:58 pm    Post subject: In search of the Unobtainable. Creating the perfect Lurcher.  Reply with quote    

For the unenlightened, a lurcher is a running dog that is designed to catch various quarry. Or of course it can be a back street accident.
A lurcher can be created by crossing two different pure bred sight hounds. For example a Saluki crossed with a Greyhound, or say a Whippet cross Saluki for greatly increased stamina. If people want a large lurcher then they will quite often cross a Deerhound or a Wolfhound onto a Greyhound, There are quite a few combinations to choose from.

The other way to create a lurcher is to cross any of the sight hounds or gaze hounds as they are sometimes called with a different breed of dog completely.
More often than not the starting point will be a greyhound or whippet and then the idea should be to blend the qualities of the other breed with the afore mentioned speed.
So for example you would use a Collie for brains and guile, a Beddlington for a reduction in size and an increase in gameness, any of the Bull breeds for gameness. The combinations using this method are truly endless and I've seen some truly wierd crosses in my time. I've seen Standard Poodle,Alsation, Doberman and even Wolf lurchers.
I think that I've explained the basic idea behind lurcher design, but now to throw a spanner in the works. In a nut shell the theory doesn't always work. Its not like mixing paint. The dog that I have now should have turned out like a large whippet. She is a3/4 whippet 1/4 greyhound. She should have been between 30 and 40lbs but instead she's the size of a large Greyhound in excess of 60lb.

To further complicate lurcher breeding even further , a lot of lurchers are created by lurcher to lurcher matings . In this instance the genes of umpteen breeds go into the melting pot and the variations that result can be massive. The dogs can be very good but it really is pot luck as to what you get.

In theory, the type of lurcher thats in demand today should have changed since the passing of the Hunting Bill. Whether you agree with it or not, you are now no longer legally allowed to hunt deer, fox or hare with your lurcher. The only worth while quarry still on the list is the rabbit. If peope take a practical approach to the hunting climate inexistance today, we should see a general decline in size of the lurchers that we see today and in the future.

I do quite a lot of rabbiting with a lamp and lurcher. My ideal dog is becoming harder and harder to find . I've always used non pedigree racing whippets with great success. In earlier days they were easier to find but not now. The pedigree whippet is useless for the job. Can't run by comparison and hasn't got the stamina or gameness for a long nights work.

Have any dog peope out there got any views as to what their best lurcher would be? Perhaps you've got one now?

Because of the hunting I do now, I would be looking for the brains of the collie, the speed of the whippet and the stamina of the saluki. I'd have to be very lucky to get a dog that would combine the three in just the right combination.

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As you know, I'm very taken with the salukiXgreyhound
Not sure about brains from a collie though? I'd agree on biddable, but don't think they're too smart (shall I get me coat now?)

The mixes are fascinating - I'm quite new to all this and want to learn a lot more. I know the salukiXgrey is a classic coursing hound, and so now presumably in danger of not being bred. Mine is not great on rabbits (yet), so practically not so good these days.

I like this cross as in the ones I've come across you get the more biddable greyhound nature with the saluki stamina, and of course the greyhound speed over short distances. And I just love the way they run. Having a full saluki too, I have definate views on that distinctive saluki free spirit! I love the saluki I have, but don't think I'd get another one - or not an English bred one for sure.

One of the things that saddens me most about the hunting ban is the loss of the generations of knowledge about breeding and training as well as the loss of the lines of hounds themselves.

Can I ask a question too? What's a longdog and what's a lurcher? I thought that longdog = 2 sight hounds as parents, lurcher = sight hound + working dog (however that's defined) as parents. Is this right? I'm never very sure of myself on this one

@Calli



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 1682
Location: Galway
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

)The trouble with mixing - gaze x brains/stamina - you may adore both attributes (i love saluki and deerhound per se) but what comes out doesn't always have the spirit of the breed that attracted in the first place. Obviously talking personal preference here but has to be brindled!!!(Ihave hidden shallows )

To cause more argument: was horrified in kerry to see what i thought was a greyhound trials day WASNT
Quick get the kids were off! Did not add 2and 2 when saw the sheeting around the field
Nothing against a fair sport but this was nothing like a fair run...
Gives good useful dogs a bad name....


As its Friday can we have some photos of lurchers - even gratuitous

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

hedgewitch wrote:
...Having a full saluki too, I have definate views on that distinctive saluki free spirit! ...


Next door to me have one; it's a complete nut-job. Daft ears, the legs are too long, and she's highly vocal, but she's a nice enough creature.

Oh, and I'd say the collies are stupid creatures, but highly loyal, trainable and obedient.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

HW
I've always used the term long dog to refer to a lurcher with a slight bias towards using it when talking of coursing type lurchers
Saluki lurchers come in all sizes. I've known bitches that have only come at around 40lbs whilst I have seen dogs at over 60lbs.

The Saluki lurcher can be a strange creature. I've known them to catch hares and rabbits like crazy and then sometimes even the same dog the following day not try at all. They can be very infuriating. The right dog can be unbeatable.
They inherit the stamina from the Saluki and can almost run all day. Some times they seem as though they don't put 100% into the chase and I've seen dogs that almost seem to amble on just behind their quarry.
One thing to watch out for with Salukis, is that they can become psycho stock killers. Once they start they can be impossible to break and they will kill cats for fun.Nothings safe.
Salukis don't have a huge amount between their ears. Saluki devotees will tell you that its not the dog but a failing in the owner.
I'm not convinced by the arguement , but some of the best coursing dogs that I've seen have been Saluki crosses. There is however a big failure rate as well.

The smartest lurchers that I've had have had collie in them. They can be something else, almost like a third hand

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Northern_Lad wrote:
hedgewitch wrote:
...Having a full saluki too, I have definate views on that distinctive saluki free spirit! ...


Next door to me have one; it's a complete nut-job. Daft ears, the legs are too long, and she's highly vocal, but she's a nice enough creature.

Oh, and I'd say the collies are stupid creatures, but highly loyal, trainable and obedient.


The daft ears are something I don't like. Mine girl has only light feathering. I hate to see a good hound made to look like a 1970's pop star The breed has been taken over by dog show freaks who, IMHO, are in danger of ruining it. Apparently the afghan hound used to be a perfectly respectable, working sight hound until it became a showring favourite. Now, in the USA, it has been altered to meet "standards" and often can't even run in the usual sight hound manner.

I'd love to go to the middle east or north africa and see what the salukis are like there... although apparently, american breeders are showing them how to selectovely breed for the showring rather than for working attributes now, in a bid to "standardise" the breed

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34183
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

(fox hound x ridgeback ) x ( greyhound x pointer ) then x johnson line
clever , tough , fast , a bit wild but trainable
total athlete

irish wolfhound x greyhound is ace

add spaniel to the top line and they are quite nice as well

@Calli



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 1682
Location: Galway
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is one of the problems when a breed has a standard imposed which may not have any rlelvance to the purpose of the animal originally!

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ExilesinGalway wrote:
)
As its Friday can we have some photos of lurchers - even gratuitous


Here you go, EIG...

Relaxing hounds...


Salukixgrey grappling with a boxer...


Saluki not looking like Rod Stewart...


And hopefully with legs not too like Kate Moss...


And saluki and salukiXgrey playing the "snappy" game... a kind of dueling game they play....


Last edited by hedgewitch on Fri Sep 08, 06 7:36 pm; edited 3 times in total

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Woops! Posted pix twice - sorry

Last edited by hedgewitch on Fri Sep 08, 06 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A small percentage of Border Terriers will still work but the rest of the pedigrees are simply pets and show dogs.
The Jack Russell is following very quickly down the same road since it was taken in by the KC.

Don't confuse the term work with the ability to catch the odd mouse or rat.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can almost hear that Saluki thinking " Where that bloody cat then ?"

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

bodger wrote:
I can almost hear that Saluki thinking " Where that bloody cat then ?"


Next door's looks like babmi on rollerskates most of the time, but she can't half shift when she wants to though.

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

bodger wrote:
I can almost hear that Saluki thinking " Where that bloody cat then ?"


Yup - although they both have responded to being called back from a cat chase. Wouldn't trust the saluki to do this, though. She is only let off in certain places.

Bodge, the traits you mention in the salukiX are all very familiar from my saluki, but not the cross. I suspect he is a bit of a one on his own, though.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 06 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Don't let the looks fool you. I bet you don't have too many cat problems in your area.

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