Lurcher

A lurcher

So what is a Lurcher?

Lurchers have been around for centuries.

They are a type of hound developed from crossing a sighthound with a working dog such a collie or terrier. So strictly speaking they are not a ‘breed’ of dog.

The lurcher originated from when only the aristocracy were allowed to own sighthounds – greyhounds, deer hounds, whippets. Commoners got around this law by creating the lurcher and so created a swift hunting working dog.

Lurcher and owner

Working companions

Characteristics

Lurchers are loyal companions, keen working dogs and enjoy human company, although their character will also depend on how they have been “crossed”.

The breeds size, shape and coat colour varies too.

Read more about lurchers in our articles and videos below.

shot rabbits in pile

Tips for shooting rabbits

Go out into the field shooting rabbits and you will improve your hunting and shooting skills, learning about how animals avoid humans and predators. The rabbit ranks as some of the best sport a shooter can have. It’s all about being in the fields, watching and listening. It’s not about…

taking lurchers lamping

Night of the long dogs

Taking lurchers lamping At the end of the beam, Blue turned hard, just inches behind the rabbit. It turned too and again Blue went with it, heeled over like a racing yacht. The rabbit made a last, desperate twist then Blue was trotting steadily back to Jake, the rabbit held…

what is lamping

So what is lamping?

Lamping is a simple procedure of shining a light around an area until a rabbit (or rat) is spotted, and the dog is then sent to get it. Lamping with a dog is best done on foot, as it causes minimal disturbance and damage, and often allows a good chance…

Ferrets

5 ways of ferreting

Ferreting for rabbits can achieved in five different ways by a ferret bolting them. Some work better in certain situations, but they all have their place. Some of these methods can be combined together to improve effectiveness. Purse nets Purse nets are the starting point for those beginning a career…

lurcher with rabbit

The lurcher – a designer cross-breed dog

A gamekeeper once said to me that a lurcher was “any calibre of gun you require”. The lean, light “silent assassin” is a most versatile field dog and probably the oldest known designer cross-breed. There are variations to suit each type of land and each intended task, but all of…

Ferrets

How to start ferreting

Ferreting is one of those activities that can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. For a newcomer it can seem quite daunting when you consider all the bits and bobs that are collected by those experienced in the art. However, you can still start ferreting and catch rabbits with a minimal amount…

Lurcher

Run rabbit run, here comes the lurcher

When I was growing up I used to spend a lot of my school holidays with my grandparents in a small rural village in Kent. Next door lived an old man called Bert, he was a cowman on a local farm, but what he didn’t know about the countryside just simply…

Lamping with lurchers

Lamping with lurchers

A lurcher by definition is a crossbred creature, one created by a number of breeds with the intention to retain attributes from each ingredient of the mixture. Such cocktails have been created for centuries – long before it was trendy to cross one breed to another. Some say a lurcher is…

Bobbery pack

Will cross-breeds ever rule in the field?

While I appreciate the wealth of pure-bred working gundog breeds, I would not hesitate to use a cross-breed working dog if it gave me an extra edge for a particular job. It takes months to train a gundog properly and minutes to ruin one, so it often pays to create a…

Roguish poacher

Modern poachers are not the affable rogues of old

Thirty-odd years ago, poachers were still poaching game for their own pot, or flogging it at the backdoors of country pubs and hotels, where it would get converted into tasty game, or more accurately, poacher’s pies. There was still an element of “old country romanticism” involved. The culprits were roguish but…

Which lurcher?

Q) Can you tell me what kind of lurcher would be best for ferreting? I intend to acquire one, but I have been told that some types are better than others. Can you shed some light on this and tell me what type you prefer? C. RIGBY By email…

Ratters to the rescue

Ratting dogs at work are an awesome sight to behold. Nick Ridley watches a dedicated team help a local farm with this destructive and abundant pest

Foreshore ferreting

Foreshore ferreting

Selena Masson watches a masterclass on a Suffolk estuary as Shooting Times’s ferret man, Simon Whitehead, sets two lurchers and 12 hungry ferrets on a vintage warren