The Lurcher
" Possessing the gentlest of nature, the lurcher is at home in both town or country." Gary Hosker

The versatility of the lurcher is unsurpassed being both a hunter and companion. Possessing the gentlest of nature the lurcher is also a hardy dog able to gallop across country without sustaining injury. Happy at the foot of his master or the tail of a hare.

The lurcher is a silent hunting dog used for hunting and running down game. Usually a cross between a greyhound ( sometimes a whippet or saluki) and other breeds. The lurcher is not a breed of dog but a type, produced by customising the greyhound to the specific needs of the lurcher owner.

Those involved with the lurcher are often called lurcherman and the sport they pursue lurcher work or lurchering. The type of lurcher used by individual lurchermen varies according to the species they hunt.

For instance a lurcherman who hunts rabbits on land where there is plenty of cover might very well opt for a bedlington whippet lurcher, while the lurcherman hunting the same land for fox could very well use a bedlington greyhound or an American pit bull terrier, lurcher.

Lurchermen who choose to hunt rabbits during the daytime often enlist the help of a ferret to chase rabbits from their subterranean refuge once their lurcher has marked, while those who run their dogs at night to rabbit, hare and fox use a powerful lamp. This practice is known as lamping.

Lurchers are also used to chase hares; a sport known as hare coursing. Many types of lurcher are used for hare coursing but amongst the most popular are the saluki greyhound, deerhound greyhound, three-quarter cross and lurcher to lurcher.

Yet another type of lurcher is the all-rounder. Almost any type of lurcher can be used such as the bedlington greyhound, collie greyhound and the whippet greyhound. The all-round lurcher is expected to hunt, jump, kill and carry game back to hand, in the same way as a spaniel or labrador would.

Gary Hosker with Zappa, Bryah, Tommy and Zappa.
Country Sports and Country Life is indebted to Gary Hosker , a long time contributor to IHS&F for permission to use material and photographs from his web site :