The Working Lurcher
Let’s be under no illusions as to the nature of that extraordinarily lazy dog that is “resting” on your sofa as you read this. Lurchers have been bred over hundreds of generations to be the supreme hunting dog for small, fast game and today’s Lurcher owners are divided into two groups.
The majority of Lurcher owners simply adore their dog for its beauty and temperament and are more than willing to excuse aspects of its darker nature as long as they only take the odd squirrel or rabbit. However, you cannot ignore the heritage of the working Lurcher as a dog bred for catching small game for the pot and we have been continually refining its hunting abilities for hundreds of years, generation on generation.
Today, the working Lurcher is alive and well here in the UK and other parts of the world where dogs are regularly bred and trained to hunt small game. More recently, as we have become more aware of animals and our environment and with modern food production pretty well making hunting for the pot unnecessary, so something as evocative as Hare coursing splits Lurcher owners into two distinct camps. However one cannot forget the Lurcher’s ancestry and while dogs are being bred to work rather than to show, the diversity and vitality of the Lurcher will continue to improve.
Of course not all people who work their dogs are stupid yobs and in some areas the Lurcher still plays an important role in pest management in the countryside. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK but headlines are made every year by reports of dogs being set on deer and hares by gangs of men but, as always. the dogs in question are totally innocent. Unfortunately there will always be some men who need to prove their manhood with displays of macho and cruel behaviour.
This website is firmly in the camp of the Lurcher as a pet but there is plenty of information on line and many book written on the subject of the working Lurcher.