The Countryman's Weekly


November 30
07:02 2021

Lurcher bitches’ inconvenient seasons

By Penny Taylor.

THERE can be nothing more annoying for the serious lurcher owner who works their dogs hard all winter than for a bitch to come into season right in the middle of this period. For those who have never owned a female lurcher before, it may come as some surprise to find that the hormones released during and after a season (or heat) can affect her working ability quite dramatically.

Some bitches seem to show no side effects of this part of their reproductive cycle, but it is as well to note that even if there are no apparent physical effects of all those hormones racing round the body, the animal’s mental attitude may alter considerably during and after her season.

First, though, let’s look at how the physical body can change during this time. On the run up to her season, many bitches seem to be ‘on fire’, running and catching as though their lives depend on success. This is a hangover from when dogs were wild animals, whose survival before and after giving birth depended on the bitch being in tip-top condition, which means being well fed.

For the solitary predator, rather than those who form part of a pack, life is much harder, as the bitch will need to lie up with her new-borns for several days before she is able to go out and hunt once more.


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