The Countryman's Weekly


August 21
08:00 2019

Commonsense in working lurchers

By John Glover.

AT 60 years of age I’ve been around running dogs a long time and been privileged enough to know some excellent all-round dogs, both pre-Hunting Act ban and now. The one overriding quality factor all these dogs have possessed is commonsense, a skill to a greater degree bred into them and thus inherited.

This quality is particularly prevalent in animals bred from working strain and worker-to-worker matings. In retrospect, this has led to lots of nondescript types but lurchers make fantastic workers.

What of the genuine first crosses where it all begins – how does one prepare and kick-start it all? It all begins in the working strain (be it pre-ban coursing, racing or working lines) in the pure running dog part of the equation and the non-running dog part is usually a terrier or pastoral breed.


At one stage securing a retired Greyhound bitch was a relatively easy task. Flapping tracks abounded in England and such places were heaven on earth for the lurcher keeper or breeder, if somewhat seedy places at times.

If you wanted to secure the services of a stud dog or brood bitch, these places were the ones to seek out for both commodities, which were usually available from time to time. I don’t know of a single flapping track open now but at one stage a dog could race at Warwick on a Saturday morning, Coalville early evening and get back to Hinckley to be booked in to the last race and win all with any luck!




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