Rabbit hunting with a Lurcher
OK the Brits don't like me calling my Great Dane/Greyhound a lurcher ("a true lurcher would be a greyhound and terrier") Terrier , smearier she is a small critters worst nightmare. That makes her a working dog in my book. We tested her last winter with gun fire and she was calm around it. I have been dragging a fresh pelt around or teasing her to chase it and she is all over it.
Daisy has a reliable recall with a low setting on the e-collar. I wanted to get confident of her recall before I took her out to chase something.
From what I've read I basically just take her out and see what happens. There are tons of rabbits on Pt Mackenzie but a lot of road work going on now too so I think we have to wait until Fall and hard ground so we can get back off of the road.
Any suggestions or ideas? I dont really want to put her on anything bigger than a rabbit. Shes too beautiful. http://alaskadognews.com/LurcherSlideshows.aspx
Although I'm not familiar with "Lurchers", I'll give it a try! I have worked with several beagles and spaniels over time and find them extremely easy to train. I would purchase or even "barrow" a domestic rabbit. Get your dog excited and familiar with the animal in the cage for several days, let your dog get familiar with the scent and sight of the bunny. Don't let your dog see the rabbit too long, just long enough to build excitement. Chances are, if your dog isn't excited about a caged rabbit, it won't be with a wild one either... Next, take the tame bunny for a walk around the yard or back 40. Sure, put it on a leash but make sure the neighbors are out of town. Circle the bunny back to the start, and place it in the cage. Hide the cage, and release the hound!! Let your pup trail the rabbit back to your location, and when he's out of site, place the cage at the "finish" line, (two people help when performing this task eh!) When your pup makes the loop successfully, give her mass praise for a job well done! Try to mix up the finish line, so she's not used to the rabbit ending up in your lap, (if you know what I mean.)
You can then establish a "routine" with Daisy which is important out in the bush. When you get out in the wild, try to get a visual on a wild bunny. Next, start your pup on the exact spot the wild rabbit was located. The rest should be a piece of cake! Your shock collar will handle problems outside the mile perimeter, but I would place a bird dog bell (or cowbell in your case) around the pups neck. This will help keep tabs on your pooch while in the brush. You may even want to place an orange vest around her for safety sake! Lots' of boneheads would confuse your dog with a wolf!
I don't know if this helps you any, but it's worked for me in the past...