Re-training a lurcher for deer tracking
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Is it possible to retrain a lurcher to track deer if its working life has been cut short by injury? Or should I retire the dog completely?
Q: My lurcher's working life has been cut short due to injury. Would it be possible to retrain her for deerstalking?
JACKIE DRAKEFORD replies: Definitely! While it wouldn't be wise to take her into a high seat or leave her at the foot of one, lurchers have superb noses and are easily trained to new hunting skills. Adept at using both air and ground scent, they really come into their own where tracking is needed, being capable of following scents many hours old. Although some lurchers will stalk patiently with you and wait behind you for as long as is necessary, many stalkers prefer to leave their dog close by in the vehicle until the shot's taken.
While some organisations only allow purpose-bred dogs to be trained for deer tracking, the UKDTR (UK Deer Tracking and Recovery) is very welcoming to any type of dog and offers excellent courses.