IMO there's nothing more infuriating than when you're mooching along, your dog spots a rabbit in the next field, or a good distance away, takes off after it while you're trying to attract its attention to the rabbit you have spotted squatting tight only a few feet away from you!
That is when good training comes in handy. If the dog is always allowed to hunt up by itself, with no direction from you, then it won't see you as anything very important in the hunt, and will consequently ignore you when you try to direct it.
There's a fine line between getting a lurcher pup out in the field and learning how to hunt, gaining good field craft skills, and simply taking a dog out for a walk and letting it do its own thing. IMO the balance comes from doing obedience training in the field from an early age, and getting the dog focused on you as well as looking for game. Which is one (and the only) reason why I like myxie rabbits for pups.
Myxie rabbits sit about in the daylight, and they're ideal for directing a pup on to them when you spot them: much better than just letting a pup tear about after impossible rabbits in the distance. This way the pup learns that you are instrumental in its success, and will see you as an important part of the hunting team rather than just someone who shouts and bawls when it gallops three fields away after stuff it has no chance of catching. Talking daytime mooching rabbiting dogs here.
totaly agree with what your saying so how would that compare to the requirements of a lamping dog in your opinion http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...
I've never used a lurcher just for lamping because I do as much, if not more, day time work, but if I were to train a dog just for lamping I would still teach it field craft by day: ditches, fences etc: and I'd still get it picking up rabbits by day when the dog can see what it's doing, be aware of the dangers and obstacles. In fact, I don't know anyone who never lets their dog see a day time rabbit and only lamps it: the thought of running a green, non field wise dog on the lamp makes my blood run cold: lamping is dangerous enough as it is without putting a high drive dog out in the dark running anything: most game will head for cover, and at the very least you would want your dog to know how to handle itself round cover, fences etc.
To me the whole process of getting a pup to catch rabbits is a long, slow process with each step dictated to the owner by the maturity and type of the pup. Some pups take longer to get the hang of things: looking ahead, assessing their surroundings etc very early, others are content just to play and have fun. IMO its all about reading the pup, and knowing when it is ready, but I've never lamped a pup under 12 months of age, though if I lived somewhere where the rabbits were more plentiful, slower and less shy, on ground which is easier, then I probably would if the pup was the early maturing type.
There's no hard and fast rule for a dog as varied in temperament, size and type as a lurcher. I do think that if you are training a dog which is mainly or only going to be used for lamping, it may be best not to let it see too many rabbits by day: my own dogs take a while to cotton on to the fact that night time rabbits sit in the hedge or dyke bottoms, and don't just go straight to ground: a wee bit frustrating to begin with, but they've seen so many day time rabbits they take a while to learn that rabbits by night don't behave in the same way. Or maybe my dogs aren't high drive enough!
God help me when I start lamping the Airedale crosses it'll be bust a gut every time!