SHH-I was a bulldog man long before I ever thought about lurchers. For me there are bulldogs and then there are the rest. That being said, I have added bulldog into almost every other kind of dog you can imagine...LOL The bull blood in my bullstags was used for hog hunting, but was old Bolio/Eli type stuff. I dont think a deep game dog is needed for crosses, as that type gameness isnt needed, and cant be expected from any dog that carries 1/2 or less of game blood. In MY lurchers the bull blood has added durability, wind, heat tolerance, and brains. A good stag is generally superior in the killing dept than most bulldogs, IMO. Most folks think the bull blood is for the kill, but if you need it for that, your not breeding the right type of running dog anyways, IMO. I would never use the ill built bulldogs ie...bullys, crooked legged, bad footed, short/squatty, etc...no matter how they were bred. I would always prefer a game dog over a cur, but I would pick a well built cur over an ill built game dog, for making lurchers.
Dogs figure out pretty quick what they can whip and what they cant. Alot of dogs look like hard dogs, til they run into something harder. If they dont get killed quickly, they go from mute to bayers/mixers. I have seen dogs smash coon and bay at badger, smash fox and bay at coyote, smash coyote and bay at bear etc.. etc... etc...
I expect the dogs breeding to lead it into its job. I dont "build them up" from small game to large like many do. I start hauling my pups at about 7-8 mo along with a pair of older dogs. If the pup decides to start on his first coyote, bear, lion etc... thats great. If not, its OK for a few more months, but I wont keep a dog that doesnt start by 12 mo. Im not against others doing it differently, its just the way I do it.
Some years I lose a few dogs, some years none. Far more fall to the culling machine, than from dangerous game.
Hope that helps some, feel free to agree/disagree, Im always willing to hear how others do it...even if I cant make any sense of it.
well said doc it is a big thing in uk and ireland at the min to bred bull blood to make lurchers,to add fire to the dog.many lurchers have a base ie greyhound which has never been in field or seen a hunt. i do agree with most of what you are saying about adding bull which have bad make up in there genes ie bow legs bad feet to a running dog.and agree intirely about culling hard.dont know if i agree bout the ages that you give the dog time to work 12 month its very young to tell lot about a dog but as you said thats your preference.how do lurchers you bred and work take coyotes,fox and lion do you run any of the dogs single handed on these do you dispatch the animals with gun or let the dogs do the killing and is there any dog that you would like to work over there that you havent had the chance to work yet eg irish wheten,english bull ?