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Thomas Breul

Summer Warm Up

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Now I'm not into hunting jacks when they are young or during breeding season. And I'll he honest...it's damn hot in my desert and I wouldn't be out in the field if I didn't see a need for it. Normally I'd be on some vineyard guarding their grapes. This year I'm not working and the plan was not getting Vinny out until middle of September. Or later. When it's not scorching hot.


So I blame the dog. It's for sure all her fault. Recently I acquired a 8 month old (guessing here) Bull Whip. The young bitch has a excellent recall and respect for the hawk came instinctivly it seems. Even better she's the first dog Vinny hasn't hated. Normally Vinny's new four legged partners get abused by him until he decides they are useful.


The Harris Hawk and young Lurcher seemed to mesh right from the first go when introduced.


That only left getting the two in shape and working as a team effectively before fall and serious hunting.


Only way I could figure doing that is taking the pair I into the field. We spend hours walking desert only to kick up a jack or two. I normally avoid wastelands like this but it's the perfect setting for pup. She gets plenty of exercise without being tempted to overextend herself chasing the desert hares. One or two slips seems OK. Later I'll take her and Vinny to spots with more sport. so far all we brought to book is a big lizard. That's just what I want. No glory in taking summer jacks.


But as this is my first Lurcher I'm not sure what to expect from her. Some sort of training issue or vice would be expected. Some reason to reach out to this forum seeking advice from dogmen here.


I acquired the bitch a few weeks back for free. I stopped in to see a buddy and while walking around the side of his place I spotted a dog that looked to have a bit of sighthound in the mix. When I asked after her I got told his kids brought her home and he didn't know what type of dog she was or any history. Right off the bat he said "if you want her shes yours." I agreed to take her and hoped I didn't make a fool's gamble on a dog I had only glanced at. She looked to be a bull x with some kind of sighthound but until folks here said she's most likely bull x whippet I worried I was projecting my wants onto a nothing dog.


Three days at the house and she proved to be housebroken, with solid recall a OK fetch and most important, she had inate respect for my hawk Vinny. He has no problem putting a dog in its place. So seeing her win him over without getting the usual face full of talons Vinny is famous for providing other dogs was encouraging.


Her first time out my apprentice walked Indy on a slip lead while we followed Vinny a round. He moved through the desert or followed us. She behaved well and we slipped her on a far off jack. Both her and Vinny meeting at a downed Joshua tree the crafty jack disappeared under. She looked at Vinny perched on a branch with a what now expression. Moving on we left her lose and discovered she was happy to work close to us in a calm businesslike manner. Not seeing the second jack get up she didn't work the slip. Vinny was again outclassed. This is first time i ever seen Vinny unfit. Between hunting and work he's always been a real beast.


Her next outing resulted in zero slips on jacks after a couple hours. The highlight being Indy patiently standing near Vinny as he snacked on a unlucky lizard. Later she was asked to lay by Vinny as he was fed up on the lure. You would think she'd don't it 100 times already. I slipped her some of the same meat Vinny had on his lure. She loves the stuff but didn't think of taking Vinny's.


I can't think of too much more to ask of her. we will continue to work on fitness and also these easy practice hunts until a jack winds up in the bag. If that happens before fall we will stick to fitness work until it's ethical to hit the field hard.


Next up is gun / pyrotecnical acclimation and working around heavy equipment. She will need to be solid with both before starting to learn her job on landfills. Bet she will take right to bumping seagulls. The way she's shaping up prob will have all that mastered in a few weeks.


Guys...is this normal?





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