As a by-product of possessing good dogs, many Doherty bred lurchers
and longdogs have been produced over a span of nearly 30
bred first cross deerhound x greyhound
DEERHOUND X GREYHOUND
This first cross longdog is probably the most versatile F1 and
breeds truer to one type than any other first cross mating.
Aesthetically they are exactly what would be expected from the
mating of deerhound with a greyhound. There are only two
colours that can come from this mating, brindle is dominant
but blacks can appear. Brindle colourations can range from
various shades of brown to grey. Bill & John never produced
any three quarter bred hybrids, as they believed the first
cross was a more versatile, sounder longdog, but this in no
way bemoans the three quarter bred, as some longdogs from this
mating are excellent workers, and useful all-rounders.
A first cross
deerhound x greyhound bitch. Showing the smaller size of
those produced at DOXHOPE.
The size of first cross deerhound x greyhounds is always
going to be large, but the average height and weight can range
depending on the breed of the deerhound and the size of the
greyhound. DOXHOPE bred first crosses were always smaller
than their contemporaries, mainly because the smaller, lighter
DOXHOPE male deerhounds were always used as studs.
Coat ranges from short/broken to a longer broken coat, ideal
all weather protection, with the skin below it hard/tough
which doesnít tear easily.
There is probably less litter waste-age in litter of this
first cross than from any other first cross hybrid.
Temperament in most cases throws to the deerhound side, and
they are never aggressive or suspicious making this cross a
favourite, safe, excellent pet or companion as well as worker.
Deerhound x greyhounds can make useful all-rounders, but
rarely great all-rounders, but again when compared to other
first cross matings, they rank near the top. First
impressions to some, they may appear "soft", but soft they are
not, they are demon takers of foxes, probably one of the best
first crosses for this vocation, possessing speed to out-strip
any fox and the stamina to take many in one nights work or a
number of outings per week. Unlike some other first cross
hybrids, deerhound x greyhounds rarely give in or "quit".
They possess the temperament to run rabbit after rabbit on
hard nights on the lamp.
Deerhound x greyhounds usually do well at lurcher shows,
epitomising the term, "longdog" as they are rarely
A lot of lurcher owners can get disillusioned with these
crosses when they are young, they are by dint of nature,
slower to come on, especially when compared to some of the
smaller available first cross composites or lurcher x lurcher
matings. A great many sapling deerhound x greyhounds must have
been sold on before the age of 12 months, only for the new
owner to reap the rewards of securing a dog that was just
about ready to go to work. Most examples of this cross will
take hares, especially in areas where grit, determination,
speed and agility replace stamina.
Two Doherty bred
lurchers, the black bitch is Yella, mother to the fawn.
LURCHERS x LURCHERS.
Bill Doherty not only kept good lurchers, he produced them
too, where his original aim was to breed lurchers that would
be classed as "all-rounders". That is, dogs that could perform
most of the tasks and hunting vocations Bill was interested
in, such as lamping, ferreting, net work, bushing/mooching,
taking hares/foxes and deer. In the county of Northumberland
there is a very large cross section of game available to the
aspiring lurcherman, so it is not viable for most hunters to
possess one dog for rabbits, one for hares and so on. Lurchers
living in this area when Bill started were produced to cope
with this myriad of hunting disciplines. These dogs are, by
all intense and purposes, "all-rounders". Within this type
there are however good and poor examples, as there are in any
type of dog. Bill Dohertyís original lurchers were noted, by
many, as being good all-rounders.
mother and daughter pair of Doherty bred lurchers
start of Bills line bred lurchers
The strain began with Bes, a bitch bred from a first cross
deerhound/greyhound mated to a very useful lurcher x lurcher
(with collie blood) noted for her stamina and brains. His
first breeding alternative was to mate Bes to one of the best
local stud lurchers of that era, Billy Mercel`s dog Paddy.
This breeding approach worked in the short term, then Bill,
guided by his father John, began to line breed his dogs, this
technique helped to consistently produce what Bill was after.
On average, bitches from Billís strain level out around 22-24
inches at the shoulder, and weight between 40-45lb when fit,
ideal sizes for all-round lurchers. Dogs from the breed were
Sophie, a 4th
generation lurcher x lurcher bred by Bill Doherty and owned
by Kevin Hale from Bedlington.
Bill regularly states he has only witnessed 5 dogs over 30
years that he would class as "great all-rounders", and all of
these were lurcher x lurchers, or "Bitza`s" as some people
call them, but his standards are set high, "better too high
than too low".
From the union
of Paddy and Bes, Bill retained a black rough coated bitch
that he named Kit. Although this lurcher was only twenty-four
inches at the shoulders, she was a demon when hunting larger
quarry such as roe deer and fox. Kit was barren and never came
into ďseasonĒ. Her hunting reputation grew, and this was to be
her downfall, she was stolen in 1990.
To continue his line of all-round lurchers and a breeding plan
coached by his father, Bill obtained a black bitch pup from a
litter sired by Kitís litter brother, Cap. This bitch was
called Yella, she was a reincarnation of her grandmother Bes,
and for a long time she was one of the top lamping bitches in
mid to north Northumberland. In a nights work she accounted
fifty rabbits on no less than thirty occasions. Yella
possessed incredible stamina and speed, traits pre-potent in
Bills lurchers; she was kept mainly for the hunting of this
humble quarry, so it should be no surprise that she accounted
for less than twenty hares in her working career.
Bill obtained a number of litters from Yella; the best puppy
was probably a blue bitch that he originally kept back for his
self, Sophie. This bitch was later passed on as a favour to a
very good friend, Kevin Hale from Bedlington in
Northumberland. Kevin was keen, and his enthusiasm reminded
Bill so much of his when he was just branching into the world
of Ďlurcherdomí. Such a blend of pure raw passion, dedication
and a well-bred dog saw Kevin take Sophie into pole position
in the local lurcher world. This little blue bitch still holds
the record tally of rabbits taken on one nights work with the
lamp in the mid to north Northumberland area, eighty-one! On
the same night this phenomenal haul was taken, her mother
Yella, at the ripe old age of eight took eighty. Indecently,
Sophie also accounted for two hares on that same outing.
An example of Billís standards set for his dogs.
As a typical example to the amount of work done by Bill
Doherty and his fellow lurchermen, and the volume of game
taken by their dogs (some tallies which still remain as
records in the mid-Northumberland area) here is an extract
from one of Billís many record books, which have been
religiously maintained since the 70`s. These not only hold
Billís own dogs records, but also every dog belonging to
others which he has had the pleasure to have hunted with.
1st. 216 rabbits, 2 hares,
Yella 80, Sophie 81, (2 hares) Jack 55.
3rd. 22 rabbits
Yella 9,Tip 13
5th. 18 rabbits
Gwen 4,Tuck 7, Rum 7
7th. 93 rabbits
Yella 33, Sophie 55, Jay 5.
14th. 29 rabbits
Yella 8,Tuck 7, Rum 14. 2 hares, Tuck1, Rum1
18th. 6 rabbits
Yella 3, Suzy 2, Rum 1
23rd. 19 rabbits
Yella 11,Tip 8
25th. 44 rabbits
Yella 24, Fen 20
27th. 26 rabbits
Yella 15, Fen 11
29th. 20 rabbits
Yella 8,Gwen 2, Tip 10
30th. 28 rabbits
Yella 9, Rum 11, Tuck 8. 1 hare, Rum
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