I guess what I'm kind of looking for is some stories of odd mixes or purebreds that have been useful to someone in getting the job done. It's all of those tidbits of information that help formulate ideas. Sometimes those stories don't give you direct useful ideas but they give you that important piece that you were missing or even help you to decide not to do something. It all goes into the brain and comes out in one form or another.
While leopards remain my first project, the lurcher project is something that I've thought about for a long time. Besides the super abilities of the cross, they have one other important trait that it shares with the old standard breeds used for everything under the sun...repeatability. The boarder collie X sighthound is very reliable and can produce their type and be very usefull with relative ease.
First off, I'd like to state the obvious for obvious reasons. This cross is not ment to replace the coldtrailer. These are ment to catch and close the deal.
I'm not dissatisfied with the leopards as I think they are exceptional as closers. In fact, I would go as far to say that it is easier to get a good closer in the leopard breed than nearly any other line of dogs I've messed with...I'm just not the type to settle.
David is right when he wrote that a dog specificly designed for bobcats has not been made on any large scale. We all know of several routes to take to get something that will work well on bobcats and even some that work very well but they are not easy to stamp out and repeat in any great number.
It seems to me that when the Shadetree first started and eventually became the B.G.H. a window was opened and the light was let into the world of bobcat hunting. The natural progression would eventually go towards the development of a breed of dog that was specificly made to hunt bobcats.
If you take the running dogs for instance, the obvious limitation is in the tree department. They work well in some areas and not in others. The mtn. curs are limited because it's way to hard to find one that will hold an old track. Some of the tree bred hounds are pretty close but it's in pockets and repeatability is difficult. There may be several lines that can regularly put out good bobcat dogs and are getting very close. Some lines of Leopards are even closer as it's pretty easy to get the brains at a high level. Remember, I'm talking repeatability here, exceptions are only a distraction from the goal.
Jeff has a glowing account of the dogs that Bob Fogel is making but he hasn't come up with the stamp yet. If Bob gets to the point were his dogs are easily repeatable he'll have made a mark. There are a lot of genes floating around in Bob's mix and it will be difficult to come up with a homogenous stamp.
Now I'm reminded of the saying that goes something like, "the biggesit advancements/successes come from the simplest solutions"...or something like that.
I've been doing a lot of research into some of the ancient breeds, the dogs that all of our current dogs are made up of. The answer is out there somewhere and I'd like to see it come about. It's not likely (statistically speaking) that it will be me who finds it but oh, what fun it will be to try.
There are some things I'm seeing in the dog world that give me great hope that an advancement can be made in fairly short order but things like this happen because many factors in a person's life all come to gether to make it possible at the right time. I'm not to sure I've got the time, money and freedom to be that guy right now. The family is getting bigger and the income/expenditure ratio is narrowing and freedom...well many of you have kids so I don't have to explain that.
Just know that I'm working on an angle and I encourage others with the interest to do the same. If anyone wants to chat about it all I'm not guarded with my information and if anything I've found can help someone else, pick up the phone and lets get some thinking done in between hunts.