What is Lure Coursing?

IMG_5623Sighthounds are dogs that were bred to chase game by sight rather than track game by scent. Lure Coursing is a humane performance event for hounds that duplicates the chasing of game and is great exercise for the dogs and a lot of fun for dog owners and the dogs. You will know how much we love it when you attend an event and see the owners struggle at the starting line to hold their dogs back until the starter announces the release. We just can’t wait to get after that lure.

Currently the breeds accepted at lure coursing events are Purebred Afghan hounds, Azawakhs, Basenjis, Borzoi, Cirnecho dell’Etna, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Ibizan Hounds,Pharoah Hounds, Salukis, Sloughis, Scottish Deerhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Whippets. Limited Stake Breeds chart Polskis, Galgo Espanols, Magyar Agars, Peruvian Inca Orchids, Portuguese Podengros, and Silken Windhounds. Lure Cousing events are sponsored by American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA), Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), and American Kennel Club(AKC).

A local club that is licensed by one of the three sponsoring organizations hosts a coursing trial. You can find these local clubs by visiting the sponsor’s websites at www.akc.org (click on performance events, lurecoursing/clubs) and www.asfa.org (click on member clubs).

You need to practice your dog and get the dog certified to run in a trial so check with the club to see if they will have certification/practice runs at the trial. Some other things to remember:

· Get good directions, these events are not easy to find.

· Bring a lot of water and a water dish for your hound.

· Purchase a quick release for the leash.

· Bring a chair and shade for the car. The day is long. Some Clubs have lunch available.

· Bring some great gourmet dog treats.

· Wear layers of clothing since the weather can change from cold to rainy to warm very quickly.

Dogs run against their own breed and if they win their breed will run against the other breeds to determine the best in the field that day. The dogs earn points toward titles. Jane (we both live with the Baker of those great gourmet dog treats) and I have our Lure Coursing Championship Titles. Please do not tell Jane I said this. Jane is better than me in Lure Coursing but I am the best at straight racing.

Get involved and have fun, it is a blast.

Is this exercise for your dog?

IMG_5623When you go to a dog park you will probably see a few of us dogs running around chasing each other. I am lucky in that I have a two acre back yard that my mates and I use to behave like nuts (when it is not too hot) and take turns chasing each other. As you may know we deerhounds were bred to hunt deer in Scotland and now our neighbors get mad if we chase down their Bambi, so we behave like good citizens and just chase each other.

If your dog is very competitive and loves to run another option is straight racing. The Large Gazehound Racing Association has organized racing events where we race against the same breed on a 200 yard straight grass track. If you win against all your breeds you get to race against the winners of the other breeds and finally might become the Field Champion for that day. Winners earn points toward titles. I think it is great fun and have earned enough points to become a GRC(Gazehound Racing Champion) and almost have my Superior Gazehound Racing Championship. Everyone loves to win but just as much fun is the day outing with 100 other dogs who all love to run as much as you do. I think our owners have a lot of fun also.

If you are interested check out www.lgra.org to learn if there is a club in your area. Eligible breeds are Afghan hound, Azawakh,Basenji, Borzoi,Chart Polski, Cirneco dell’Etna, Greyhound, Ibizan Hound, Irish Woofhound, Magyar Agar, Pharaoh Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki, Scottish Deerhound, and Sloughi. If you have a smaller breed such as a Whippet check out NAWRA, WRA, and CWA.

In a future post I will tell you about another exercise option called coursing but right now all this talk of running has me hungry for a gourmet dog treat.