Have you tried this dog exercise?

IMG_5623I love Sundays because sometimes “Mum” takes us Lure Coursing in Oberlin Ohio. If you stop in the store on a Sunday and we are not there to greet you and grandpa is holding down the Bakery there is a good chance that the girls and I are doing our favorite thing – running. Actually Jane & I are the only ones that love to lure course. Knight, Cookie, and Fergus just run around and pretend to follow the course but they always finish the run off with a dash to the finish line and “Mum”.

For those of you that are not familar with lure coursing I’ll do my best to explain it. Lure coursing is a sight performance sport to simulate hunting for sighthounds. Sighthounds hunt by sight and if we do not see the game we do not hunt. In this event the game is simulated by a plastic bag on a 1,000 yard track that takes multiple turns. A scent hound hunts by smelling the game so only sighthounds cannot participate in this sport.

On this Sunday Jane & I were really eager to run. Jane was injured last year and Mum wanted to see if she was her old self, which was very good. Mum loves to watch Jane run and says she is poetry in motion. We were the last dogs to run on this day. We both got an excellent start at the starting line and I followed the lure without cheating (cutting corners and distance and picking up the lure on another leg). Mum said I ran like I was two instead of nine and I could see she was really proud of me. On the last leg I got a cramp and cried out, mum asked the lure operator to stop the run and she and the Vet that was at the event ran out to check me. After a rub down with liniment I wasn’t even limping any more. Guess these old bones need more warm up before running long distances. Mum decided to hold me out of the final run.

Jane ran the final and of course she won but I really think that on this day I could have beaten her. Jane always wins at these lure coursing events and I always win at the straight racing events.

We all had a fun day and I put on my best act of being hurt when we got home so that Mum would give us all a few extra all natural dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery. This made it a perfect end to a perfect day.

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.