Coursing Ability Test: Dogs Love CAT

Your Dog Might be Worthy of the Title CAT

In recognition of the canine need for speed, the AKC launched the Coursing Ability Test (CAT), a titling event for all dogs.

CAT is based on the sport of lure coursing, in which sighthound breeds test their instinct for high-speed pursuit by chasing a plastic lure over a course of straight-aways and turns. But unlike the breed-specific world of lure coursing, CAT is open to every breed and mixed-breeds.

The democratic nature of the event gives it a particular charm. As galumphing Newfie or a prancing Pomeranian competing in a realm usually reserved for leggy, aristocratic coursing hounds is a sight not soon forgotten. It is hardly surprising that rangy dogs like Dobermans and Boxers excel on the CAT course, but high achievers come in all shapes: short-legged but determined Dachshunds, Bulldogs, and terriers have all earned CAT titles.

More than ever before, dog owners are looking for fun activities they can share with their dog. If you’re one of them, find an AKC club offering CAT events in your area. It will get you out in the fresh air and sunshine with likeminded dog lovers. It will give you a goal: an AKC title to work toward. And most important, it will provide your dog a safe and structured way to indulge his ancient instinct to run.

CAT is a pass/fail event. Three passes earn the Coursing Ability (CA) title; 10 passes, Coursing Ability Advanced (CAA); 25 passes, Coursing Ability Excellent (CAX); and 50 passes, CAX2. A higher-numbered title is awarded for every additional 25 passes.

Find a dog trainer near your location and take the Canine Good Citizen test for your dog.