The Joy of the Chase
By Carol Chittum
AKC's newest dog sport offering, Coursing Ability, more than proved its validity to the fancy at the recent Tests hosted by Cascade Coursing Club (all-breed AKC lic. Lure Coursing club) in conjunction with Olympic Kennel Club's all-breed shows. OKC has as a goal, to provide as many performance events as possible so that the fancy can show and the public can see what dogs can "do" besides looking beautiful in the show ring. They host all-breed Agility as well as Rally Trials and for the last five years, Lure Coursing tests. This year CCC added the CATs which proved to be a huge success.
Dogs from all seven Groups, Miscellaneous Class, FSS and Canine Partners entered and experienced the immense joy of pursuing the lure! Some came specifically just for the CATs, but many show exhibitors crossed the street and came with their dog(s) straight from the show ring to the coursing field! Many completed their first level title, the CA (Coursing Ability) and several earned the first or second leg of their CAA (Coursing Ability Advanced.) Several were the first of their breeds to do so!
The beauty of this new activity is that it elicits one of the most basic instincts of the canine---that of prey drive. The dogs LOVE chasing that lure, and the owners are thrilled with the possibility of earning these new titles. This program is open to all--AKC registered, ILPs, PALs, and Canine Partners--therefore opening up a new horizon for all dogs and their owners.
This author found it of interest that the breeds who continue to need prey drive for their "work"---notably those from Herding, Working, Terriers and Hounds--had incredibly fast (runs are timed) as well as fantastic agility and follow. This was true whether or not the dogs in question had ever been "tested" with formal herding, earthdog or coursing activities.
We, Cascade Coursing Club, look forward to hosting many more of these events in the future, and encourage other clubs to do so as well. The dogs' joy and owners' enthusiasm was quite infectious!
TALLY HO, now, for everyone!
The author of this article, Carol Chittum, is one of the founders of Cascade Coursing Club and Past President. She is Breeder of Record of nine, homebred AKC Dual Champion Whippets several also with AKC Agility and Rally titles, all under the prefix, Belaya.