Lure Coursing 101


by Bob Mason, Executive Field Representative

Lure coursing for the sighthounds is a family sport in which we get to see these fine athletes perform off lead. Running with the wind, chasing a plastic lure, but under controlled conditions.

Almost all sight hounds will course the lure naturally, but some will have to have some training to awaken their natural instinct to chase something moving across the terrain very quickly.

I always start playing with the young pups in the yard when they are about ten weeks old. I attach a three foot length of nylon cord to an old ten foot long cane fishing pole. (The pole was sixteen feet long at one time, but the pups have caught it many times.) To the cord, I then attach a small toy that the puppies have been playing with.

By turning in a circle and dragging the toy on the ground for the pups to play with, they get plenty of exercise, and the coursing instinct is soon awakened.

We start the play time at two or three minutes and increase the time a minute or two per day so as to not tire the youngsters out too much and to keep them wanting more.

After a few days I replace the toy with a small white garbage bag, because this is what they will be chasing when they are old enough to course. I always let them catch the lure and allow them to tear it up if they wish to.

I am very careful to not tire the young pups too much and to make it as much fun for them as possible.

At most lure trials, the club will have a practice session, after the first days event is finished. There is usually an equipment fee of a couple dollars, for the privilege of running your hound, but you should ask about this in advance.

I will let the youngsters run about fifty to seventy-five yards, with one turn at first and lengthen the distance as they mature.

Do not let the youngsters over do it and remember the number one rule is safety and number two is to have fun with your dog.