Sure, you think your dog is fast. But have you ever wondered how fast? Can your dog outrun Usain Bolt, who has been called the fastest runner in the world? He just might: Usain’s fastest time has been clocked at almost 28 mph – yet dogs have been known to reach speeds of 35-45 mph.
Well, you no longer have to wonder how fast your dog can run. FAST CAT® – which stands for Coursing Ability Test – is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure. It’s over before you know it — and it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring to watch your dog run at top speed, ears back, eyes focused, legs strong. And if your dog is really fast, you might earn bragging rights if his name makes onto our list of top 20 fastest dogs by breed!
Although it is a relatively new sport, its popularity has spread like wildfire. No wonder. According to one AKC official, “The FAST CAT® provides a terrific opportunity to introduce new participants to the world of AKC sports as one of the few events where all that is needed to compete is a dog’s natural instincts.”
To participate in FAST CAT®, your dog must be:
- At least 12 months of age.
- In both excellent physical and mental condition and up-to-date on all inoculations and health check-ups.
- Have an AKC number via one of the following:
- AKC Registration as one of the AKC’s recognized breeds.
- AKC Canine Partners, which is for mixed-breed dogs and dogs ineligible for AKC registration.
- Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program, which is for purebred dogs that cannot be fully registered with the AKC to participate in AKC events.
- Foundation Stock Service®(FSS), which is for recorded breeds on the road to full AKC recognition.
- Spayed and neutered dogs are eligible to compete in these events and are welcome. Blind dogs are not eligible.
- No dog can compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.
- Dogs of these breeds with Conditional registration are not eligible to participate.
- Dogs with Limited Registration are eligible to participate.
An inspection committee will also inspect each dog for lameness and fitness to compete.
Your first step to learn about FAST CAT® is to call or visit your a local AKC club and see if they offer one or both of the two types of tests: Lure Coursing or the Coursing Ability Test. You can also ask to speak with someone who has already taken part in FAST CAT® as they would be more than happy to share their expertise with you.
Then it’s very easy to participate: Just fill out an entry form that you can get from your local AKC club’s premium list.
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