How many times have you seen your dog bolting outside, running as fast as he can after a squirrel or a windswept plastic bag or paper cup? He’s going after his “prey” of course, and he’s doing exactly what Sighthounds are supposed to do. They’re born and bred to chase their prey! Their natural inclination to hunt by sight, not smell, is literally in their DNA.
So how do you satisfy your dog’s high-energy, inner instincts? AKC Lure Coursing may be the perfect answer! It’s an exciting way for him to do what comes naturally — but in a safe, controlled environment. In this event, dogs chase a mechanized, white plastic lure around a 600–800 yard course that simulates the unpredictability of chasing live prey. Zig-zagging across a big, open field is simply heaven for these dogs! At the same time, it helps improve their focus, agility and sportsmanship.
Until you’ve actually seen it in action, it’s hard to imagine the complete and utter joy on your dog’s face as he runs the course, following the lure from start to finish. So if you’ve been looking for an activity that takes full advantage of your hound’s energy and natural ability, look no further than AKC Lure Coursing.
Because coursing is an intense sport and can be hard on a young, growing dog’s joints, dogs must be at least one year old to run at an AKC-approved event.
Dogs of eligible breeds are: Afghan Hounds, Basenjis, Borzois, Cirneco Dell’Etna, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds and Sloughi.
Dogs with breed disqualifications are not eligible. In addition:
- Spayed females and neutered males are eligible to participate but females in season are not.
- 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.
- It is important that before competing, you familiarize with all of the AKC Lure Coursing Regulations and ring procedures.
First, decide whether you want to compete. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to start with a non-competitive lure coursing test because they it is a low-stress way to gauge your hound’s coursing instinct. But if you decide to go further and compete, then your dog will be judged on well he performs the functions for which they were originally bred.
Whether or not you decide to compete, your local AKC Club is the best place to find an event in your area, or you can search for them here. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the Lure Coursing Rules and Regulations before beginning. Above all, use the basic principles of good sportsmanship and you’ll be good to go!
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