Monday, April 20, 2009

Lure Coursing is FUN!

A local agility club/Dock Diving group had a fun day on Sunday, and one new event they brought was lure coursing. It's actually not a "new" thing, it's been around since the 30s, but since I don't have sighthounds, I've never heard of it. From the link above, this is the short definition of lure coursing: "Lure Coursing is a humane sport which attempts to imitate the coursing of the rabbit or hare by sighthounds but without the hare. The sighthounds chase an artificial lure, usually a white kitchen garbage bag, sometimes tanned rabbit skins, or fake fur strips."

This is what it looks like when done correctly. That, however, was not what it looked like when my pups were playing. It took Coral a couple tries *cough*seven*cough*, but she finally got the hang of it.

Round 1: Coral took off after the lure, rounded the far corner, but didn't turn sharply enough. Then she just ran for a few more feet for the pure joy of running, and then make a quick turn and ran back to me at the start.

Round 2: Same as round 1.

Round 3: I guessed that when she stopped running, Coral thought she was too far away from me, so she kept running back to me. So I decided to start her off, then run inside the course with her so I wouldn't be too far away. The guy running the course ran the lure the opposite direction this time, and the lure went around a sharp corner, and Coral lost it, so went into her default and ran back to me.

Round 4: Coral ran about a third of the course, lure got too far ahead, and she gave up and ran back to me.

Round 5: She rounded the sharp corner again, apparently saw something shiny in the distance, and got distracted and chased after it. Then ran back to me, and I got her refocused on the lure.

Round 6: Tripped over the rope and pulled the lure off the course and had to restart.

Round 7: Made it around the WHOLE course chasing after the lure!

I NEVER said she ran it well, I just said she had fun.

Duke ran it twice after Coral's first two tries. He did exactly the same thing she did, but I thought his gait was a bit off the second time, so I was afraid he hurt himself again, so he didn't get to play again. Sad, because he's the one that likes to chase and that can actually take tight corners. Less prey drive than Coral though, so I wasn't sure if either would really take to it.