Lure Coursing Your Greyhound
Coursing is using dogs that hunt by sight to chase and catch game. The sport of live-game coursing has it’s roots in the age-old practice of coursing to provide meat for the table. This was the reason for which the Greyhound was originally bred. The dogs needed speed, endurance, keen eyesight and the desire to chase.
Lure-coursing is a modern day version of this endeavor. The live game that was once hare, deer, gazelle and others has been replaced by a plastic lure. When pulled by a mechanical device, the lure stimulates the inherent urge in a Greyhound to chase and catch.
Greyhounds need little if any encouragement to substitute their natural hunting/coursing instinct of game to an enthusiastic pursuit of the the artificial lure.
A course is laid out in a very large open field free of dangerous obstacles and is either fenced or well away from roads and distractions. A system of pulleys is placed in such a way as to afford a variety of straight runs and tricky turns as the lure is dragged by an electric motor. The motor is controlled by a switch in the hands of the lure operator. His job is to keep the lure the proper distance ahead of the hounds to properly test the dogs skill and speed during the contest.
Usually one to three dogs are released by their handlers at the start of the run at the command of “tally ho”. The dogs then must negotiate the course by intently chasing the lure through the course. As when they chase live game, the dogs must be able to run at top speed and not be confused when the lure suddenly changes direction in a turn or series of turns.
Judges view the course from a vantage point (the dogs are identified by wearing colored blankets) and award points to the dogs based on their overall performance.
Lure coursing events are held on a regular basis all over the US. Contact GCA or your local kennel club for help in finding an event in your area.