What Is Lure Coursing?
Over the years dogs have been bred to assist man in his survival and pursuit of food. As hunting dogs, the sighthounds were bred to pursue the game of the land by sight rather than scent. Lure coursing is an attempt to simulate the actual hunt which may have taken place many years ago. This is accomplished by one of two generally practiced methods. Although both methods attempt to achieve the same results, one is much easier on the human component of the sport than the other.
Both methods involve the stringing of a thin line around a series of pulleys to simulate the path a quarry might take in order to evade its' courser. Attached to the line are a number white plastic garbage bags used to simulate a rabbit or other game. In the "drag" operation the line is attached to a reel and gathered in by a motor. The "drag" machine is usually an old starter motor, which, with a spool attached to the shaft, reels in the line onto the spool. At the end of the course the line must be restrung around the pulleys, either by hand or with the aide of someone sitting on a motorcycle performing death-defying feats.
In the "continuous" operation, as the name infers, the line is moved in a continuous loop around the pulleys. The "continuous" method has the line looped around a large pulley, attached to an axle mounted on a gas motor which drives the line in the loop. Although this method does not require restringing it does offer other difficulties. Unlike "drag", "continuous" means the line is always on the field. If the line sits too far above the surface of the ground there may be a tendency for dogs to get caught up in the line, especially long haired breeds, such as the Afghan.
How Do I Train My Hound?
Training a hound can begin at a very early age. Puppies love to chase things. One tried and true methods is to take an old fishing pole, preferably a fly rod, and tie a string to the end, then tie a plastic garbage bag on the end of the string. Go out into the back yard with the puppy and drag the bag back and forth, teasing the puppy, allowing it to catch the lure on occasion giving it the sense of the kill. Once the puppy has become intent on coursing the lure, contact a club in your area to determine their practice schedule. Clubs usually hold practices on a regular basis starting in the spring as weather permits. Young dogs are always run individually in a straight line till they get the hang of it and are totally intent on the lure. Once they can fully concentrate on the lure, rather then distractions, such as another hound, they can then be paired with a more seasoned hound.
Updated: June 27, 2014