Lure Coursing With Any Dog Breed
Coursing events are typically for sighthounds, but a few groups offer this exhilarating sport for all dogs.
Chasing is an instinct that comes naturally to most dogs. However, not all dogs can participate in lure-coursing trials (events in which dogs chase a plastic or fur lure that’s pulled across a field using a series of pulleys attached to motors). Only sighthounds (hounds that chase after prey using sight rather than scent) can earn titles at American Kennel Club and American Sighthound Field Association events.
But, if you’re lucky enough to live in or near Southern California, you can check out Luratics, a La Mesa, Calif.-based group that holds lure-coursing events for all dogs, regardless of breed or mix.
Luratics’ founder and CEO, Pat Bennett, discovered the sport in 2005 at Wags for Wishes, a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation held annually in San Diego County.
“I had just had total joint replacement surgery on my knee,” Bennett says. She also had Lucy, an 8-month-old Bedlington Terrier who was full of energy. The duo saw lure coursing at the event and were hooked. Bennett decided to find a lure-coursing club after the event, but realized that “there are no clubs [for non-sighthounds], so I had to make one.”
Luratics was born. Today, the club runs the lure-coursing event at Wags for Wishes, as well as monthly events. Bennett and other volunteers operate the lure-coursing machine, which pulls the lure around the field on a predetermined course; manage the dogs waiting to run; and otherwise ensure the events go smoothly.
People have visited Luratics from as far away as Reno, Nevada, to run their dogs, Bennett says. Participants must enter at least two runs (cost is $10 for the first run and $7 for subsequent runs), unless it’s their first event. First-timers can enter just one run.
Lure coursing “is a natural thing, and most dogs take to it like a duck to water,” Bennett says
Unfortunately, groups such as Luratics are few and far between. Other organizations that offer coursing events to non-sighthounds include Lure Coursing Fanatics in Wisconsin and the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America (open to dogs registered with the MBDCA).
For more information
Lure Coursing Fanatics: www.lurecoursingfanatics.com
Mixed Breed Dog Club of America: www.mbdca.org
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