Lure Coursing

Lure Coursing is a sport where dogs chase a lure across a field. The lure is controlled by a system of pulleys and is meant to simulate the behavior of live prey such as a rabbit.

Photo courtesy of Jumoke Photography

What: Lure Coursing
Description: Dogs chase a lure around a field
Training: Some dogs don’t need any. Others may. Check with your local coursing club
Time until ready: Various
Age to start: Any age but probably should wait until growth plates are closed for competition or long training sessions.

The basic idea of Lure Coursing is to stimulate the prey drive present in all dogs. Coursing is a technique where dogs pursue other animals, catching them through superior speed, using sight to track the prey, instead of scent. Lure Coursing attempts to simulate this in a controlled environment.

Lure Coursing is primarily a dog-centric sport, meaning that the primary work is done by the dog. The human part of the team has very little to do during the actual coursing event. As such, this is a very easy sport to get started in. Most dogs have prey drive and will naturally chase the lure. It can be glorious to watch the dogs run at full speed following the lure.

Some dogs, however, do not have as strong of a prey drive. Or maybe they don’t understand the actual lure itself. In these cases, some training will be required.

Lure Coursing is typically limited to breeds that are considered Site Hounds as this is what they were bred to do. Many other breeds of dogs can excel at this sport but usually are not allowed. Some organizations, such as the American Kennel Club offer events that are open to all breeds.

To get started, you should locate a coursing club near you and contact them. Find out when their events or practices are and find out if you can bring your dog to see if it has the drive required for this sport. They can also help you to encourage prey drive in your dog.

In North America, there are several organizations that sanction Lure Coursing or similar events.

AKC American Kennel Club All breeds with restrictions on titles earned based on breed
ASFA American Sighthound Field Association Sight Hounds
CKC Canadian Kennel Club All breeds with restrictions on titles earned based on breed
NLCC National Lure Coursing Club Site Hounds
UKC United Kennel Club All breeds with restrictions on titles earned based on breed

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