Lure Coursing is a sporting event that encourages a dog to use their innate prey drive, speed, and natural athletic ability in a fun and controlled way with minimal training. It’s fun and easy to learn for both handler and dog. Simply stated, lure coursing involves a dog chasing an artificial lure (we use white bags) that is pulled in front of the dog. Often there is a course that involves the dog making some quick turns at full speed. And they LOVE it!!
Lure coursing, as we know it today, took shape with Lyle Gillette in the 1970s. Lyle helped develop a controlled course where a plastic bag or artificial fur lure is pulled on a string through a system of pulleys. This portable system became quite popular, and it’s the basis of today’s competitions. (www.k9web.com). The sport originally began with sighthound clubs who would wanted to provide an outlet for their breeds; similar to Earthdog for Terriers. There is nothing more fun than to watch some of these dogs moving 40 miles per hour to catch the lure.
Coursing Ability Tests are now given for non-sighthounds which is called Fast CAT. It should come as no surprise that Border Terriers both excel and Love the sport. For the first time, there is going to be a FAST CAT event at our National Specialty this year (2021).
FAST CAT® –– is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure. It’s over before you know it — and it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring to watch your dog run at top speed, ears back, eyes focused, legs strong. And if your dog is really fast, you might earn bragging rights if his name makes onto our list of top 20 fastest dogs by breed! (www.akc.org).
Although it is a relatively new sport, its popularity has spread like wildfire. No wonder. According to one AKC official, “The FAST CAT® provides a terrific opportunity to introduce new participants to the world of AKC sports as one of the few events where all that is needed to compete is a dog’s natural instincts” (www.akc.org).
Eligibility requirements are simple as well. All you have to do is be sure the dog has an AKC registration number, find an event near you, and fill out an entry form (which you can find on the AKC website). One caution, bitches in season are not allowed to run and they will check that out. They will also be sure that your dog does not have any lameness or issue that might impair their ability to be successful.
This is a fun and easy activity to participate in. You don’t have to be an experienced handler, or take any training classes. Border Terriers are a natural. They see that Lure move and off they go!