Today Bug and I took part in a AKC sanctioned Coursing Ability Test hosted by the Empire Saluki Club. This is lure coursing, where the dogs individually chase a lure (plastic bags in this case) that is on an electric powered drag lure machine.
The course is 600 yards for large dogs, and 300 yards for short dogs. If your dog has never done it before you are allowed to run with your dog for up to 10 steps to help kick them into gear. Some dogs that aren't sight hounds have trouble leaving their humans.
I had no idea what to expect. I hoped Bug would enjoy it as he is prey driven with small critters and adores chasing chipmunks.
When I took his leash off, when the field secretary said "Tally Ho" (the signal to start), he did not know what to do. I started to run and off he went! It was AWESOME to see him "turn on." It is just like with sheep - you see the little light bulb over their head when they realize, "Hey, this is fun!"
Bug was really fast and his tail was moving the entire time. The test is Pass/Fail and Bug passed! Which means he earned his first Qualifying leg (of 3) towards his Coursing Ability title.
If Bug is not overly sore as the day goes on I think I will pursue his CA with him. He had a BLAST.
We watched a few runs before his turn and he was all eyes and ears. There was some barking, but he didn't really know what was up. After his turn, when he saw the lure being moved into position for the next run he was wild! He wanted to run again!
John videoed our run. Unfortunately the Flip does not have a digital zoom, so the quality kind of sucks. You'll get the idea though.
Bug before his run - he didn't realize the fun in store for him!
All the Qualifiers!
Me and Bug with Judge Elaine Johnston (and the lures!)