This past weekend, Hoku and his friend Kai participated in a lure coursing fun run at Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach. Lure coursing is a sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanically operated lure across a field. The lure moves on a line and the overall course is designed to simulate the chasing of prey. We figured that with Hoku’s prey drive for lizards and squirrels, he’d love the chance to chase his heart out in an off-leash, controlled environment so we signed him up for two runs with Luratics, the San Diego all-breed coursing club.
Luratics uses three plastic bags as lures. A shout of “Hold your hound!” is the signal to get ready to release your dog. When it was Hoku’s turn, I held him as the operator moved the plastic bags back and forth on the line to pique his interest, but he just wasn’t interested. Finally, they used a brown squirrel toy as an alternative lure (which thankfully looked a lot like Hoku’s favorite toy) so with a few squeaks of the squeaker, the operator started the line and Hoku was off. Even though he didn’t finish the course both times because he lost interest in the lure, he ran his heart out and had a blast.
Kai on the other hand, took to lure coursing like a duck to water. Even from behind the orange fencing, he was already amped up by the white blurs zooming across the field. He ran fast and finished the course both times, which was more than could be said for the dogs that competed in the UKC luring tournament prior to the fun run.
It was a fantastic experience for both dogs. They both loved the thrill of the chase.