This weekend Blitz and I tried something new and played with the sighthounds! If you aren't familiar, the AKC Lure Coursing is described as, "In this event, dogs chase a mechanized, white plastic lure around a 600–800 yard course that simulates the unpredictability of chasing live prey. Zig-zagging across a big, open field is simply heaven for these dogs!" This specific event is only open for sighthounds to compete, so we only had the opportunity to practice.
This was my first time at a coursing event and it was a really neat experience! I loved seeing all the sighthounds that you don't typically see, like the azawakh, borzoi, saluki. Of course there were tons and tons of whippets! I am not familiar with the correct terminology, but at this event the dogs were running in groups of 3 according to breed. They were being judged on multiple traits, such as overall ability, speed, endurance, and follow. I thought this was purely a speed event, but they actually get scores beyond just speed.
Since Blitz is not a sighthound, we just did a practice run for fun. I wasn't sure if she would have any interest in the bag or not, but once I let her loose she knew exactly what to do! She sped around the course and followed the bags for much, much longer than I anticipated. She lost the bags at the end, but put in a really great effort. It was fun hearing all of the spectators make comments like, "Oh wow, look at the GSP!" "That's a GSP!?" "Really well done for a GSP!"
Since she loved it so much, next year we will try to go to an AKC Coursing Ability Test. This course is open to all breeds and unlike the field trials for sighthounds, dogs run individually on a shorter course and are simply given a pass/fail (not competing against each other). I am excited to try more of this with Blitz!