There are two dog sports that involve running after a lure. A lure is usually a plastic bag on a string, being reeled in by a coursing machine at speeds up to 50mph.

In lure coursing, dogs are always held by hand at the starting line. The run may be solo or with other dogs. For experienced dogs, the lure course is set up with turns that mimic the quick actions of prey to be chased. Dog pursue the fleeing lure to the finish line.

In racing, most dogs are released from a "starting box," though some of the larger breeds are also hand-slipped with slip leads.  Racing entrants wear colored/numbered blankets of four to six colors/numbers.

When running with others, dogs are sometimes muzzled to prevent any argument over who will catch the lure first.

Early training can begin with teaching the dog to chase a sock on a line or flirt pole. Lure courses for dogs younger that one year should be short and not include sharp turns, as they still have immature musculoskeletal structure, vulnerable to injury. Some sighthound owners do not start lure coursing their dogs until they are 15 or 16 months old.

Owners need to quickly secure their dogs at the end of their runs. No aggressive dogs will be permitted at events, even as spectators. If your dog is fearful, provide reassurance and praise while encouraging the dog to be alert to the sport and other participants.

Events are typically held on large, fenced fields.  At AKC lure coursing events, all mixed-bred dogs run alone for the "CAT" title (Coursing Aptitude Test). Sighthound trials can be 2 or 3 dogs of the same breed per course.  Titles earned for Sighthounds in either AKC or ASFA lure trials are Championships or Championship Excellent, though non-champion titles are available, as well.  Racing can be either sprint events or oval events. AKC runs lure trials;  ASFA (American Sighthound Field Association) runs lure trials; LGRA, NAWRA, NOTRA, and RACE run race meets. --G.H.

Shasta Dogs holds introductory lure coursing events in Shasta County. Email for more info.

Northstate Flyin' Hounds holds sprint (and sometimes oval) practices, stages pups to mature adults, for sighthounds, terriers and other breeds looking to compete in the various lure sports. The club hosts LGRA, NAWRA, and NOTRA race meets for sighthounds at least six weekends a year. They meet in Redding.

Saluki Club of Greater San Francisco holds events as far north as Redding.

Racing and Coursing Enthusiasts (RACE) is an all-breed club that holds events in the Sacramento valley.

The information above is provided as a public service. Shasta Dogs does not receive financial benefit in exchange for advertising any service or product on this page or linked pages.