Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lure Coursing Problems

Well I made the mistake of taking Pax lure coursing in the same field with a similar course two weeks in a row. This is pretty much asking for trouble. A whippet that is moderately smart (Pax is very smart, smarter than Goose), remembers the course and cuts corners. The judges like to see a hound stay with the lure. This particular field is especially bad because there are clear boundaries and it's pretty obvious which way the lure is going. It's ideal if they don't know because either it's a new field to them or it's so large that the course can be very different each time.

There was one other whippet at this ASFA trial, who had never coursed in this field. Pax did fairly well overall and was well matched with the other racing bred whippet, but it was inevidible that he would try to outsmart the lure. He got 2nd place of 2 whippets. Interestingly, you can course the other sighthounds (Ibizians, IW, Silken Windhounds, Basenjis, Ridgebacks, Greyhounds etc) at the same field with similar course over and over and they don't usually cut corners.

Next weekend we are taking Pax for his first NAWRA race meet. This is straight racing. No turns. The winner is very obvious. I know this type of racing will be challenging for him because he doesn't have the height advantage, but he is extremely keen. We will see how far that gets him.

photo by Amy Vandenberg


I'm always thinking about dog I would like to get in the future that would be good for different purposes. For flyball I think about breeds that would be fun for Finley to run someday. I think a small dog would be best for her to handle. While, I am mostly set on whippets and border collies, there are certainly some little dogs that I like. Based on our recent experience with fostering an Italian Greyhound, I can safely say that this breed is not on the list. It's amazing how much they aren't like whippets. Little Santos will make a great pet for someone I'm sure, but he isn't for us!  

When we buy a house in Massachusetts, we will be looking for something that will give us the option to have some farm animals. I think it would be most useful to get a terrier that would be good at keeping rodents away as well as a good house pet and flyball dog. Perhaps a Patterdale terrier? I haven't met one yet, as they aren't common in the US. It seems that they are similar to a JRT, but more common in the UK. They are supposedly amazing working dogs and super cute.  Watch for me on the next episode of Animal Hoarders.

1 comment:

  1. Its interesting that whippets seem to learn the course more than other breeds. I know someone down here was saying they can't run their borzoi on one of the local fields because he knows all the turns and will cut them, but it does seem more whippets do that than anything else. We always practice straights. If we do practice turns at all, we do a simple zigzag rather than a full course, and make sure to start with and end with a straight run for the dogs.

    And, you aren't the only one constantly dreaming about which dog to get next. My current obsession is the Ibizan. Love their looks, and the personalities of the ones I've met have been awesome.