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Hey everyone! Sorry that Rivers and I have been MIA for a while...between school, work, and moving constantly we have been very busy!
I have Rivers signed up for a lure coursing class this summer. I just wanted to get some thoughts on this! Rivers was in agility for a while and we finally got around to building our own agility equipment and preparing for our first agility trial. Rivers started getting, what seemed like, bored with agility. He started skipping jumps and running slower, and I could tell he wasn't as excited as he normally was when we showed up to practice. His trainer suggested that we take a break from agility. She said if I keep making him do it while he doesn't want to it might feel more like a job than a sport! I want agility to be fun for him so we took her advice and have been out of agility for a few months now. I definitely want to get back into agility soon, but I think lure coursing might be a fun change for now. Opinions?
Also, for anyone who has every tried lure coursing (or any other dog sport), I have a couple questions:
Rivers is very...high strung and energetic, and I often have a hard time keeping him calm in between his runs on the course. I've tried a portable crate, working on teaching him obedience and tricks to distract him, and just walking him away from the course to keep him busy, but this is one thing I've been worried about for when it comes time to go to trials. What else can I try? Also, will this be even more difficult to control when another dog is chasing the lure? Or maybe he will be too tired after his turn to care? What do you think?
Is a sport like lure coursing good for this breed? How does it affect their hips? Will he be good at it?
We definitely don't have space for our own...we would not be able to practice at home. We are just doing lure coursing for fun, but will that put him behind?
Is there anything about lure coursing that will affect him (negatively or positively) with agility? I definitely don't want to get him into something that will be detrimental to his progress in agility.
Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.
Again, we are doing this strictly for fun. I just like going into things with a little background knowledge.
 

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GSDs do not have the same functional built for lure coursing like sight hounds have (deep chest, large heart, thin coat, light bone structure) yet they have that same high drive (most of them). I wold never put WD through that. We had sight hounds in the past who excelled at lure coursing and I know that they were made for this, not the GSDs.
 

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Non sight-hounds only run CAs/CATs so they can't even participate in "real" lure coursing. There is no training for a CA/CAT (other than being able to recall your dog) so that does not matter. Nikon is working on a 12-leg lure coursing title right now, though he started lure coursing before the runs "counted" for non-sighthounds so he's run way more times than he has Qs for. He loves it and the greyhound club that hosts the events now know him by name. He usually runs two qualifying runs each day (different courses and different judges) and then often a third "fun run" after that since he likes it so much. A GSD is not built like a sighthound and does not run the same, but they aren't doing the same events so it doesn't matter. I also do agility with Nikon (and Schutzhund, and flyball, NoseWork, etc....). Lure coursing for a non-sighthound is just chasing the lure through the course. Either they do it or they don't. It's not detrimental to anything unless your dog is injured or can't physically run a course. The operator only moves the lure as fast as the dog can run, so it's not like a non-sighthound is going to have a heart attack trying to run the same speed as a sighthound.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Non sight-hounds only run CAs/CATs so they can't even participate in "real" lure coursing. There is no training for a CA/CAT (other than being able to recall your dog) so that does not matter. Nikon is working on a 12-leg lure coursing title right now, though he started lure coursing before the runs "counted" for non-sighthounds so he's run way more times than he has Qs for. He loves it and the greyhound club that hosts the events now know him by name. He usually runs two qualifying runs each day (different courses and different judges) and then often a third "fun run" after that since he likes it so much. A GSD is not built like a sighthound and does not run the same, but they aren't doing the same events so it doesn't matter. I also do agility with Nikon (and Schutzhund, and flyball, NoseWork, etc....). Lure coursing for a non-sighthound is just chasing the lure through the course. Either they do it or they don't. It's not detrimental to anything unless your dog is injured or can't physically run a course. The operator only moves the lure as fast as the dog can run, so it's not like a non-sighthound is going to have a heart attack trying to run the same speed as a sighthound.
Thanks so much! That helps a lot. Just something fun and new to try. That answer a lot of question though. I don't know much about lure coursing, but it looks like a very cool sport. We will try it out and see if it is something that Rivers enjoys and if not we will just find our way back to agility :)
 

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See if they do fun runs, then you can try it without having to enter (and pay a full entry fee). Around here it's $25 to enter but $3 to fun run.
 

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