Coursing Ability Tests

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#1
I registered Bayleigh with Canine Partners for the sole purpose of doing coursing ability tests. There is an event April 11, pre-registering ends on April 4, no day of event registering.

I'm so torn. I know she will love it BUT the course is not fenced in. That makes me nervous. I heard that most Midwest courses are not fenced. Bayleigh's recall is about 75% good. She hates obedience and despite practicing and even getting her Canine Good Citizen, she still isn't great.

My worry is that half way through, she's going to get distracted and take off a different direction. I said I would go and check out the situation before letting her run but when I sat down to fill out the paperwork, I started having second thoughts. Do I really want to risk it? Just wait and keep practicing "come?" Find another event within driving distance, on my day off, that is fenced? I've been waiting months for this event to come. Now it's here and I just don't know what to do. I'm mostly just venting a little here but if anyone has thoughts on the matter, please speak up. There's a 3 day event at the end of June that IS fenced that I could probably make it to on Sunday. Maybe I should just wait for that one. I really don't know.
 
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#2
A couple things...

1) I have been to a half dozen different CAT tests all over multiple states, and not one has been fenced in, even partially. You aren't going to have very many options if fencing is a requirement for you.

2) The dogs who love it basically have blinders on, and run full speed oblivious to the rest of the world until they are back at your feet. Many of them are still "in the zone" and try to destroy the plastic bags long after the lure has stopped running. The only dogs I've seen who head off elsewhere were either never really into it, or lose interest at the very end when the lure stops going.

Remember too that by the end of the run most dogs are pretty tired! I've seen more than a few dogs actually lay down at the end when they're convinced they've killed the "bunny" :)

I keep cheese in my hand and shove it under her nose as soon as the lure is done. While she is chowing down on a stick of string cheese, I'm able to slip the lead over her head and drag her away. Her recall is really iffy, but because she is SO into the lure and it comes right back to me, we've never really had an issue. (The first time we played the course was set on a horse jumping field with bushes, and when the lure stopped running I wasn't ready to grab her and she went back to try to find more "bunnies" in the bushes. After that I wised up with the cheese and we haven't had any problems!)
 
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#3
The CAT that is done locally here is fenced in, but it's my understanding that's an exception.

Having said that, from what I've seen most dogs who chase just lock onto that lure and you can't get them away from it. Especially at the end a fair number of people have trouble getting their dog off the lure if they don't get the dog before it comes to a stop and the dog "catches" it. There are some dogs that show no interest in the lure, though, and if I were one of those dog's owners I would be glad for the fence.

Really it doesn't matter what is common/uncommon or abnormal/normal, there is just what you are comfortable or uncomfortable with. If you aren't uncomfortable entering an unfenced competition yet, maybe you could go watch a trial first and it might put your mind at ease a little bit.
 
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#4
Thanks for the feedback. I'm very happy you replied and I appreciate it.
This is kind of where I'm at. Bayleigh loves the flirt pole. She's very intense and doesn't lose focus easily. I usually have some deer hide on the end of it but she goes just as strong with nothing but the rope being dragged on the ground. But, we're also just going in a small circle the whole time. I *think* she'll have to run the longer course because she's about 13" tall. I guess I'm worried that she'll get tired and just lose interest midway. But, I'll never know unless I go, right?
 

Saeleofu

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I *think* she'll have to run the longer course because she's about 13" tall. I guess I'm worried that she'll get tired and just lose interest midway.
How old is she? Veteran dogs (7+ years) can run half distance. That said, my dog have all wanted to keep going after their run (full course, but big dogs). This is the first year I'm making Gavroche run the short course (he's a boxer). Logan always gets two runs a day when they're offered twice a day, and could do more if they'd let him.
 
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#6
She turns 3 tomorrow. She does have an under bite but I don't think it's bad enough for them to make her do the shorter course.
 

crazedACD

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#7
A couple things...

1) I have been to a half dozen different CAT tests all over multiple states, and not one has been fenced in, even partially. You aren't going to have very many options if fencing is a requirement for you.
I understand if that's the way it is, but if we are putting our dogs on a CAT test because they have great prey drive and go crazy to chase a bunny or squirrel... why wouldn't they be fencing it? Snow fencing at least?

When I was trying to train a recall into Skye I brought her to a large, unfenced nature park that sort of doubled as a dog park. And she was on an ecollar. I figured that she wouldn't venture too far from the group of dogs, they would be more interesting than wandering (with most dogs, this is the case). Nope, she went away in the blink of an eye. She did circle back around and came back to me eventually (10 minutes?) but I was terrified that she wouldn't return. I do think she would be interested in the lure but not so sure about being caught afterwards.
 

momto8

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I would say if you have any doubt, take her to the event and let her watch. Ask them if you could run a short fun run just to see if she likes it, so you can have Someone let her go and have her running towards you.
 
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#9
I understand if that's the way it is, but if we are putting our dogs on a CAT test because they have great prey drive and go crazy to chase a bunny or squirrel... why wouldn't they be fencing it? Snow fencing at least?

.
Really it's the opposite. Dogs are so focused on that "prey" that I've seen dogs run past all sorts of things that would be interesting.

I do have a friend with terriers who do hunt - one of her bitches caught a whiff of something good and stopped to go to ground.

I have a dog with a very touch-and-go recall but he hears that "zing zing" and sees the bunny move and he'll follow it until the end. I'll try to find a video of him.

But here's our other dog. This was his 2nd time out and the lure master knew he was super keen so let the lure get in front of him quite a bit once or twice.

http://youtu.be/5A7EMFkVUFw
(sorry for russian pop music. the wind was awful that day so it needed music)
 

busannie

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#10
Last spring I took Bus and Annie to a local fun lure course at a training center- I think it had at least some fencing, but not sure if it was 100% fenced. Both dogs have good recalls, Bus is usually very quick to come back, Annie not so much now that she's old, but she doesn't run off either. Annie had pretty much zero interest (she used to flirtpole, but doesn't bother much now that she's old, though she'll still chase live prey animals).

Bus presented well, whining, barking, lunging when the lure went past- he goes like mad for the flirtpole, which had a white stuffed toy (torn to shreds by that point, just scraps left), so I figured he'd be good. When I let my lunging, squeaking dog go, he proceeded to run in the general direction of the lure for about 50 feet (looking up at the sky), then veered off to search the field for a ball, stopping to look at me like, "this, right!?". We tried a second time and he did the same, except he also tried to blow me off when I called him back, and I had to fake him out by shaking my hand like I was ready to throw a ball. There were a lot of other dogs there that either had zero interest or lost interest after a short distance, so I didn't feel too bad, but I was sort of surprised that he didn't even seem to "see" the lure once I let him go, he was 100% sure that he was there to do something different, lol.

If you have doubts, you could always go just to watch and see how she reacts- if you think she'll do well, maybe ask if she can try at some point; if not, just hang out and get a feel for it.
 
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#11
And that's what makes me nervous. The cutoff is tomorrow and even if I sent the entry today, I don't think it would get there in time. I'm going to wait for the event at the end of June. It's closer, only an hour away, and I know that it is fenced. I just hope I don't have to work all three days. I'm supposed to have every Sunday off, but that doesn't always happen.
 

JacksonsMom

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#12
To be honest, this is my main concern with Jackson. It's woods all around, you can see Cricket doing it here:

[YOUTUBE]99RowldXtMk[/YOUTUBE]

And I WILL say that Jackson was really pumped up watching everyone. He kept barking and barking because everyone else was.

But I'm so worried that he'll just get bored and find something else to sniff half way through. His recall is about 85% good. And if I have cheese, that's a plus lol. But yeah my main concern with trying it at all is that he'll wander off into the woods or something.
 

protodog

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You don't need to start Jackson (or any other dog) on a full course. If you can find a practice in your area (lots of clubs have them after trials), tell the lure operator that you just want to run a straight. She'll pick out a straight section of the course for your dog to run. Someone else can release him, and you can be there at the end to catch him. Starting with straights can help build lure drive. If you start small, your dog won't have to run far and so won't get too tired and come off of the lure.

I start my borzoi with straights--and then one turn--and then a full course. Don't feel like you have to rush into letting your dog run an entire course from the get-go.
 

SizzleDog

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#15
A long drive and short notice, but our club is having two CATs tomorrow in a fully fenced field. Cedar Rapids IA. ;)
 
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#16
A long drive and short notice, but our club is having two CATs tomorrow in a fully fenced field. Cedar Rapids IA. ;)
I wish!! I saw your post on one of the Facebook groups.

I had to cancel my trip to Michigan to a dog show this weekend because too many people have this weekend off at work. :(
 
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#17
A little update for this thread. :)

Today was 2 of our 3 Coursing Ability Tests. For never seeing the lure before Bayleigh did really well! She wasn't sure what I wanted at first but after she realized she needed to chase those plastic bags, she passed the first test. A few hours later she did her second run. I think it was a mixture of the heat and the course going by a bunch of soccer goals but she was distracted and didn't pass. We'll try again tomorrow. She came right to me each time I called her. She was a perfect girl today.

It was so much fun! I loved seeing all of the different breeds and meeting some that I've never seen in person before, Cane Corso and Norwegian Buhund for example.

I didn't get any photos or video today. My grandpa was my photographer and even though I showed him how to use the camera, he didn't get anything. I think he might have forgotten to turn the camera on... lol But there were two photographers there and I got one of their business cards. I'm not sure who the other one was but hopefully I find out so I can see all the pictures.

 
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