Lure coursing was a total blast.
I arrived a few minutes early to get situated. A ton of people were there, with Whippets, Greyhounds, Salukis (I think), Boxers, Siberian Huskies, and a ton of other breeds, mixed, purebred, sight hound, and non.
The first run of the day was a straight away, run singly. Koira was the seventh dog up, so we had a chance to watch some other runs first, and get a feel for what was going to be happening. I tried to get her to watch the coursers while they were out there, but she was more interested in laying in the grass.
As our turn got closer, I made sure to find someone in the crowd willing to be a "catcher" for us, basically, a person standing at the end of the course to catch the dog if it didn't want to return to the owner. Another person who came along volunteered to catch for my dogs, and I caught for her.
Koira's turn came. I walked her out to the field, and stopped to talk to the lure operator, letting him know it was our first time. He warned us to stay away from the lure rope when moving, as it can be sharp, and gave us the basic instructions: Grab the lure, walk down to the start pulling it, get the dog excited for the lure, wave to the operator, let dog go.
Koira was super excited about the lure (white plastic bags on a rope). I got her revved up, waved at the operator, and sent her off. She ran the whole course (130 yards I think). Once the lure stopped moving, she gave it one look, then came running back to me.
Her second run she was excited already, and ran a bit faster, but I don't think she fully extended and gave into the coursing instinct fully. She sure had fun though.
Pallo was up a bit later in the list. I wasn't sure how he would like this game, but got him excited for the lure, revved him up, waved, and away he went. He did his bounding leap that is his second fastest speed, leaping and bounding in huge strides after the lure. Then when it stopped, he grabbed it and thrashed until the catcher got a hold of him (you don't want to call a dog off the lure, since it is the whole point of the game).
His second run was even better. Instead of bounding, like he does while playing, Pallo leveled out, lowered down, and really dug in after it.
Not really a graceful greyhound though...
Again he snatched up the lure, and held on good until the catcher looped a leash around him and brought him back down the field to me.
The day was a ton of fun. We ended up having to leave a bit early, since I had to work that afternoon too. I stayed long enough to watch some pairs run in the second go around with everyone, which was a lot of fun. Catching proved to be pretty fun too, getting a whole different view of the dogs' expressions after the lure.
Down side is I left my camera and sweatshirt on the side of the field. I'll be getting them back later this month at our next practice hopefully, but until then the blog may be a bit short on pictures. These pictures were sent to me from the generous people at practice.
(I apologize to any lure coursers out there if I mangled any of the terminology, and would be grateful for any corrections.)