Lure coursing in Sweden – a beloved activity
Lure Coursing is a form of simulated hunting where the dog chases a cloth over an open field. For podengon, which in their home country Portugal is often used for hunting mainly rabbits, Lure coursing can be an absolute favorite activity. We have met several podengos who howl of joy immediately they hear the sound of the rope running the cloth around the track, including our former podengo Fidde who even becomes difficult to keep as soon as he only hears the quad bike start to pull out the cloth to the next race.
The rope with the cloth at one end is laid out around 10-15 spinning wheels in the ground and then a motor pulls in the cloth /rabbit which is hunted by two dogs in each race. The ”rabbit” makes turnes in different directions just as a real rabbit would do to get away. During a Lure coursing test, the dogs run two races the same day. How the dogs run and how they hunt the cloth is observed by the judges on the track.
The assessment and scoring are based on five criteria; endurance, mobility, enthusiasm, adherence and speed. The dog that gets the highest score in total will be best placed.
How do I start?
First of all, your dog must be 12 months old, but you can start training it at home already as a puppy by pulling a cloth / plastic strips in a string on the floor as a play. If the dog have reached the age of 1, you start by taking your dog to a training session. You can try one time without being a member, then you need to become a member of the Swedish Sighthound Club. Please note that all dogs participating in training or tests must wear a muzzle, you can contact a Lure Coursing club for assistance.
Under the heading What equipment do I need? You can read more about how to train your dog to have a muzzle before you try a race.
When your dog has run a number of training races and shown that it is focused on chasing the cloth and can run with another dog, you may want to move on and let the dog run a license race. The license race the dog runs for a licensor who decides whether the dog is running approved.
When can my dog start competing?
After three approved license races, in front of two different licensors, the dog has received its license to participate in the Lure Coursing tests/competitions. In the LC competitions it has the chance to take certificates and in the end a championship. Note, however, that the dog must run against another dog of the same breed in order to be able to get cert.
What equipment do I need?
The dog needs to have a special muzzle that is approved for Lure Coursing, it is designed so that the dog can breathe / open the mouth properly, which they must be able to do during and after a race. You can therefore not buy a “regular” muzzle in the Zoo / dog shop. Only a few models are approved for LC, and tips on supplier you will find further down here on the page, under the heading Equipment – Here you can buy approved muzzles and vests.
Also remember that the dog usually needs to get used to having a muzzle, so train it with just one muzzle for LC, for example the Australian model, see photo below, which can feel a little freer. Let the dog get acquainted with the muzzle at home first, and maybe on some walks, it will get used to before an LC race.
You also need two LC vests, a red and a white, if you want to participate in a license run or LC competition with your dog.
Where can I learn more about how Lure Coursing works?
At www.svvklc.se you will find all the information you need to start with Lure Coursing, there you will also find a calendar for training and LC tests.
What is the Släphare and racetrack?
Släphare, we dont know the english word, is another, similar way to train dogs who like to run fast. Here too, the cloth is attached to a rope which is pulled in by a motor, but on a straight line, or attached in a rail on a track.
In Stockholm, for example, there is Släphare training in Jordbro/Stockholm, and at Åkers Kanal Greyhound Park in Åkersberga. On the latter one you can also try on a circular track where the rabbit/cloth runs in a rail on the track.
In short, Lure coursing:
- You can try a training race once without the requirement for membership.
- Become a member of The Swedish Sighthound Club if you want to continue.
- You need to obtain approved muzzel and LC vests.
- Then start with a training race until it works well.
- Then you can let your dog run a license race (3 approved).
- Finally, participate in Lure coursing tests / competitions, where the dog can win certification.
- When the dog received 3 cert on a national LC test for at least two calendar years, and has at least Good (or 2nd prize) at the exhibition after 15 months of age, it becomes a Lure Coursing champion.
Tips of some links and Facebook groups
- www.hundkappsverige.n.nu (här hittar du hundkappbanor)
- Släphareträning Jordbro (Facebook)
- Svealand Lure Coursing (Facebook)
- Podengo Lure Coursing (Facebook)
- Lure Coursing Klubb Södra (Facebook)
- Lure Coursing Norra (Facebook)
Equipment – Here you can buy approved muzzles and vests:
Hot Isle (gå in under rubriken LC-täcken/Munkorgar)
Here is an example of släphare training. A portable machine is brought out to a sand field where the “rabbit” is run on a straight line. Here you can see Jomgarden´s Zwip Pequeno in full speed.
On the film below Tizzel Fidelio Of Kaspar “Fidde” runs a license race in Katrineholm, Sweden. Agrião De Viamonte “Mozart”, already licensed, lined up as a running partner in the race.
LC test (race)
Here is a Lure Coursing test/competition in Norberg and Fidde takes his first LC certification. You can see him and Björkbygdens Blomsterälvan Rosetta “Ettan” for most of the race. As you hear, waiting dogs scream eager to start after Fidde and Ettan..
A way to practice Lure Coursing at home
LC is something that most of our four-legged friends love, which you can both see and hear on the film there Fidde and his dog siblings chases the cloth as his owner so nicely put behind a radio-controlled car.
Fidde howls with joy and his dog siblings howling with eagerness waiting for their turn.