Sled hare is just like Lure Coursing a form of simulated hare hunting where the dog chases a ”cloth”, it is a fun way to activate dogs that like to run or chase. The difference between the different forms is that with Lure Coursing the rope with the cloth is laid out around 10-15 pulleys in an open field so that the ”hare” darts here and there as the dog chases it, while with sled hare you run the cloth in a line straight ahead in, for example, a sandpit or on a dog racing track.
On the racetrack there is also a mechanical ”hare” that runs on a rail around the inside of the track, then the dogs run a longer distance including curves. To be allowed to run after the mechanical hare, the dog must be 12 months old. Another difference is that the dogs do not have to be muzzled during sled training, which is a requirement in Lure Coursing.
How do I start with sled hare?
Start by playing and fighting with rags already when the dog is small. When it is a little bigger, you can start with trailer training.
Can I run both Sled hare and Lure Coursing?
It’s going really well. Sled hares are also great to start with for those interested in Lure Coursing, among other things because with sled hares on a straight course it is a little easier to build up the dog’s interest in chasing the rag. Once it has gained interest, it is usually a little easier with both the muzzle and running on the LC field because the dog has already learned to focus on chasing the cloth.
How does it work?
With sled hares, one person stands with the dog at the start and lets go as soon as the hare has started. At the end, another person then stands, it usually works best with the owner at the goal, and receives the dog.
A dog that has been in training and is used to it can also start in a box, which means that the dog enters a box whose door opens when the hare is started.
Where can I train sled hare?
Where there is interest, Podengo Friends tries to organize so-called sled hare days sometime a year. In addition to that, there are a number of racing societies with tracks around the country, see links below. Contact the respective track to ask about beginner training, training times, etc.
Racing club – The courses are located in the following locations:
Stockholms Hunkapplöpningssällskap – Stockholm
Cimbria HK – Simrishamn
Gästrike Hundkapplöpningssällskap – Järbo
Göteborgs Hundkapplöpningsklubb – Alingsås
Midlanda Hundkapplöpningsklubb – Sundsvall
Norrbottens Hundkapp – Älvsbyn
7HS och Borås Greyhound Park – Borås
Skellefteå Hundkapp – Skellefteå
Västerås Hundkapp – Västerås
Örebro Hundkapplöpning – Örebro
What equipment is needed to drive a trailer?
For sled dogs, no special equipment is needed other than that you bring two collars/harnesses/leashes, one for the person who releases the dog and one for the person who catches the dog at the finish line.
What else do I need to think about?
The dog needs to be in good shape, i.e. healthy, injury-free and in good basic condition. It must have valid vaccinations according to SKK’s current rules for training/competition. It is also important to warm up the dog before training, as well as to cool it down after it has run, this to minimize the risk of stretching and injuries.
Fun days for podengo friends
Sled hare 2019
Sled hare 2021
We aim to rent the track Greyhound Park in Åkersberga exclusively for podengo friends once a year, at the time of writing it will be the third year. During 2022, the track in Borås and Simrishamn was also booked for our podengo friends to the south, just as appreciated as in Stockholm. Eva Mittler, who first came up with the idea, books the course in Åkersberga and organizes the Podengo Friends Sled hare day in Stockholm together with us.
It’s wonderful to see how much fun the doggies really enjoy running after the cloth, or to the owners, even though most of them have never tried sled hare before. Sure, some dogs may be a bit hesitant, and turn back to check that their owner is still there, some dogs would rather mingle with the crowd, and some dogs have thought the course was too short and took a longer trip, but what such fun days.
All participants have received excellent help from the officials on the various courses.
There were usually two races, sometimes three, and in between we have a nice lunch together. Successful days in lovely company, many pleasant conversations and happy podengos!
Below is a small selection of pictures from our trailer days.