Tuesday, February 28, 2017


So apparently it's not enough to have all kinds of horse events on the property of Grand Oaks, in addition, they recently had an AKC/PALS coursing event. I was vaguely familiar with the term, and had a hazy picture of how it is set up, but I was so totally wrong when it came to the dogs that would be participating. Coursing, following a lure pulled along a course, is typically run by sight hounds. Not so at this event. AKC changed its rules and I think just about every breed was represented, and it looked like each and every dog was having a blast. OK, so maybe I didn't see all breeds, but I did see a lot! As I recall I saw:

Fox Terrier
Schnauzers (several sizes)
Boston Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier
French Bulldog
Little hairy barky dogs
Australian Cattle Dog
Welsh Corgi
Golden Retriever
Doberman Pinscher
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Border Collie
German Shepherd
Mudi (a rare Hungarian dog)
Great Dane
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Scottish Terrier
Cocker Spaniel
Cavalier Spaniel

For this event all of the dogs had to be AKC registered or PAL registered (Purebred Alternative Listing). The first day the event was a speed event called Fast CAT.

This Rhodesian Ridgeback is poised for action as she waits for his run.
For the FastCAT dogs completed a hundred yard dash individually and received points for their performance based on their size and breed.

Dogs wait, some not very patiently, for their turn.
The second day a Coursing Ability Test (CAT) was conducted, where dogs had to follow a lure on a course with several turns for 300 or 600 yards. Dogs receive points towards different classifications based on their performance. They receive credit if they follow the lure with enthusiasm and compete the course without interruption within a specified time.

This is a Mudi. He was very fast!
(and rare)
Dogs who have run in a coursing event are eager to run again.
The Fast CAT is a 100 yard run in a secure, fenced area.
You can see the lure (a plastic bag) being pulled ahead of the dog.
It was interesting to see how different breeds and types handle the challenge. I was very interested in watching the Australian Shepherds, and I was surprised that after a fast start, they settled into a fast run, but held a lot in reserve. It stands to reason, as herding dogs they never know when they will need to add a burst of speed, so they conserve their resources. Several Aussies and other herding breeds ran quite a bit to the side of the lure, as if they wanted to get ahead of it and turn it.

It's easy to interpret their barks and whines.
They want to get out there.
Border Collies tended to run a bit faster. The Boxers all seemed to be very fast and very aggressive, biting at the string and the lures. The Golden Retrievers had fun. Most of them gladly pursued the lure, but not with a great deal of speed. The Corgis looked so darn cute with their "pants" flapping up and down as they gallantly chased the lure. The Great Dane loved the chase, but looked silly gallumphing along with a bouncy stride. Both the Cavalier Spaniels and the Boston Terriers ran swiftly and received applause for their performances.

This little Boston Terrier has an amazing stride!
Only a few dogs gave up on chasing the lure and went galavanting over the hillside. One cute little guy stalked the lure, step by step, and then finally took off after it. Another went after the lure until it made the first turn around the pulley. The dog had to stop and examine the pulley. Quite a few dogs were so intent on chasing the lure on the speed event that they crashed into, or jumped over, the fence when the lure went under it at the end of the course.

It was very interesting to watch the dogs and I itched to grab Tucker and Gypsy and let them have a go. However, we don't have Tucker's papers with us (and he has a bad shoulder and hip...which wouldn't stop him one bit!) and Gypsy has no papers. Maybe someday....


  1. I know several Cardigan Welsh Corgis titled in this, as well as in tracking! Surprised no Austrailian Cattle Dogs. Theo would love it.

    1. Oops, there were Australian Cattle Dogs there.... I'll add them to my list! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I would like to see an event like that. The Mudi has a gorgeous coat. My rescue Chihuahua/Terrier is fast but not a purebred so he won't be entering, LOL.

    1. The Mudi was striking. His coat was very soft and he was very intense.

  3. What a fun event! I bet it was a nice afternoon! :)


What thoughts do you have?

Another Loss

 It is so amazingly strange to be without a dog at our feet. We lost Tucker, very unexpectedly, just before Thanksgiving.  With all of the b...