Hold Your Hounds!

Because we’re crazy people, when Saturday morning came and it was snowing and cold and cold and snowing, we still got up at 0-dark-thirty and packed up the van and crawled out onto the roads to reach the next grand adventure: Lure Coursing for Dart Beagle.

Looming over all was the big question: Will he?

The lure coursing aptitude title is a new one. Only sighthounds can compete for the serious coursing titles, but lots of dogs get a blast out of chasing the lure. ConneryBeagle is one–he did some lure fun courses several years ago and his head nearly exploded with joy. (We hope he’ll be well enough to run some courses this fall.)

The CATs (coursing aptitude tests) consist of a twisting 600-yard course on which the dog chases…

Plastic bags on a string.

Some dogs will, some won’t. It all depends on their prey drive. Dart Beagle has plenty of that, but he’s also…

Well, he’s evil. And he thinks too much. So we really didn’t know. And he was also first on the line.

At the beginning of the test, the dogs have a chance to see another dog run the course, and to get a glimpse of the plastic bags in action. (In this case, black plastic, so the dogs could see it against the OH RIGHT. SNOW. CRAZY PEOPLE.)

Dart saw the bags. Dart commenced to scream.

Oh, excuse me. Let’s be dignified. I meant to say “Dart commenced to give voice.”


We stopped worrying about whether he’d chase the bags.

(There’s a reason the lure handler cries out “Hold your hounds!” when he’s manipulating the lure between runs.)

We did still worry about the distance–600 yards, and Dart is just big enough to miss the cut-off (smaller dogs run 300 yards). But he ran through to the end (albeit somewhat invisibly when the track was at its farthest), and looked entirely baffled when the lure line stopped moving.

Dart Beagle: What am I doinghere? How didthathappen?

Now we’ll see if he’ll do it twice. And then Sunday!

PS Not without some miscues when Dart dropped into tracking mode, but he earned his three legs and a title! Albedo’s Charter Member TD NA NAJ CA CGC!


Good morning...

Our typical weather luck lately (yes, this is daylight...)












Take off!

Dart looks more like the bunny here... (you can see the lure line beside him, but not the lure).
















Gonna Get It!

Gonna Get It!















Zooming on the second run!

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
This entry was posted in D'Artagnan Beagle, Glee! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hold Your Hounds!

  1. Elizabeth says:

    That was WONDERFUL! Musical and eager DartBeagle. FAST DartBeagle. And obviously, very HAPPY DartBeagle.

    Do they pull the lures with a car? Surely no person can outrun DartBeagle.

  2. Doranna says:

    They use a motor, and the lure operator has a hand control and stands on a ladder to watch the dogs; s/he adjusts the lure speed to the dog’s needs–it’s quite a skill. Plus this weekend it was really challenging for the club to keep the lure operating smoothly–snow, y’know! And it was cold enough on Saturday morning so the lure line kept freezing to the pullies between runs…

  3. Sue Farrell says:

    Oh!! What great beagle fun!! I’d be worried that my dogs would just keep running and not come back—find some nice new scent and away they’d go. Or is the area fenced or something?

  4. Doranna says:

    The area is fenced only in the vaguest way–cattle wire. But it’s cattle grazing ground in its other life, and is quite a huge, flat area.

    Some of the dogs do play serious Catch Me games, but I only heard about one that went any distance to do it, and it didn’t happen this weekend. My Beagley pals haven’t had any huge issue with it…a little playing around, but no “off I go!” (These are performance dogs in general, however.)

  5. Patty says:

    Do they get to catch the bags at the end? I hope so! Loved the running video clip! Dart was so focussed! This week is supposed to be very nice. We deserve it.

  6. Doranna says:

    Yes, if they want to. The terriers mainly wanted to. And the Boxer! Dart wasn’t much interested once it stopped moving. 8)

    Today was certainly nice! The boys got a nice bike ride with me.

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