A lot of pet events and expos have a lure chase set up, this is a fun activity you can try with your dog. Granted it isn’t free but I would still recommend you give it a try.
What is a lure chase or what is lure coursing? Basically a soft material ‘lure’ is attached to a line and it is pulled through a course by a motor. To catch the lure your dog is required to execute a series of turns and small jumps.
The lure itself is unscented which gives a distinct advantage to dogs that are sight hounds. Some dogs rely more on their nose to track and unfortunately those dogs frequently lose track of the lure and get lost within the course. The dogs that track visually race through the course at break neck speeds, sometimes barking or yipping as they give chase.
A lure chase will also show how quickly some dogs learn or adapt in comparison to others. During the New’bark’et event the first turn was a wide, left followed immediately by a sharp left that turned into an inverted V. I watched one dog struggle with this course, he would make the first left and just keep going straight. It would take him a minute to realize that the lure was ‘gone’ which was just enough time for the lure to catch up to him again. But no matter how many times he ran the course he never once made that sharp left.
Meanwhile there was the dog pictured above who quickly worked out that running up and down the V was pointless. This dog opted to wait along the lure’s exit route and just snap at it as it passed. I believe this dog was able to successfully capture the lure three times.
Another dog attempted that same technique but with a far more hilarious result. As near as I can figure the other dog hadn’t properly straddled the line so when the lure went past the edges of it brushed his legs. All I know is the dog suddenly did a sort of half hop, half flail avoidance dance. As soon as the lure was gone the dog started trotting back towards the exit where his parents were cheering him on. Since they had paid five dollars for his turn, they were trying to encourage him to try again. However he was not having it, he just tucked his tail and scooted past his parents and ran out of the arena.
But for the dogs who love to chase, the lure chase is a great source of exercise and I strongly expect is also responsible for afternoon power naps.