Training season

The competition season in FCI Lure Coursing is soon starting: in fact, the first competitions in FCI Competition Calendar have been already in January, and the local competitions must have started earlier, too, but summer is the competition season. For us the competitions start in mid-May, when the qualifiers for the European Championships are ran.

Because of this, the training season should be well away. It takes about 12 weeks for the dog to gain the best shape and fit for running after the cool down which occurs after the competition season. And the training should be progressive, so that the results will get better the closer the first competitions come.

This is the time of year, too, when the newcomers should be primed for the training season. According to FCI, most of the lure-coursing breeds should be 18 months before they can take part in the competition. This means that the young dogs which were born in November 2007 -or earlier that year- are able to compete in May already. Depends on the date, however, when the actual competition can take place.

Younger dogs could be trained already with the competition in mind: gentle playing with a lure simulcrum, free playing and running on their own should be part of the everyday routine for the dogs who are considered to be competing later on. Never underestimate the power of the dog’s own, free exercise. The more the dog can play and compete with it’s kind, the better: young puppies, be they what ever size possible, can naturally take care of their strain levels. Very young pup may well take a sprint, sit for a while and then take another. The possible breakage comes from the time when we owners try to force the pup to move when she wants to rest. Refrain from forcing the pup to work more than it wants to.

Irish wolfhounds are no exception to this rule. Though the older they become, the more they know how things are: if they have experienced pain and discomfort after training or competition, they are sure to act accordingly next time.

Pain is our enemy as owners, for when the Irish Wolfhound encounters it in competition -or in training-, she will remember it forever.

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3 thoughts on “Training season

  1. How interesting.

    The dogs who do well must be such athletes!

    I’ve been doing a pre-agility class with our dog (who is in good shape) but the instructor has had to lecture others several times about how if they want to compete, their dogs need to loose weight and get in shape. An out of shape dog doing agility is liable to experience pain and discomfort, or even become injured.

    I’m sure your dogs are in great shape by the start of competition season.

    cheers,

    Mary H.
    http://stalecheerios.com/blog

  2. I only wish it was so that all the dogs were at least basically fit when they enter competitions: that is actually my initial reason in starting this blog. I’ve seen cases when a great, nice show type Irish Wolfhound (read: fat) has entered the qualifiers, ran by instinct only and quit in the finals before even leaving the start area.

    The dog wasn’t properly warmed up for the trial and was put into a confined space of the car to ‘rest’ right after the trial. I can imagine how stiff and sore the muscles must have been, especially as the dog’s daily routines were around having few walks of 15-20 minutes a day on a leash.

    The worst thing about Irish Wolfhounds is the fact that there are clearly two different styles already: the show dogs and the working dogs. Granted, Irish Wolfhounds haven’t been used for work since Col. Graham revived the breed, but still it’s supposed to be a sighthound, not a mastiff or dogi style dog: lean, muscular but not heavy.

    We’re treating our dogs as athletes and I wish to share our thoughts about that in this blog later on.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Jorma

  3. Pingback: The holy triangle for healthy dog « Fast enough to catch the lure

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