Event without competition

Have you ever been in a lure-coursing event in which there is really no competition, just enjoying the dogs running after the lure time and again? Different breeds and even non-sighthounds being evaluated with the same scale (though ‘official’ with real judges).

Have you ever seen the joy in the face of a sighthound owner who is attending to such an event for the first time, sees how his dog launches to the lure for the first time ever and gets rewarded with a trophy for attending?

Those are really the moments which I cherish myself in the lure-coursing. They always remind me that it’s not about the winning nor titles, not about being the best or being better than others, but about doing something with your dogs and finding new things to enjoy with them.

Now that the competing season is closing up here, it’s time to start taking down the dogs’ exercises and go to the upkeep ‘program’. Only long walkies without unnecessary pulls and sprints. Just relaxing and keeping the dogs in shape.

Letting the dogs rest and enjoy life.

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5 thoughts on “Event without competition

  1. hmmmmm … lilly would not like this down in exercises … she makes her sprints with greyhound viola several times a week – not unnecessary, it is real fun to her! better than pulls, i think. 😉

    and: we have winterevents, too. so we keep our hounds in shape and training all the time. but it is not boring for us or unnecessary. it is part of daily live.

    and: i had such “no competition races” with enya for some years. she had no licence, there where nearly no wolfhounds at the track. we where at the track for “training only” and it was a pleasure to see her face every single time. and so it is with lilly and coursing, too. a trophy can’t change this. not for me.

    • Even with human super-athletes there is a so called resting period, during which the training intensity is deliberately lowered and the body is given the chance to rests between the competition season. This means that the overall training is lowered, not completely cease: instead, the training program is more on the overall fitness and not in competition preparing activities. The sprints and chases your dog does by herself are part of her ‘normal’ activity and not preparatory activities, so they should not be driven down.

      The winter events are a story of their own: any exercise to a dog not acclimatized properly to the low temperatures is a hazard and I’ve seen some temperature ranges mentioned which are outright dangerous for full speed effort on a sighthound. Sleigh dogs are a breed of their own, being bred and developed to work in harsh low temperatures. Sighthounds are not.

      The trophy I mentioned is like a memento of the event, and for sure we’re saving the one our youngest got from it: reminds us of her excellent performance and the feeling of new achievement in the event. Also reminds me -at least- to be humble about the successes, as they come and go like leaves in the trees.

      Keeping dog in shape and training are two aspects of having a sports dog: in wintertime it’s more the keeping in shape and fit, in spring and competition season it’s the training. That’s the kind of thing I tried to convey.

      J

  2. hi again!

    seasons are different in finland and in austria. here we have shorter winter with more moderate temperature. it is seldom, that we have snow. for snow-coursing we have to drive to tyrol, up into the mountains.

    and – with bitches – we have other form of training and less training. around their seasons they have less training, because they have to be at the leash most time. so we have breakes two times a year quite naturaly.

    with about 5 – 6 events this year we enhance the training about 3 weeks before the event, but we try to keep the level of training high the whole time.

    and: i think it is different to train a young hound than to train an older one. lilly with about 2 years “trains herself” … 😉

    • Naturally the seasons are different… how inconsiderate of me. Just goes to show in how different circumstances we are rising and training our dogs, still competing at the same level.

      It isn’t actually a case of not training at all, but it’s a kind of thinking that outside the actual active season the content of the walkies/training should be different than during the active season. As JyrkiS mentioned in the International IW forum, the best way to avoid accidents is to have a good muscle strength and fitness throughout the whole of the dog’s life, starting from the early puppy ages. The upkeep is a natural extension to that, and -like with human athletes- the ‘easier’ period between the main competition season is of utmost importance. The human athletes compete also during the off season, no doubt about it, but as the main season is their main objective, the training is planned so that it’s increasing in intensity and sport specificity.

      I agree completely with you on the younger dogs: they run even by themself. But the pitfall is actually the fact that most people don’t understand that the raving dashes of a young dog are not a measure of the dog’s speed, stamina, endurance, agility or intelligence in the coursing field. In fact, the worlds fastest dog in the walkies may well wear out before the half of the field is done, causing a catastrophe to the owner… Like I posted just a few posts ago. This is just a generalisation and not a personal comment, mind you. 😀

      J

  3. October & November & December – coursing and straight racing just geared up in northeast US. The weather is cool enough for the hounds so we don’t have to wet them down before and after running. I just looked at my calendar for November. First weekend – AKC lure coursing, second weekend LGRA straight racing (200 yards straight course – speed only), 3rd weekend ASFA lure coursing, and 4th weekend – 3 days over our Thanksgiving holiday of AKC lure coursing. Busy month.

    In December we have three possible weekends of lure coursing. In one of the events they are taking pre-entries only because everyone they expect so many dogs and such short daylight. Everyone is trying to get those end of the year points to get their national rankings 🙂

    Then we get to do nothing until spring again….

    M

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