Coursing/Racing FAQ

Irish Wolfhounds straight racing at LGRA event

Does your Irish Wolfhound love to run? There are a number of coursing and racing events available from different organizations. Some are for sighthounds only, some are available to all breeds. These events are designed to test hunting ability in sighthounds, primarily by mimicking the chase of jackrabbits. People debate about how well these activities actually test the ability of the Irish Wolfhound, since their traditional prey were large game. But there is no denying that it is fun for the hounds!

  • Lure Coursing is an event where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (usually plastic bags) in a loop at least 600 yards in total distance. Dogs are run against their own breed, up to 3 at a time.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds: (check each organization for specific breeds)
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets required (yellow, pink and blue)
    • Muzzles allowed
    • Collars not allowed
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored based on specific criteria. Titles awarded based on points earned. For specifics, see the rules for each organization.
  • Straight Racing is an event where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (squawker) in a 200 yard straight line course. Dogs are run against their own breed, up to 4 at a time.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds: (check each organization for specific breeds)
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets required (green, red, blue and white)
    • Muzzles required
    • Buckle Collars allowed
    • Starting Boxes required to be used for most breeds  IW and SD usually hand-slipped
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored based on placement order. Titles awarded based on points earned. For specifics, see the rules for each organization.
  • Oval Racing is an event where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (squawker) on an oval course usually between 300-400 yards in distance. Dogs are run against their own breed, up to 4 at a time.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds:
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets required (green, red, blue and white)
    • Muzzles required
    • Buckle Collars allowed
    • Starting Boxes required to be used for most breeds  IW and SD usually hand-slipped
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored based on placement order. Titles awarded based on points earned. For specifics, see the rules for each organization.
  • Coursing Ability Test is an event where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (plastic bag) in a loop that is either 300 or 600 yards in distance. Each dog runs alone.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds:
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets not used
    • Muzzles not used
    • Buckle Collars allowed (no slip, choke or prong collars)
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored on a pass/fail basis. Titles are awarded based on completion of a number of runs. For specifics, see the rules from AKC.
  • Fast Coursing Ability Test is an event where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (plastic bag) in a 100 yard straight line course. Each dog runs alone.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds:
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets not used
    • Muzzles not used
    • Buckle Collars allowed (no slip, choke or prong collars)
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored based on time of completion converted to a speed in miles per hour. Titles are awarded based on points accumulated. For specifics, see the rules from AKC.
  • Open FIeld Coursing (OFC) is an event where dogs hunt live wild jackrabbits. Dogs are run against their own breed or in mixed groups, 2 or 3 at a time.
  • Organizations/Eligible Breeds: (check each organization for specific breeds)
  • Equipment requirements:
    • Blankets required (yellow, pink and blue)
    • Muzzles not used
    • Collars allowed (GPS tracking collars may be used)
  • Title Requirements: Runs are scored based on specific criteria. Titles awarded based on points earned. For specifics, see the rules for each organization.