Ca­nine sport lapped up

Southern Telegraph - - News - David Sal­vaire

A com­pet­i­tive sport for dogs is gain­ing mo­men­tum in the Rock­ing­ham area, giv­ing own­ers the chance to test their furry friends’ abil­i­ties in a safe and fun en­vi­ron­ment.

Lure cours­ing in­volves chas­ing a me­chan­i­cally op­er­ated lure, usu­ally a plas­tic bag, around a field with points awarded in five cat­e­gories — speed, en­thu­si­asm, fol­low, agility and en­durance. The lure darts around un­ex­pect­edly as the dogs give chase.

The sport was de­signed to test sighthounds’ abil­ity to chase but these days it has grown to in­clude breeds of all shapes and sizes.

While the sport has been op­er­at­ing in Aus­tralia for more than 25 years, the lo­cal scene is start­ing to flour­ish as more events are held.

Lure Cours­ers Anony­mous and West Coast Dog Sports re­cently held their Bat­tle of the State speed com­pe­ti­tion in Warn­bro with a solid turnout of lo­cal tal­ent tak­ing on the shorter 100m course. Most lure cour­ses are be­tween 500m and 800m. Lure course en­thu­si­ast Vanessa Joy has been in­volved with the sport since 2014 and her dog Daisy was the first of four com­peti­tors in WA to be ti­tled an ALCA Field Cham­pion. She is also one of only two dogs in the State to have what was pre­vi­ously the high­est ti­tle in the sport — ALCA Lure Courser of Merit. Ms Joy said she was at­tracted to the sport be­cause of the ben­e­fits it gave to Daisy.

“It’s great to see her do what she was bred for in a safe way. She’s just chas­ing a plas­tic bag so it’s harm­less,” she said.

“As soon as the bag comes out or the lure ma­chine starts up, she’s im­me­di­ately in the zone and fo­cused.

“It’s just like chas­ing a ten­nis ball ex­cept over a much longer dis­tance and it’s not so repet­i­tive.”

On top of be­ing a lo­cal lure cham­pion, course le­gend Daisy is also a sled­ding cham­pion.

Pic­ture: David Sal­vaire

Vanessa Joy with Daisy.

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