Coursing Ability Testing (C.A.T.) – Tally-Ho!
New Event for the Wrinkled Sight Hounds – Dogue de Bordeaux
by Gale Bandsma
The C.A.T. is an introductory event similar to the sport of lure coursing. AKC describes it as a healthy and fun activity for all dogs (at least 12 months old and registered as an AKC, FSS, or Canine Partners dog). The course is a set of plastic bags pulled by a pulley system with turns no less than 90 degrees to simulate a fleeing prey. This event is fun and coursing clubs do everything possible to ensure a safe run for the dogs. A shorter course is offered for those dogs smaller than 12 inches at the withers and/or brachycephalic dogs. All others must run the standard 600 yard course. It is a pass/fail event where the dog must course with enthusiasm and complete the course within 1½ minutes without interruption (300 yard course) or 2 minutes (600 yard course). It is different from the lure coursing for sight hounds in which a pair of dogs runs the lure course of 600 to 1000 yards.
How did I get started? My kennel club has "open" lure coursing practice in the summer for the sight hounds and any other dog who wants to come out for some exercise. I thought what the heck, and was pleasantly surprised. Both my girls Fiona and Izzy put the sight hounds to shame the first time I took them out. They stunned everyone with their intensity and what I call ground pounding. What the Bordeaux doesn’t have in the grace of a double suspension gait they make up in focus.
CAT events are very relaxed. The Paddock Master will have roll call to ensure all the dogs are present and fit to run. Each dog is inspected to be sure it is fit and not lame and females are not in season. Then it’s "Tally-Ho!," from the Huntmaster and the chase begins. The AKC web site www.akc.org/events/coursing_ability_test has information on rules, events, and articles. GR CH Rising Star’s Izmos "Izzy" A Nyugat Kiralynoje is the "unnamed" Dogue de Bordeaux mentioned in three articles on the AKC site. She completed her CA title on May 21 at event sponsored by Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club. To earn a CA title you must past three tests under at least two different judges. At ten passes you will earn the CAA (Coursing Ability Advanced) title. The sky is the limit after that!