Lure Coursing – At Home Activities

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Are you curious if your dog will like this sport?

While you don’t need formal training, these at home activities will get your dog excited at home or for the upcoming trial.


Flirt Pole

Just like those dangly toys for cats, dog’s love to chase prey as well. To start out I used one of his favorite soft toys, and attached it to the end of the pole. It quickly became one of his favorite activities. When we finished, I kept the pole and the toy hidden away, to keep the ‘excitement’ of getting to play with it. And it works, my dog’s face lights up when I bring out the pole!

If you are going to a FastCAT trial, add a plastic bag to your existing toy at the end of the elastic rope. Play the same ‘keep away’ game, and make sure you add opportunities for your dog to catch the toy & bag. If your dog is already in love with the game of chase with the flirt pole, you can just use the plastic bag if you want to get some practice in before an upcoming trial.

Sheepskin Tug Toys

Instead of the ribbons that come standard on the flirt pole, try tapping into their inner prey drive and swap it for a sheepskin toy. My dog goes wild for it – gleefully happy when catching it, and whipping his neck and and forth to “kill” it. Our sheepskin toy is the ‘special’ toy that goes with the flirt pole.

Home Lure Coursing

Money cannot buy the look of joy on your dog’s face when they are running through a field chasing a bunny, and the floppy tongue smile of an exhausted dog. Oh wait, for about $500 you can! You can purchase a ‘home’ lure coursing set up to tire your dog out when and where ever you want. It is on my wish list, because I know Kai would _love_ it!

If you purchase through these links, thank you!, it helps support the website


Games are a great way to build your dog’s drive, practice focus, and grow the owner/handler and dog bond!

Building Foundational Skills

Chasing a lure is great fun for the dog, but it can also be an opportunity to teach or practice skills like “drop” or a release cue, like “chase” or “get it”.

  • Drop It – Once your dog catches the lure, practice a cue for releasing the toy. Make sure the lure/toy is stopped. By freezing the movement the toy becomes boring (because it “died”), and when the dog releases give a treat and/or praise. If you dog is very motivated by the game, just the action of restarting the play will be reward enough. When the dog is quickly letting go, start adding the verbal cue of your choice, like “drop it”.
  • Chase – If your dog loves the flirt pole or lure run, they are probably bouncing off the walls to get it lure. Adding a cue to when it is OK to go and chase will help build your dogs impulse control. Keep the toy steady in your hand/away from where he can steal it. If he is jumping or acting crazy, waiting him out until he becomes still (a stand or a sit). Once he is still, say the release cue word (e.g. Get It) the same time you start the lure/flirt pole toy. You can vary it up, but adding longer pauses before giving the cue.

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