Not as in "meow" (good thing I can spell the sound a cat makes) but as in "Coursing Ability Test." This is a new AKC event open to all breeds. The dogs chase a plastic bag on a string (lure) and if they make it around the 600 yard course (one quarter of a mile!) without loosing interest or giving up, they are given a passing leg. Three legs and you have the coursing ability (CA) title.
Since Dottie had one leg from when my friend took her when I was working doing my weekend duty and our club was holding the trial, I decided to finish up the title before the end of the year. Last time Dottie barely passed the leg she did pass, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I know a quarter of a mile is a long way for her (a dog with no stamina) to run all out. I also entered Pie, although the two other times shes done lure coursing she has left the bag in order to find a real critter to chase.
I had to drive pretty far to get to the event. I won't drive that far again. I'm not that into it.
To get the dogs excited, I let them watch the lure and let them watch other dogs run. It seemed to do the trick. Dottie went first and made it all the way around, even though she did slow down at the end. Next it was Pie's turn and she zoomed right around.
By the time the second run came along in the afternoon, both girls were very much into it. Both passed in the afternoon as well. So Dottie now has another title, the CA, and Pie needs one more leg.
I say I'm not that into it, because even though it was fun to watch the dogs run, I had no sense of teamwork (all I do is stand there) or accomplishment. There is no training and no prep. Sure, we were all joking that this is the way to earn titles (just show up, and your part is done) and while I like earning titles, I suppose this proved to me one reason I like to earn titles is because of the work that does into it, and the teamwork with my dogs that it requires. If all I had to do to earn a title was fill out paperwork and send money, I wouldn't bother. There is no point. This trial was pretty much like that. Yes, the dog had to fulfill the requirement, and a few dogs did not pass, but I just don't see myself doing to too many of these trials. I will finish Pie's title, and if there is a local one put on my club I'll go and help out and run my dog, but it isn't my thing.
Oh, and if my dog was so untrained that it took 15 minutes to catch him afterwards, I wouldn't let him off leash until he had a 1/2 decent recall. Not only due to the embarrassment of holding the trial up, but what if you never caught him? That isn't safe.
One part of the trial I really enjoyed was watching all the different breeds run. The small dogs only do 300 yards and the tiny doxies were so cute! The ground was uneven, so they had some trouble with the bumps that the big dogs didn't even notice. There was an amazingly fast dalmatian and watching the greyhounds seem to gather speed with each gigantic stride is breathtaking. Very cool.
And one last item to note is the hound people holding the trail are very, very nice. They help you or tell you anything you need to know. And if you mess up a tiny bit- I let Pie go when the bag moved, not when the person said "tallyho"- it isn't like obedience or agility where they NQ you for not following the rules exactly. Heaven forbid if you go before the GO in agility or let your dog bark in the obedience ring. Off with her head! Nope, none of that going on here. So that part was very enjoyable. In fact, I don't want it to sound like I didn't have a good time or that it was a waste of time. It was not. All I am trying to convey is it is not my new favorite sport.
The fun part was even though the trial was far away, there were several local club members there. There is a group photo:
The schnauzer passed also, he just didn't have his ribbon for the photo.