Getting Started        AKC Titles For Sighthounds     AKC Titles for any dog

Many dogs like to chase moving objects.  Lure Coursing is a game where a “lure” made of plastic, is attached to string or “line”, and moved around a field at a fast enough speed to keep the dogs from catching the lure.  A machine, connected to batteries, turns a wheel that causes the line, to move about the field in a zigzag course.  The line is held off the ground by pulleys that are staked into the ground.  The lure operator has a switch that is connected to the lure machine, to control the speed to keep the plastic lures about 30 yards ahead of the dog running.  Lure coursing is a fun, safe way to run your dogs either by themselves, or in competition with others of the same breed.

 Getting Started.  Attend a lure coursing practice or trial.  Many clubs hold a practice after a trial which will give you the opportunity to try your dog.  Tell the person running the practice, that you and your dog are new to the sport.  Start your dog with a short straightaway, and if that goes well, try a short course with one turn.  If your dog is a puppy, or is not in good physical shape, practice once on a short course.  An adult dog in good condition, who is eager to chase the lure, could be practiced on an entire course.  Remember that lure coursing should be fun for your dog, so don’t keep practicing your dog when he is tired, or when the weather is hot, too cold, or too wet for your dog.   

All dogs must be at least one year of age, to be entered in an AKC lure coursing event.  Puppies can be practiced at lure coursing, but should be old enough to have had all their vaccinations.  Bitches “in-season”, are not allowed to compete, and should not be at the lure coursing site.  Since the dog will be lure coursed “off-lead”, dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs or to people, should not be lure coursed.  Dogs who like to “run-away” should also not be lure coursed.  For safety reasons, the dog’s collar is removed before the dog is released to chase the lure.  It is best, if your dog is trained to come when called, before starting him lure coursing.   Many lure coursing clubs have their own club web site, listing their schedule of practices and trials, with directions to the coursing site, and persons to contact if you have questions.   What to buy lure equipment - Injoy is the only company we know of that makes and sells lure machines and lure pulleys  .

There are 2 AKC lure coursing programs, one for sighthound breeds and one for any dog.  The Coursing Ability Test (CAT), is open to all AKC registered breeds, dogs with ILP or PAL or FSS numbers from the AKC and to any dog registered with the AKC Canine Partners (which accepts mixed-bred dogs).  Need to register your dog - go to and clink on "Canine Partners" at the top of the page.

To enter the Coursing Ability Test (CAT), the dog must be at least 12 months old, and cannot be lame or be "in-season".  Each dog runs the course by himself and is given a "pass" or a "fail" by the judge.  Dogs under 12" at the withers and/or brachycephalic dogs must run a 300 yard course and complete the course without stopping in no more than 1.5 minutes.  Dogs over 12" at the withers must run a 600 yard course and complete the course without stopping in no more than 2 minutes.  A dog cannot pass this test, if he walks or trots around the course.  Passing this test at 3 different events, will earn the dog the suffix title of Coursing Ability (CA), and passing 10 times will earn the Coursing Ability Advanced (CAA) title.  For a schedule of upcoming Coursing Ability Tests, go to  click on Event, then on the left side click on "performance" then on the left side click on "Coursing Ability Test" then select "upcoming events"

AKC Coursing Titles For Sighthounds.   

Sighthounds are defined by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as Afghan Hounds, Azawakhs, Basenjis, Borzois, Cirnico dell'Etnas, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Portuguese Podengos, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Sloughis, Thai Ridgebacks, & Whippets.  Sighthounds must be registered with the AKC or a recognized foreign registry (such as the Canadian Kennel Club), to be entered in AKC events.  Spayed and neutered sighthounds are eligible to compete.  Monorchid and cryptorchid sighthounds cannot compete in AKC events.  Sighthounds having a "breed disqualification" as specified by the National breed clubs for Ibizan Hounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Scottish Deerhounds, and Whippets cannot compete.  For example, a Rhodesian Ridgeback who lacks the "ridge" cannot compete.   For all the breed disqualifications see page 4 of the AKC rule book. 

For the schedule of AKC events, go to the AKC web site, and click on “Events” , then under "Competition Type" select "Lure Coursing Tests & Trials", select a time range and a state or states, and click  on "Search" at the bottom of the page.  

To earn the Junior Courser (JC) title, the sighthound must pass the Junior Courser test twice, under two different judges.  To pass this test, the sighthound has to chase the lure by himself and complete at least a 600 yard course with a minimum of 4 turns, chasing the lure with enthusiasm and without interruption.   

A sighthound, must earn the "QC" before he can be entered in an AKC trial for the first time, or already have earned a Field Championship from ASFA or from the Canadian Kennel Club.  To earn the Qualified Courser certificate, a sighthound at least 12 months of age (Qualifying Hound)  running with another sighthound of the same breed, or another breed with a similar running style (Testing Hound) shall receive certification from a licensed AKC coursing judge.  The sighthound must complete the course with enthusiasm and without interruption, sufficiently course the lure and not course the Testing Hound. 

At a trial, all sighthounds of the same breed run in either the Open stake, the Veteran stake or the Specials stake in trios, if possible, or braces for a preliminary course and a final course.  To be entered in the Veteran stake, a sighthound must be 6 years or older (7 years for Afghans, Whippets and Rhodesian Ridgebacks and 5 years for Irish Wolfhounds).  Only AKC Field Champions can be entered in the Specials stake.  There can be one or two judges.  Each judge can give the sighthound up to 50 points based on:   Overall Ability - 10 points, Follow - 10 points, Speed - 10 points, Agility - 10 points and Endurance - 10 points.  The score for the preliminary course and the score for the final course are added together for a total score that determines the placements in that stake.  If two or more hounds are tied for a placement, the dogs will run together to determine the winner, or an owner can forfeit the placement.

To earn the Senior Courser (SC) title, the sighthound must run at 4 trials, with at least one other sighthound,  and get qualifying scores.  A qualifying score is 50% or more of the total available points from the judges.  At these same trials, if your sighthound also wins a placement, he can earn points towards his Field Champion title, from the Open stake or the Veteran stake.  To earn a Field Champion (FC) title, a sighthound must earn 15 points, and have 2 first placements worth 3 points or more under 2 different judges or judging panels.

Points are earned for first, second, or third place depending on the number of dogs in that breed competing in the stake:

 Points (for 1st place)                                         5          4          3          2          1

Borzoi & Rhodesian Ridgebacks                  10           8          5          3         2  (number of dogs in competition)

 Whippets                                                         15          11         8         5         2

 All other sighthound breeds                            6             5          4         3         2

A major (5, 4 or 3 points), can only be earned by winning first place.  When the first place sighthound earns a 5 point major, the second place sighthound earns 3 points and the third place sighthound earns 2 points.  When the first place sighthound earns a 4 point major, the second place sighthound earns 2 points and the third place sighthound earns 1 point.  When the first place sighthound earns a 3 point major, the second place sighthound earns 1 point.  The sighthound awarded Best of Breed, by winning the Best of Breed runoff, gets points equal to the total number of that breed competing in the Open stake, the Veteran stake and the Specials stake.  If Best of Breed is by forfeit, no additional points are awarded.  If your sighthound wins Best of Breed, you can, if you chose to, run him in the Best of Field run.  If your sighthound wins Best In Field, he gets points towards his FC or LCX title based on the largest breed entry that day. 

To earn the Master Courser (MC) title, a sighthound must earn the Senior Courser title, and then run at 25 additional trials (in either the  Open stake, Veteran stake, or Special stake), with at least one other sighthound, and get qualifying scores.  To earn the Lure Courser Excellent (LCX) title, the sighthound must first be a Field Champion, and then win 45 points from the Special stake or the Veteran stake.  The LCX title can continue to be earned, each time the sighthound earns 45 points (LCX 2, LCX 3, etc.).  The Junior Courser, Senior Courser, Master Courser & Lure Courser Excellent titles go after the dog's registered name.  The Field Champion title goes in front of the dog's registered name.  A dog who is an AKC Conformation Champion and a Field Champion is called a Dual Champion (DC), and DC goes in front of the dog’s registered name in place of CH & FC.


OKIGO Trials (central Ohio)  WCLCC trials (northwest Indiana)

Home           This page was last updated March 21, 2016    © 2016 KC Artley.  All Rights Reserved.