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May 24, 2017

Running Wild

Dogs are wonderfully domesticated pets. My two easily adapt to life in a modern metropolitan city.  But inside every dog is a primal switch.  If you've ever seen it flipped - in a bloodhound following a scent, a bird dog pointing like an arrow, or a cattle dog herding - you know how incredible it is to watch that instinct at work.Largely due to Penny's reputation, we haven't had any lions in the Chicago area recently. Thankfully there is another way for my guys to embrace their inner hunter. Lure coursing is a dog sport where sighthounds chase a mechanically operated "bunny" around a set course. We attended a coursing trial in Indiana over the weekend, and as expected, Penny ran wild. (I have some video of her run I'll share in a future post.) Since he's only six-months old (allegedly) Zero only ran a short-course. He chased the lure, but he also chased a butterfly and pretty much anything else that moved. He had quite the time galavanting across the field.
Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryDogs are wonderfully domesticated pets. My two easily adapt to life in a modern metropolitan city.  But inside every dog is a primal switch.  If you’ve ever seen it flipped – in a bloodhound following a scent, a bird dog pointing like an arrow, or a cattle dog herding – you know how incredible it is to watch that instinct at work.Largely due to Penny’s reputation, we haven’t had any lions in the Chicago area recently. Thankfully there is another way for my guys to embrace their inner hunter. Lure coursing is a dog sport where sighthounds chase a mechanically operated “bunny” around a set course. We attended a coursing trial in Indiana over the weekend, and as expected, Penny ran wild. (I have some video of her run I’ll share in a future post.) Since he’s only six-months old (allegedly) Zero only ran a short-course. He chased the lure, but he also chased a butterfly and pretty much anything else that moved. He had quite the time galavanting across the field.Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryThe event also served as a mini-family reunion. John, Penny’s breeder, was there with Penny’s brother, Bullitt. And our new old friend, Max, was there with Penny’s sister, Kali.Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryRhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryOut of their litter, Bullitt inherited the most size, Kali the most sense, and Penny the most shenanigans.The coursing was a blast, but best of all was the seven Ridgeback playdate which ensued after the trial wrapped up.Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryAfter some brief introductions, this Ridgeback pack unleashed a wild rumpus for the better part of an hour. It was such a joy to see these kindred spirits run wild.Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our Territory Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our Territory Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryRhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our TerritoryWe returned that evening to our tame and comfortable apartment, where the Wild Things spent the rest of the weekend sleeping like rocks. (Sleeping also happens to be another ancient Ridgeback instinct). Great friend and great dogs made for a great time, I hope we have the chance to go to another event soon.If you’re interested in lure coursing with your dog (or coursing at all, with any breed) I recommend you check out the AKC and ASFA sites for more info about events in your area. 

Comments for Running Wild

  1. lindyihrman says:

    I would SO love to see our 3 year old Zahara romping with other ridgebacks. Not to mention I would love to meet you, Penny and Zero! We are in South West Michigan so if there are any ridgeback reunions in the near future please consider letting me know. I would be there in a heartbeat!

  2. oh that is great to see them in action all together… I wish I had 7 or more dogs it would be a pleasure to watch them…. ;o)))

  3. Looks like from the photos that their feet rarely touch the ground. Curious to know if Penny reacts any differently with her siblings than other dogs (besides Zero). Is there a instinctive connection because of being litter mates?

  4. TheRidgebackLife says:

    This is why you can’t have just one Ridgeback. They need each other, since they seem to speak a different language from every other breed. Oh, and they are insanely fun to watch play hunt. Oh, how I wish we had a coursing club nearby. Our native “lures” just don’t seem to appreciate Khoi’s instinctual tendencies,

  5. Victoria Coleman says:

    love to see them all having so much fun and so glad Zero got a chance to chase a butterfly – we all need to chase butterflies once in a while

  6. Amazing pictures, Will! Can’t even imagine what it was like in person. So looking forward to seeing video of all of it!

  7. Kismet says:

    In my clutch of eggs, I inherited the brains and humility.

  8. Go Penny, get that bunny!!

  9. KarenS says:

    My older boy loved coursing. Pointed in AKC and is an ASFA Field Champ! But really it was the look on his face after his run that made the trails for me. The joy excitement going to the line. The calm waiting for the lure to move. Then the WOW.

    Ribbons and titles are great for us humans. Chasing something without being scolded was the prize for him. He learned very early on how to hunt the lure, aka cheating. The curse of the ridgeback in this event. But always came off the field with the same joy!

    May I also suggest LGRA events as well, running straight after the squawking lure added more fun. After all, these are events that give us happy tired hounds.

    Tally Ho!

  10. Pat says:

    I wish I’d known about this when I had my Basset hound! His legs might have been short, but his heart would have been in it. 🙂

  11. What a fun day! I love that Penny was reunited with her littermates, and the picture that entered my mind when I read that Zero did a little butterfly chasing made me smile. 🙂

  12. coastingnz says:

    How much fun did that look! Have to say though – showing the photo of the three dogs, isn’t it amazing how girls really do look like girls and boys look like boys.

  13. Caroline Edmiston says:

    Wow! Bullitt is gorgeous! I am such a suckered for a muscular rhodie!
    Maggie has a new friend, Ruckas,at the park. Ruckas is a tri colored hound as tall as my girl and they are a joy to watch playing leap frog through the long grass and tag across the meadow. Nothing better than a Rhodie running full out, feet thundering as they fly by.

  14. Emmadog says:

    What a fun meet up. Bailie has been two her breeder twice, but wants nothing to do with her family members that are still there. We want to take a trip to TX to see Bailie’s twin littermate one of these days. We shall see. No lure coursing for us. Mom says we don’t need that encouragement.

  15. So very cool!!! Love lure coursing!

  16. Sam Anderson says:

    Ha ha ha such a great video!!!! It’s good to be king!

  17. Seven Ridgebacks? Definitely equals rumpus running! What unbridled fun. Here’s to a swell ‘howliday’ weekend.

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