Nami and I attended our first lure course yesterday in Griswald, Connecticut. It was an interesting and somewhat stressful experience. We had trouble with the YJ on the way there after discovering someone had stolen all of my fluid caps/stoppers so we arrived much later than we should have for entry, but the nice women allowed us to finish our registration and let the dogs run.
The second hiccup was that the whole field was open. No barriers, no fencing, and hilly, wooded areas beyond the large farmland we were coursing at. I haven't worked with Nami on her recall too seriously, so that was a huge stressor. In the end, I'm glad I trusted her to run and listened to the veterans there.
Nami did "alright" on her first run. She was very into it at first and tore off after the lure - she was really amped up after watching all the other dogs screaming and running - but when she discovered that the lure was "just" a plastic bag, she lost interest and didn't finish her first round. It took me a couple minutes to get her to come back in close enough to be leashed up, but we managed eventually.
Her second run was much better - she finished the run, but lagged on the stretch after the last turn. It was pretty discouraging since I figured she'd have so much fun coursing - but it just seemed boring to her. She wanted to do things with me. If I had been running the field with her, I think she would have been into it a bit more. It made me appreciate how the NK hunt and operate. They are independent dogs, but that does not mean that they are uninvolved.
In the end, Nami received one leg of her title. If she completes the courses and we enter twice in her next event, she will earn her title. I'd like to attend one more coursing event with her, at least, to see how she does and if she's any more interested. I think things would have been different if Nami had never been hunted on boar and known what the chase was about. My friend's Shiba (who attended with us) did much better, comparatively - but he'd never even seen a lure before the day we went.
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