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coursing-SCA-msg – 6/29/03


Coursing dogs in the SCA.


NOTE: See also the files: dogs-msg, pets-msg, horse-racing-msg, p-thts-animls-msg, Cats-n-the-MA-art, falconry-msg, hunting-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Ronnie Hodges [womrn at hotmail.com]

Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 9:01 AM

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] Coursing at Steppes


>It is currently scheduled to happen at approximately 9AM Saturday



Okay, since I'm "it" for running the coursing, there are a very few things

that those who are participating need to know, and they are "cut in stone".

I got these from Mistress Elizabeth, whose coursing equipment we'll be



Coursing your dogs is your choice; good teamwork and paying attention to the

following points will help to make it safe.  But, as with any sport, there

are always chances for injury or worse.  These points are to minimize those

chances as much as possible.


All dogs must be on a leash that will not snap or break.  Dogs are by nature

pack competitors.  They get very excited and lunge at their leashes when

they see or hear other dogs coursing, so *both* the leash and the holder /

handler must be strong enough to hold onto them.  Some dogs also will want

to go so badly they might forget their manners long enough to bite.  Leave

others' dogs alone, and keep yours away from the others, while the coursing

is going on.  It might be wise to also keep our younger populace clear of

any dogs' reach during the running, as well.


Bring your own coursing collars or a flat leash that we can turn into a

"slip".  We had a few coursing collars, but a number of them have

disappeared.  If anyone reading this has any of the coursing collars we have

used before, please, please return them at Steppes Warlord!


There must be course "helpers" to stand around the course, mostly to keep

others from walking into the ground lines on the course, and to reset lines

that get pulled off, but occasionally to help a dog or two to get back to

the course, or to its handler.  This is one of those immutable safety



Another immutable safety concern: coursing dogs *must _not_* be allowed to

eat -- *anything* -- the morning before they course.  Water's fine, but not

a lot at a time.  If you're a "free feeder", make sure they cannot eat after

midnight.  Why? Interesting things happen inside running animals.  Even a

small wad of food in there as they twist, jump and run through the course

makes it possible for them to get a "twisted gut" that can kill them.  It's

not cruel to keep your dog from food for several hours -- it would be much

worse to have them in agony or die from running fed.


Dogs may do well with *a little* diluted Gatorade an hour or two before they

run, and again once they've quit breathing heavily after coursing.  However,

if you want to course them again that morning (3 times is the max, the 2nd

and 3rd times only if they have recovered sufficiently from the earlier

run), they shouldn't need any drink until they're completely done.  Don't

water them more than a "taste", and don't feed them, for at least an hour

(two is better) after they run.


After any and each run, the dog needs to be walked about for several minutes

to let its body return to "normal" without the double shock of "no to go,

and then go to no".  No lying down; no slow wanderings, but a purposeful

walk for several minutes.


A lot of this is because dogs today don't get the exercise they did in

earlier times.  If your dog appears to be stressing, don't wait to get help.

  The site autocrat should shortly be posting a vet local to the site who

will be open / available Saturday, and should have that information for

reference on site, just in case.


For the safety of your dogs' life and limbs (literally), if the ground is

merely dew-wet, we'll postpone for a bit to see if it will dry out enough to

play.  If it's too wet, or if it's raining, or if it's really too hot and

humid, we'll have to cancel.  My decision will be final, not because I'm

some kind of control-freak (even though I am! <G>), but because I care about

animals, and don't care to be sued, even though it wasn't my decision

whether to course a dog.  So I'll be inclined to make a mistake on the side

of caution.


Finally, don't be surprised if your dogs sleep heavily and sleep more for

several days after coursing.  Do, however, keep an eye out for any signs of

stress or pain, especially during the first full 24 hours after coursing.


There are 3 steps to getting ready to course.  "Hold your hounds!" is the

warning that the course is about to be run (one dog at a time); get a good

grip on your dog if it's not your turn!  "Are you ready?" is for the handler

whose hound is about to be slipped; we wait until the handler says they are

ready.  And, "Let 'm go!" is right after the lure starts around the course,

and only for the handler whose turn it is, to let the leash slip off the

dog's neck.  The dogs learn these steps very quickly!


I probably haven't covered everything, so use good judgment and common

sense, and ask questions if you're not sure.  For example, dogs that are

old, have had a broken bone (especially legs or backs), have trouble

breathing, or have had similar problems maybe shouldn't course.  It's got to

be your call.  Check out the course and how dogs run it if you've never seen

it, and take if from there.


I hope the weather's fine: I love the excitement of letting the dogs have

some fun at an event. Please help us all to make and keep it a safe,

enjoyable feature.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org