I call it the Mazing Chase. It is professionally referred to as Lure Coursing. It is not very popular because it is usually only performed or offered to certain breeds, mainly sight hounds. I am assuming because of their very keen vision that is why it is directed to them. I do it with my huskies all the time and they love it!! I actually think it is the most engaging activity I have tried with them ever!! It is also the easiest to teach to them. Let me divulge!!
This sport consists of a machine that is powered by a car battery. This machine has a wheel which spins or drives a string. This string is looped around pulleys that are spread out on a field. These pulleys are very close to the grounded and are not real obvious. This is what a a Mazing Chase course consists of!! A bunch of pulleys maybe 8 to 24 and one string that runs through them all and goes through the machine. On the string we tie a plastic bag or a lightweight small plastic flag. We sometimes use up to 3 bags in a row. these bags can be brightly colored. You want the dogs to see them. Now the machine has a controller and when you push it the string and bags will travel up to 40 MPH. Your dog probably won’t go that fast unless it is a sight hound. My one dog has reached about 31 MPH. Anyway the dogs instinctively chase this plastic decoy. When they realize it is not alive they still are totally interested!! I mean my dogs will go for hours chasing!! They never want to stop!!
Professional Lure Coursing from what I understand is a quick lap or two and it’s over. I use this as exercise not for competition. Obviously you need to start slowly and not let the dog run past thier conditioning level. Build up slowly as anything else. It only took me one to two times to get my dogs interested and participating. One of my puppies can be a little lazy and doesn’t engage as much as the others but he still clocks the mileage up. My course covers about 4 acres. Most professional lure Courses are about 5 acres or more from my understanding!! That is the limitation you need room to do it.
The equipment is portable but requires time and handling to set it up. It is better to try to find someone in your area doing it and seeing if you can get involved. Some places offer this for a fee per lap. If you have the space you can as I do, and semi permanently set the course up and use when you want!! Don’t get me wrong you could start on under an acre but your dog will probably quickly build an appetite for more room!!
I will list an equipment page but I am aware of only one machine that offers a reverse option. This is really helpful in enticing some dogs. It means you can play with the dog and make the decoy move forward and backward so it will entice him more if he does lose interest and can help stimulate some dogs to get involved. This higher end equipment setup will probably run you about 1500.00 or so.