I’ve noticed some people holding their dogs at the start line, sometimes for several seconds after the Lure has started and the Tally-Ho has been given. I’ve discussed it with other Lure Operators and the overwhelming consensus is that it’s not a good practice. When I’ve asked handlers why they’re doing it, I’ve usually been told it’s to allow the Lure to get far enough ahead so their dog doesn’t catch it before the end... There's a better way! What it may lead to is the LO stopping the Lure in the belief the dog either isn’t running or that there may be a problem with the release. Then, when the dog is released, the Lure is stopped and the LO must react quickly to stay ahead of the dog, leading to the Lure now launching too quickly and getting too far in front of the dog. If you release your dog at the Tally-Ho, it won’t catch the Lure unless there is a mistake on the LO’s part, or a mechanical issue.
Instead, if you know your dog’s needs, tell the LO what your dog wants in terms of how far in front it wants the Lure (actual numbers, such as 10 yards, etc. are best!) Statements such as “way out” or “really close” are open to interpretation and lead to potential frustration. Most LO’s take great pride in getting good times for dogs running. Instead of saying "Fast Dog!" when your dog comes to the line, tell the Hunt Master your dogs typical time, or speed and ask them to relay it to the LO on the radio. That's real information we can work with instead of trying to interpret what you mean when you just say "Fast Dog" for your Beagle, or your Whippet... We all want the same thing! Most importantly, BE SAFE and have fun!