Release your Hound!

As soon as you are able, determine if your dog is Lure or Handler/Treat/Reward driven. You’ll probably know within the first one or two runs, if not before.

If Handler driven, you’ll want the person the dog will most likely run to, positioned in the finish area. It may be helpful to have them attempt to keep the dog’s attention as they walk to the finish area. Be sure to have the catcher get the dogs attention from the finish area as best they can and back off the finish line by at least 20+ yards well before the dog crosses it. If they remain too close as the dog approaches, your dog may begin slowing before it crosses the line, resulting in a slower runtime and thus less points. Minimize or better yet, completely avoid encouragement from anyone other than the catcher once the dog starts it’s run. Anyone else other than the catcher calling may confuse the dog, leading to them not finishing the run, or not getting their best time.

If Lure driven, don't distract your dog with noise, or actions that take its attention off the Lure while running and do encourage your dog to “get the bunny” at the end! (Although I don't WANT the dogs to actually shred the bags, changing damaged ones is a pretty easy operation.)

BTW, don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t call or encourage your dog. While you can’t entice them with anything artificial (treats, toys, whistles, etc.) prior to them crossing the finish line, you can do almost whatever you want yourself to encourage them down the course if necessary. Call them, whistle, jump up and down, or stand on your head and twirl your legs! (I’m still waiting for someone to actually do that last one.)

As a Lure Operator, I appreciate a dog with a strong prey drive that’s lure driven as much as anyone, but there is nothing wrong with encouraging your dog if that’s what YOUR dog needs to complete the course. I advise people to try to get their dog interested in the Lure if possible, but not every dog has the drive, nor does every handler have the desire for this behavior. It ISN’T a requirement for competing in Fast CAT regardless of anyone’s opinion on the matter.