Lure Coursing Meets Dog Agility
| November 13th, 2009

Lure Coursing Meets Dog Agility

Competitive Dog Performance Apparatus and Method

Competitive Dog Performance
Apparatus and Method

Lure Coursing

Lure Coursing is a dog sport that recreates the pursuit of a hare by a hound. Spectators watch as a white plastic bag stands in for the hare and is yanked through a course comprised of a series of lines and pulleys. The dog – typically a Greyhound, Whippet, Basenji, Saluki, Afghan or Rhodesian Ridgeback – gives chase through the course, in hot pursuit of the zipping plastic bag. Good times.

Dog Agility

Dog Agility is well known by any visitor to the Zoom Room – and is the fastest-growing dog sport in the U.S. In dog agility, dogs navigate an obstacle course of A-frame, jumps, chutes, teeter and tunnels, running alongside their owner to achieve the best possible time.

The Invention

Inventor Lee Anton Rebalko of Pompano, Florida, must have experienced an “Aha!” moment akin to that fateful day when chocolate first met peanut butter. Rebalko wondered what would happen if you married lure coursing to dog agility. The result? U.S. Patent #6,109,213: Competitive Dog Performance Apparatus and Method. Or, as we call it, Robot Agility.

The invention – pictured above – is a portable, motor-driven agility course in which a dog is tasked with following a lure through a course that includes the familiar dog agility obstacles. Instead of being encouraged along the path by a watchful, enthusiastic owner, the pup is entrusted to give chase to a “bundle of white plastic strips” through the neverending course.

The invention was submitted to the patent office about a decade ago; we’ve yet to see any popping up around town. We think we know why. Much of the joy of dog agility is the camaraderie with your dog. Here there’s no opportunity to deepen the bonds of communication. Also, the type of visual tracking required of a dog to succeed at Robot Agility is not present in equal amounts in every breed. We’ve seen that any dog can perform dog agility – but the same can’t be said about lure coursing.

We salute Rebalko’s ingenuity – but we still prefer the old-fashioned agility course. Owners who come to the Zoom Room, run the course, and are thankful for the extra workout in their day – not to mention the great time they’ve had with their dog – would rather be in the thick of the sport, rather than confined to the spectator stands.

12 Responses  
Elaine Scott writes:

I’m looking for a lure class or course in Phoenix.

Zoom Room writes:

Hi Elaine,

I’m afraid we don’t currently have any locations in Phoenix, but we hope to shortly. We do not offer lure coursing, however. Our dog agility course is for running alongside your dog, as opposed to a traditional lure course in which the dog runs by himself, without the owner or handler present.

All best,
Your friends at the Zoom Room

Donna Bryant writes:

We are interested in doing something such as this with our club. Most of our dogs are obedience, rally and hunting trained but we wanted something new to do at our meetups. Could you give us an idea of the mechanics of the ingeneous invention and some more feedback on your great idea? Thank you for your time.

Donna Bryant CGC Evaluator
Alamo Woof Board

Zoom Room writes:

Hi Donna,

We don’t have any direct relationship with Mr. Rebalko, so we unfortunately don’t have any contact information for him. If you look in the USPTO’s database, they should maintain contact information for the patent’s registrant. We’re simply reporting on the idea on our blog — we’re not the authors of the invention!

All best,
Your friends at the Zoom Room

Haley writes:

I would like to do this for a fundraiser for my community but my idea is completely different. I need some ideas that I could use for a fundraiser please help me.

Zoom Room writes:

I’m afraid we don’t do any lure coursing at the Zoom Room; we were simply reporting on an interesting patent on our blog.

joann s writes:

do u have any S florida lure courses or know of any down here?

Zoom Room writes:

Sorry – we don’t do any lure coursing. Indoor agility – we have you covered in South Florida. But no lure coursing. Sorry!

Pete Sonner writes:

I am involved with the Dogs of the British Isles and the Colorado Scottish Festival. We would like to offer lure coursing at this our 49th anunal Festival on August 4 and 5 2012. Can you help us out

Zoom Room writes:

Hi Pete,

Unfortunately we’re not able to assist, since we do not do any lure coursing – this is merely an interesting invention we were commenting on. Our specialty is indoor dog agility, which is currently only offered at our locations in the U.S.

– Your friends at the Zoom Room

Patricia writes:

I have a wonderful female greyhound who is an ex-racer. She was a Grade “A” racer and now she is retired. She loves to run in my back yard, but, my German Shepherd can’t keep up. I have a feeling she misses racing, so I am looking for a lure coursing class here, in Maryland. Are there any classes in Maryland?


Zoom Room writes:

Hi Patricia,

I’m afraid we don’t offer any classes in lure coursing at any of our locations; our offerings all focus on the interaction of dogs with their owners. Here in this blog post we were merely reporting on a new patent.

– Your friends at the Zoom Room

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