What Is Coursing?

Coursing is the pursuit of game or other animals by dogs, primarily greyhounds and other sighthounds, who catch their prey by sprinting quickly and without using their sense of smell.

With sighthounds and lurchers, commoners, members of the nobility, landed gentry, and the rich could use this hunting tactic. The laws changed during the Carolingian period ( 800–888), and the hunting grounds were reserved for the king, the nobles, and other landowners. Commoners were excluded.

What Do Coursing Dogs Chase?

Jackrabbits are frequents victims of coursing dogs.
Jackrabbits are frequent victims of coursing dogs.

Hares, foxes, several species of deer, antelope, gazelle, jackals, and wolves are among the animals used for hunting and sporting purposes. The most frequent animals coursed in the United States are jackrabbits and coyotes. Two dogs compete against one another in competitive coursing in Portugal, Spain, the UK (up to its prohibition in 2004), Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Three dogs are typically run together in the United States.

Using dogs to hunt any mammal, except for rabbits and rats, was prohibited under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act and the Hunting Act 2004 (in England and Wales). As long as no more than two dogs are utilized, it is still legal for dogs to flush (chase) game into the path of a ready gun.

Dogs may be employed to hunt feral animals in Australia, including foxes, deer, goats, rabbits, and pigs.