The Scottish Deerhound is considered a sighthound, which makes it an excellent dog for hunting. Throughout the Middle Ages, this dog breed was known as a noblemen's dog and it was bred for the specific purpose of becoming a Scottish chieftain's deer-hunting dog. In those times, no one below the ranking of an Earl could own a Scottish Deerhound. This dog's estimable talents include not only sighting and hunting but also tracking, racing and lure coursing. It is also known for its speed and agility.
As a sighthound, a Scottish Deerhound has a sense of sight that is so exceptional, it can spot a prey from quite a far distance. Added with its speed and stamina as well as its agility, this dog breed could chase after and catch its prey quite fast. While there are many dog lovers now who get Scottish Deerhounds as pets, there are still others who acquire this dog breed for its hunting talents. This is particularly true for those who are into lure coursing. However, the Scottish Deerhounds these people get are the ones that have been specifically prepared for such sport.
While the grounds used for lure coursing are assured safe and secure for these Scottish Deerhounds, the motivation they get from the sport is the thrill of the chase. Because it is natural for a Deerhound to chase any fleeing object it catches sight of, it gets the necessary motivation needed through just running after the object itself. While humans run for medals and prizes, to a Scottish Deerhound, the running is reward enough. Because of this, Scottish Deerhound owners would keep their dogs on a leash for a number of months before going into a lure coursing event. This will make the Deerhounds more aggressive in running after the prey because of its tremendous need for exercise after being confined for so long.
Of course, a Scottish Deerhound is also trained well to deal with the terrain that is used for lure coursing. More often than not, a Scottish Deerhound puppy that is raised for lure coursing trains by running with adults. This will enable the puppy to be more aggressive in going after the lure. Most of the training for lure coursing starts when a Scottish Deerhound is at 12-15 months. At 9 months though, physical conditioning is already done. This is usually done behind a horse or a horse-drawn carriage.
To make sure that a Deerhound remains undaunted by a lure that might be turned away from it, thereby reversing its position, it is subjected to mental conditioning at an early age. Even so, lure coursing now has resorted to using hares as lures instead of bigger creatures like deer and antelopes. This is to lessen discouragement among the Scottish Deerhounds, which might not like the idea of being the hunted instead of the hunter.
So, if you want to maximize the potential of your Scottish Deerhound as a hunting dog, then make sure that it is given training as early as possible. You will absolutely not regret doing this, as you will be the recipient of the applause when your dog shows off its exceptional abilities.