Meghan Wolfgram was looking for a fun activity that she and her beloved dog could do together—something that would give him some much-needed exercise. She came upon the sport of lure coursing that traces its history back to Ancient Egypt when long-legged hounds chased live game. Today, dogs of any breed or size, from Corgi to Great Dane, chase an artificial lure attached to a pulley. Lure coursing engages a dog’s natural instinct to hunt, so that he is kept physically active and mentally focused while bonding with his human
Recreational lure coursing clubs are few and far between, and the equipment costs thousands of dollars, so Meghan enlisted her father’s help and devised a homemade lure course in her backyard for her and her dog. From that humble beginning, Meghan’s company, SwiftPaws, is now the leader in lure coursing equipment and the most technologically advanced.
Meghan has dedicated her life to animals. She collaborated with dog behaviorists and trainers in designing the lure course with its established paths between pulleys, the flag moving through the course, and a dog chasing it to his heart’s delight.
SwiftPaws Lure Courses
- The SwiftPaws Home Original comprises a main unit that powers the course and is controlled remotely by the human at speeds up to 30 mph. Three pulleys mark the corners of the course that spans up to 300 feet and are held in place by stakes or tethers with the flags (lures) being pulled swiftly along the bright pink line. All the components fit conveniently into a custom tote bag.
- The SwiftPaws Home Plus adds an upgraded drive that can reach speeds of 36 mph. There are also two additional pulleys that expand the course up to 750 feet.
Both versions are made with high-quality materials, and both take only minutes to set up.
Setting Up SwiftPaws
- Put the main unit and the pulleys in place, anchoring them with the stakes or tethers.
- Starting at the unit, walk the line around the course and through each pulley.
- Back at the unit, cut and tie the lines together, making a loop to tie on the flag.
- Hook the line around the unit with the proper amount of tension.
- Turn on the unit with the remote control and do a test run without the dog first.
Introducing Your Dog to SwiftPaws
- Take him into the center of the course so that the flag will be going around you when you start running.
- Gently restrain him and start to move the flag: back and forth, start and stop.
- When he shows interest in the flag, release him and encourage him to chase the flag.
- It may take your dog a little longer to start chasing. Don’t force it. He may want to sniff around the pulleys and flag first.
- Once he starts on his own personal lure course, it’s going to be his favorite thing ever!
- Get the thumbs up from your vet before your dog takes part in any type of fast-paced activity. (SwiftPaws is not for young puppies.)
- Always check your dog for possible abrasions from the line.
- Watch your dog that he does not get overly hot or tired. He’s going to love this sport. You may need to call a time-out for his safety.
- The stall feature stops the motor if your dog steps on the line or grabs the flag.
- The tethers allow the entire course to flex when a pulley or line is bumped or pulled, thus maintaining the proper tension.
- Do not make place the pulleys at angles sharper than 90 degrees.
- Do not set up SwiftPaws on concrete or any unpadded surface that will harm the dog if he falls or injure his pads.
- Use indoors only if the surface is not slippery.
Meghan partners with charitable animal organizations to operate lure coursing fundraising events around the country.