I haven't talked to Sue (Zoni's breeder) yet with regards to how she is starting Lady out (Zoni's sibling), but I'm curious how others start their dogs out on coursing. Just have them run practice runs for several trials then get them qualified to run? Or do you enter them in singles for a few trials at first?
Lure coursing is very much an instinctual thing. Its mostly they have it or they don't. Not really any training to be done.
The problem is, most basenjis have a limited number of good clean runs before they start cheating (anticipating the lure, so they get points off for follow). So if you practice too much, you may be allowing them to learn to cheat more quickly. Once they start cheating, you can work with retraining their follow at practices, but I've found "Always keep them wanting more" to be a good rule of thumb.
With both Lola & Callie, they got it the first time they saw the lure. I let them watch other dogs running & then released them for their own run. Lola got it instantly & took off. She was only 6 months so I only let her run to the first turn, and I let her to practices whenever we went to a trial until she was a year. For Cal's first run, she needed me to run with her the first 3 or 4 steps of the way before she got the idea & left me in the dust.
You definitely want to run her by herself a couple times to make sure she "gets" the object of the game (to chase the bag & only the bag). Then practice her with another dog she gets along with (so they don't end up fighting if they get distracted by one another) to make sure she is still focused on the bag. I personally never entered mine in singles, and Callie only had 3 runs (1 leg of her JC & 2 practice runs with Lola) on her when I ran her against Lola for her ASFA cert the morning of an ASFA trial. I entered her that day & she took BOB against Lola & 2 others.
Lure coursing is the easiest, and most exciting IMO, dog event you can participate in.