Does it have to do with dogs? What the heck? Of course, it has to do with dogs and not something to do with hunting barns!! Check out the website: Barn Hunt Association LLC “The rat hunting game for all dogs!” …huh? RATS??? OK I said… as long as I don’t have to actually hold the rats maybe I should check it out…. after all my dogs will chase and eat anything and so will Winnie! Wait.. I don’t want them eating rats! Well, not to worry.. they don’t EAT them, in fact, they don’t even touch them, they just hunt them… in a hard, HARD PVC tube, and, in fact, they don’t even chase them. They HUNT them in a barn.. BARN HUNT… duh..
Off to the first training… Jake, Brita and Winnie.
- Brita: SO excited she could hardly contain herself… wait.. that’s Brita no matter what! Brought her up to the start box and thought, she’s good at searching so let’s see what she does. Silence, intense searching on the bales of straw. Silence. Over the tube with the rat. Over the empty tube. Over the tube with the paper that smells like the rat. Nothing but more good searching.. hmmm.. Let’s show her the rat… More searching. Put her back in the van. OH NO… light bulb! No one told her what to search for!!! Next time.
- Winnie: ..the rat killer in her yard. Piece of cake. Nothing… Show her the rat… Aww… cute… she LIKES the rat. Looks like we’ll need to do some work here.
- Jake: Pretty excited – but then that’s Jake… what to do? Sniffing around… WAIT – there is something ALIVE in this tube – I need to kill it!!! … several times this happened.. “THIS is your dog”, she said! No, Jake, you can’t do a bark and hold on the nice lady! No, Jake, you can’t take it back to the van with you. “Out-down” became a very handy command.
Signed up Jake and Brita for the Instinct Test for the upcoming trial.
Second training went much like the first. Put Winnie on hold until after the trial. Brita did the same good searching. Jake was a wild-man. Change the entries to Jake only – Instinct and Novice.
Trial day 5 days later.
- Instinct test: Only requirement is to pick the tube with the rat in rather than the others. Piece of cake. Rule #1 of trialing… make sure you walk your dog. Handler error. DQ. Another lesson learned – you can’t hold the dog back in the start box by holding the scruff of the neck. Glad I did this instinct thing to get ready.
- Novice: Jake couldn’t be more excited but is containing himself ok.. it’s been worse. Get him in the ring, hold him back by the chest, tell him to tunnel and he goes under the bales (required), finds one tube and passes over it, searches more with me just walking slowly around saying “where is it” occasionally, He finds the tube between 2 bales and starts digging, pushes it out and pounces on it. I take it and hold it up while telling him to get on the bales (required to jump on them at some point), He jumps on the bales and them launches himself at the tube that the judge has now taken from me and (thank god!) misses. I gather him up as I hear the spectators breathe a sign of relief (Hey it was the most excitement all day) and take him from the ring. Total time: 1:33 – Qualified! (2 minutes is allowed)
ok… We’re hooked and plans are underway for bales of straw and training in the yard!
Thank you Kay for taking the pictures!