Saturday, November 22, 2014

Really, Jake….

OK…  follow me on this…  the container in the pictures was upside down where Jake is standing in the first picture.  When we went out in the yard Jake KNEW there was something underneath it so was fixated on it.   Brita and I walked by and he was digging away.  As Brita and I get to the other end of the yard I started calling and whistling for Jake because I wanted him to get some running in but he didn’t come.  ok..  I figure hunting won which usually doesn’t happen.

20141122_155613        20141122_155210

As we head back to the house we see and pass by the upside down container about 4 feet away from where it was when he was digging.  I figured he got something and is somewhere in the yard with it recalling one time that he took about 30 minutes to eat a rabbit.  More calling…  no Jake.  Then it dawns on me….  he took whatever it was he got into the house! (eewww…  recalling the rabbit, squirrel, dove, and possum)  So …..Brita and I walk into the garage, through the first floor, down through the basement and out to the garage ….  no Jake. 

As we head back out to the yard and pass by the container I said to Brita “what’s under there” as I lifted the corner up.  Much to her delight a LIVE mouse runs out…  (temporarily live mouse) so now Brita is very interested and I’m wondering what really is under there.

A note here…  Both dogs were outside barking early this morning and there have been wayward possum and probably other critters in the yard in the past so I really wasn’t sure.


So we lifted a side up and yup…  out he comes! Somehow when he was digging it out it flipped over on him – 4 feet away!  How do things like that happen anyway!?!?

20141122_155245        20141122_15530220141122_155548

So here’s the lesson.  What if this would have happened when I was away.  He was not indicating at all that he was there and was simply waiting to be rescued.  What if it had been summer and hot….  that I hate to think about. We walked by it several times and he never moved and Brita paid no more attention to it than she did any other time we passed it.  IT IS NOT THAT HEAVY and he could have at any time simply stood up!  What a goof he can be but it sure is scary at the same time!! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It can’t be said enough….

…..that it takes a village….  This past weekend at our home club, Jake ended our amazing 2014 with 3 blue ribbons with one earning him a high in class ribbon also.  All his achievements wouldn’t have happened without the many people involved in barn hunt.  I’d like to personally thank:

  • Gail, Brenda and Becky for bringing barn hunt to Wisconsin
  • the people and dog clubs who organized the trials we attended
  • the 14 judges we trialed under who always strove to be fair and consistent in their judging
  • the workers who volunteered their time
  • Lisa and Tammy for taking GREAT pictures
  • the cooks and kitchen staff who fed the workers delicious food
  • the people who raised and provided rats for the trials
  • anyone who I handed my video camera to who graciously agreed to tape Jake
  • my new friends who brought their rats to my house and offered me all kinds of great tips on how to resolve “issues”
  • the farmers who brought straw inside my yard to me…  oops.. they probably won’t be seeing this post now will they … anyway…

I’m certainly looking forward to spring wondering how Jake will react after not seeing rats for 4 months!  Perhaps the squirrels and rabbits in the yard will keep him entertained so he doesn’t forget his job!

2013-03-24 12.16.37   DSCN0568   DSCN0563

The Winnegamie Trial



Close to home!!  Woohoo!  And Jake finished the season with three 1st place finishes and a High in Class ribbon!!   I took the ribbons to the yard to get a picture, carefully hung them in the shed with the straw and tried to round him up.  Well..  apparently getting his 20141111_145325picture taken did not hold a candle to the fun of running through the yard after critters, hawks, other birds, the neighbor’s dog, people on the road, the school bus or any other vehicles, etc. because he pretty much pouted when I tried to get him to pose for a photo!  All he did was look out of the shed at Brita who was waiting patiently for him to come back out and play!



OK…  truth be told…  He does look happier sniffing for whatever is in the woodpile with Brita!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It’s all about the relationship

Participating in a dog sport is not just what happens for a few minutes in the ring.  It's the relationship that develops between a person and his or her dog.  The time in the ring is simply one of the moments in time that is spent together and the title is successful outcome of the training and time spent together.  Quite honestly, if anyone wants to compare unsuccessful times in the ring in any sport, I guarantee that I probably have a huge lead on number of NQs after competing in not just AKC/UKC obedience but also in Schutzhund/PSA/SDA protection sports with what I refer to as my previous generation of dogs.  I often said that failing is what made me a better dog trainer, what showed me where my training weaknesses were and what ultimately made us successful.  Have I driven across country only to NQ a minute into the time on the trial field?  .... you bet.  Did my dog care?   oh...  probably not, he was just excited that we were on an adventure together. 

Recently I posted to the Great Lakes Barn Hunt Facebook group some stats about how Jake has done since we started a year ago.  Someone pointed out that I didn't list the cost of getting to RATCHX2 ....   yep that's correct... There are some things I simply don't want to know how much they cost! Last and not least of the what I get out of competing, whether I win or lose,  is the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends!!  And always...  it's about having fun with my dog!


Monday, November 3, 2014


Thank you to the Sheboygan Dog Training Club for the gift certificate so I could purchase this amazing personalized necklace and bracelet to celebrate Jake's RATCHX2! And thank you to Shelley who put up with me deciding how I wanted them to look! Shelly's Etsy page is at and she is amazing and very patient to work with!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Jake’s journey to RATCHX2



Some facts about our RATCHX2 journey:

  • 44 legs are required (novice-3, open-3, senior-3, master-5, ratch-10, ratchx-10, ratchx2-10)
  • 38 of the 44 were earned in WI (86%), 3 were earned in IL and another 3 in St. Louis.
  • In 43 of the 44 legs earned, he placed (27-1st places, 14-2nd places, 3-3rd places --the very first trial he took 5th).
  • 13 times he earned High in Class.
  • We averaged slightly less than one weekend per month trialing from July 2013.
  • We trialed under 14 different judges.
  • Our passing rate is 75% (Jake is 100%,  I am 75%)
  • Our average speed for masters is 2 minutes 46 seconds.

One more trial in 2 weeks in Menasha and then planning on the Sheboygan trial the end of March to start off the 2015 season!

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  • Kate Witas, Mary C Huff, Sandra Tung and 68 others like this.

  • Debby McNamara Congratulations on an amazing journey. Lots of fun for you and Jake and the opportunity to meet lots of new people (and their K9 partners) all while having a good time. Look forward to more successes for 100% Jake.

  • Linda Milbrath WOW you do a great job keeping records and it is very interesting. Jake is a great dog. You have come so far! I remember watching him drag you to the ring when you started! LOL Congratulations!

  • Andrea Marie He sure has found his calling

  • Nancy Yeoman Huge Congratulations!

  • Robin Abbott Way to go team!!!!!

  • Traci Eckrich Reinke Stunning picture

  • Jim N Barb Berry What an awesome year it has been! I remember meeting you and your dogs in Hortonville last year in Sept. I was so thrilled when Hudson got his first two legs in novice there I never dreamed we ever make it up to masters!

  • Laurel Stone Debby - you are so right.. I love meeting all the people and sometime I'm going to write a post called "it takes a village". Linda - lol... he still drags me into the ring... I have learned to stay on my feet now however! lol Barb - I remember that trial also - I had no idea what I was doing or even what the upper levels were!

  • Lisa Quast Gorgeous pic of Jake!

  • Laurel Stone Lisa - yes Tammy took a great shot! the sun was just right and it brought out the color of his eyes. And Lisa when you see the full shot you'll see that the ribbon was so large that it basically covered the front of his body....

  • Lynn Beauchesne Awesome write-up and congratulations!!!

  • Kim Kern Beautiful picture! You and Jake are a great team, congratulations and awesome job on the stats!!!!

  • Jeanette Showalter Rausch Very cool on the stats! That is truly one gorgeous boy!! Lucky for you, you left out the cost in entry fees for that title. I have been looking at it spread across five dogs. Quickly decided it was not that important.

  • Laurel Stone Jeanette - well I thought of the 'cost of the entries but I did just enter one dog until recently so that helped! All the money I spent on barn hunt added up probably wouldn't equal what I would have spent on a weeks vacation somewhere warm in the winter so I'm ok with spending it! It's all about our dogs, isn't it!

  • Linda Milbrath In agility we never mention the cost of a MACH either. Sure beats sitting in a bar or watching the boob tube etc.

  • Candy Henely You are a great and challenging team.

  • Laurel Stone Candy - Thanks! .....challenging as in "I need to build a course that Jake can't tear apart!" lol

  • Candy Henely That is exactly it Laurel Stone.....he has taught me a lot....

  • Laurel Stone Candy - I think he has taught a lot of judges lessons about course construction!!! lol

Friday, October 17, 2014

AKC and frustration...


I've registered Jake's titles along the way and have 4 extras because the initial ones were incorrect. Hopefully, I've helped pave the way for others. However, when I sent in his RATCHX they sent me back one that says Barn Hunt Master Champion. When I questioned it, this was the response from Lisa Strickland of the AKC: "The certificate will not print with an “X” it will only say Barn Hunt Master Champion. If anyone else has a different outcome when they get to this level or any input, please let me know.

AKC and frustration...  I've registered Jake's titles along the way and have 4 extras because the initial ones were incorrect.  Hopefully, I've helped pave the way for others.  However, when I sent in his RATCHX they sent me back one that says Barn Hunt Master Champion.  When I questioned it, this was the response from Lisa Strickland of the AKC:  "The certificate will not print with an “X” it will only say Barn Hunt Master Champion".  I responded <br /><br />If anyone else has a different outcome when they get to this level or any input, please let me know.

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  • Brenda Coffield Additionally, I see that it appears as a suffix title. I thought RATCH was defined as a prefix title. Did even the BHA certificates treat it as a prefix title, Laurel?

  • Laurel Stone Oh Brenda, that's a whole other issue. My understanding is that the AKC will absolutely not make it a prefix.

  • Laurel Stone's photo.

    Ann Kraft Most event titles are put after a dogs name - Earthdog, Obedience, Agility, etc. Conformation titles of CH and GCH go before a name. A DC goes in front for Dual Champion (Conformation and Field Champion), FC for Field Champion goes in front if the dog is not a conformation champion. Personally, I want Barn Hunt titles after my dog's name. Here are AKC titles and where they appear on a dog's name -

  • American Kennel Club - AKC Titles and Abbreviations

    AKC Titles and Abbreviations

    Brenda Coffield The RATCH is set forth as a prefix title in the BHA rules, p. 29, (like the MACH in agility). It is a champion designation, as are many prefix titles in AKC.

    Part 16: Barn Hunt Champion (RATCH)
    •  Pre-requisite: RATM Title
    •  Number of Qualifying Legs Required: 10, from the RATM Class
    •  Summary: The Barn Hunt Championship is awarded to the dog who has achieved 10 additional Master legs after attaining the RAM Master title. The letters RATCH precede the dog's name.

    Part 17: Barn Hunt Champion (RATCHX)
    •  Pre-requisite: RATCH Title
    •  Number of Qualifying Legs Required: 10, from the RATM Class
    •  Summary: The Barn Hunt Championship X is awarded to the dog who has achieved 10 additional Master legs after attaining the RATCH Master title. The letters RATCHX precede the dog's name. Repeated RATCHX titles are allowed and are shown as RATCHX2, RATCHX3, etc.

  • Ann Kraft Might have something to do with AKC not running Barn Hunt??? Don't get me wrong - I don't want AKC in charge of BH

  • Renea L Dahms Where do ATCH< OTCH titles go? I thought those were in front

  • Bonnie Gutzwiler Has anyone with a dog who has AKC champion or performance titles requested their barn hunt titles? I'm curious if they ad the Barn Hunt titles to it? Or do you just get the Barn Hunt title from them with out the other titles listed after the dogs name? I'm struggling to explain myself...hopefully some one else understands my question lol

  • Becky Harrison Focht Do you have to pay $20 for each title or do they only charge you for the initial title and you just notify them of the new ones?

  • Renea L Dahms I would think you would pay each time. It is cheaper than having to compete twice to get the title twice

  • Becky Harrison Focht I figured you probably did, thanks Renea L Dahms

  • Renea L Dahms

  • Brenda Coffield In the August 22, 2013 version of the BHA Rules on page 19, the RATCHX title was described as Barn Hunt Master Champion Excellent, (then) "RATChX". If the title were now described Barn Hunt Champion Excellent "RATCHX", perhaps the AKC would recognize, by name, the next level title. AKC may be confused by the change in title names from one version of BHA rules to the next? Or maybe it is a simple typo by BHA that omitted the word "Excellent" in the title line of the new rules? AKC recognizes rally titles with excellent included in the name.
    Titles as described in the August 22, 2013, BHA rules on p. 19.
    •  RATCh: 10 Master legs after RATM title = Barn Hunt Master Champion
    •  RATChX: 20 Master legs after RATM title = Barn Hunt Master Champion Excellent

  • Judith Walker So I'd they can't manage to update their software (an excuse they've been using forever), do you get your fee back?

  • Judith Walker Correct, but the bottom of this one should say "Barn Hunt Champion X" and it doesn't. BTW the BHA rule book does not say "Excellent" it says "X".

  • Brenda Coffield Judith Walker, we should really ask Robin J Nuttall if it is a simple typo because, even in the current rules, it says Barn Hunt Champion in the title line for both RATCH and RATCHX on p. 29, Sec 16 & 17. This doesn't seem right; it is probably a typo. I remember writing to Robin when the first draft came out. The whole section on RATCH and RATCHX had been inadvertently omitted. Maybe something was lost on retrieval.

  • Robin J Nuttall Brenda, you must be looking at an old version of the rules, there was a typo but it was corrected a few months ago. The title listing now says Barn Hunt Champion X, RATCHX.
    Because Barn Hunt is not an AKC sport, they are not going to put a Barn Hunt Championship in front of a dog's name. That's for AKC Champions, Grand Champions, OTCH, MACH, etc. That is not something I have any control over. As for the X behind the name, I'm happy to email them but again, in the end.... not sure I have a lot of say if they decide not to do it. I'll certainly try.
    BTW, UKC will list all Barn Hunt titles in front of the dog's name, because that is their convention. So it would say RATN dogname instead of dogname RATN.

  • Brenda Coffield Robin J Nuttall, I looked at the current and an older version of the rules (the current was copied into an earlier post that was probabl;y buried when you looked) to try to understand why AKC used the language it did. It is much easier to understand if you lay the old rules next to the new rules, but you might want to check the title lines of Sec 16 & 17 on page 29. They both say Barn Hunt Champion for RATCH and RATCHX. Is that right? (Even tho the RATCH and RATCHX acronyms are in parens). I just downloaded a version today to be sure. In other words, should Sec 17 say Barn Hunt Champion Excellent (RATCHX)?

  • Robin J Nuttall Darn it, it was right on my copy but somehow did not get properly overwritten on the web. It's correct now. However, AKC does not read my rules all the time. So it's not that. But thanks for pointing out my error, that is now fixed.

  • Brenda Coffield You might want to look at the title page for the entire document, too.

  • Paula Hohol When we were at Nationals akc said you don't have to pay $20 for each. You can wait to pay $20 for ratchx or whatever you like.

  • Laurel Stone that's true Paula. I didn't know that until Jake had all his certificates. However, since you have to produce a certificate for Winnegamie to acknowledge them on the dog's plaque... I decided to just get them all. May not do that with Brita... we'll see.

  • October 17 at 6:54pm · Edited · Like · 1

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A surprise!

So I get a UPS notification that a delivery is arriving today and thought, omg, what did I order that I don't remember ordering... that's never happened! Then I receive this beautiful acrylic award (5" round 1" thick) from Robin to acknowledge Jake being the first RATCHX! Thank you Robin!

Jake's RATCHX award

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2015 Nationals!! (Next year)

Barn Hunt Association, LLC

September 16 ·

2015 National Dates! For real!

The 2015 Barn Hunt National will take place September 11-12-13, 2015 at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO.

Special Note #1: We may expand to three days!

Special Note #2: The National will again be a special event and titling legs will not be awarded at the National. Qualification criteria are TBD. However, the German Pinscher Club of America, who are holding their National on the 11th, are going to offer a Regular Barn Hunt trial on Thursday September 10! Woot!

Special Note #3: Friday the 11th will be Zipper's 10th Birthday, and since Zipper is the dog who inspired the sport, we will have to do something really fun and special for him. Like most guys, he'll be embarrassed. We don't care. All National Attendees will be invited to his Birthday Party.

Barn Hunt Association, LLC A Specialty show is not the same as a National. The National has a pre-requisite to enter. It is not a regular show. There are progressive rounds of competition, and only the top 50 get to progress to the last two rounds of competition. The courses will not be regular courses. We also have special classes such as the Games classes which are not held at a regular trial.
This is not just an ordinary show with "National" pasted on it. The dogs who are given medals at the end of the National have something you cannot get at a regular show. September 17 at 7:46am · Like · 6

  • Barn Hunt Association, LLC Sorry, hit enter too soon! Because there will be non-standard rules and non-standard courses and because dogs progress, it will not be a titling event. This year, as an example, the criteria to get into the National was a Novice title. But Rounds 3 and 4 of the Grand National were Senior and Master level courses (modified). In regular competition, it is illegal for a dog to get a Senior leg before they have an Open title, much less a Master leg. So the legs wouldn't count anyway.
    In big National competitions around the world from major organizations, there are not titling legs with the event. That includes the AKC agility and obedience National and Invitational, NADAC, USDAA, etc. The World Agility Open and the FCI World Championships are also not titling legs.
    Titling is for ordinary competitions. Nationals are special.  September 17 at 7:54am · Like · 8

  • Barn Hunt Association, LLC Up to you. This will not be a titling event. It will be a meeting of the best of the best to go head to head for the pure joy of the sport and watching dogs and handlers work. This year most of the top dogs in the country were there and the level of competition was outstanding. Breath taking to watch. That's what National competition is all about. September 17 at 8:04am · Like · 8

  • Jim Poor I think the difference between "national specialty" and "national championship" is lost on many who are clamoring for titles. NO national championship event that I am aware of awards titles. Course differences, etc are all good reasons behind it.September 17 at 9:19am · Edited · Like

  • Karen Passow Robin. Thank you for explaining your reasoning behind not titling at the Grand National. It puts up front that the Grand National is not a Barn Hunt trial that dogs from all over the country come to compete each other. Your explanation of the Grand National here needs to be included in the 2015 promotional materials given out by BHA. Many participants, including myself did not come to the 2014 Grand National with this perspective of what the Grand National would be. September 17 at 9:22am · Like · 1

  • Barn Hunt Association, LLC Well Karen Passow dogs from all over the country will certainly be coming together to compete against each other; as they did this year. But no, not a titling event (and that was made clear this year as well). The National is the best of the best going head to head for the pure sake of sport and fun. It's owners and dogs challenging themselves and showcasing their teamwork on non-regular courses against the other top teams in the Nation. It is a National Championship which is why the top 3 dogs in each division (Grand National, Games, Versatility) get medals.
    And you just gave me an idea....thanks! September 17 at 9:41am · Like

  • Greg Perry Yes, it is a GRAND competition between the dogs and it is a lot of fun. This format also allows for ring modification and minor rule mods. It is fun to run and fun to watch. There is also the "celebration of Barn Hunt" aspect to the weekend. September 17 at 9:41am · Like · 3

Monday, August 18, 2014

More success!

….and a slide down the straw!  In the middle of a run Jake came sliding down the side of a pile of straw. Spectators said I was less than sympathetic so I looked at the video..  I guess I was!  I believe my words were:  What was that all about?  lol 

2014.8 - Jake's skid

Friday, August 15, 2014

He knew it was there….

…. I KNOW he did!!!

48 seconds into the run he gave a big sniff between these bales.

Jake from video 1 - 48 sec

1 min 11 seconds he makes sure it’s still there.

Jake from video 2 - 111

At about 3 min. I ask him if we’re done and he goes back to the spot and pulls out
a rat tube and gives it to me as if to say..  yep!  Now we’re done!

Jake from video 3 - 305

Jake from video 4- 307

And we were!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Road to RATCHX

Champion Excellent is a bit of a hike…  and Jake did it in ONE year!

  • 3 legs for NOVICE - average time 46 seconds (93-24-21)
  • 3 legs for OPEN – average time 1 min. 7 sec.
  • 3 legs for SENIOR – average time 1 min. 54 sec.
  • 5 legs for MASTER – average time 2 min. 54 sec.
  • 10 legs for RATCH (Champion) average time 2 min 23 sec.
  • 10 legs for RATCHX (Champion Excellent) average time 2 min. 54 sec.

34 total legs and all but 3 were earned in Wisconsin and were a day trip! He only NQ’d 11 times (no WAIT… “I” NQ’d 11 times!!) and an interesting fact is that 8 were in the morning trials and 3 were in the afternoon ones.  Jake earned the following:

  • 22 - 1st place ribbons (12 High in Class)
  • 10 - 2nd place ribbons
  • 1 - 3rd place ribbon
  • 1 – 5th place in his first trial after having been introduced to barn hunt a week before!

2013-2014 Jakes ribbons

It takes a village!

(Posted on Facebook)

RATCHX Jake! What a fun dog he is!

If you're new to barn hunt you'll quickly realize it takes a village (as they say) to make things happen! Thanks to everyone who has ever organized a trial, judged a trial, worked at a trial, taken pictures at a trial, helped me video tape at a trial, pulled me aside after a run and said "don't ever do that again" or you'll be disqualified (touch the bales or Jake or tube, etc.. I could go on with this one) and last but certainly not least the fun people I train with and who own rats! I have made it this far and not yet touched one!!!

Jake's times were great this weekend as you can see! If he passes he places, if we don't, trust me.. it's my fault! So..

  • Sat. Trial 1 - 1st place large (2 min 50 sec.) missed High in Class by ONE second!
  • Sat. Trial 2 - 1st place large (2 min. 17 sec.) High in Class (5 rats!)
  • Sun. Trial 1 - 1st place large (2 min. 34 sec.) High in Class RATCHX title!
  • Sun. Trial 2 - NQ.. called at about 2 min. after 4 rats because I'm now GOING FOR SPEED and taking chances!

AWESOME weekend! Always great to see the regulars again and meet new folks! Thanks to all!

RATCHX Jake awards

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Posted in the Great Lakes Barn Hunt Facebook group Sunday July 27, 2014:

BIG NEWS FLASH. Jake von der Alte Baum "Jake", a German Shepherd Dog from Larsen, WI, owned and handled by Laurel Stone earned the first RATCHX in the history of the Barn Hunt, pending confirmation by BHA, today at Waukesha, WI.

Rat Champion Excellent requires that a dog earn 25 Master legs total, including the 5 earned in the RATM and the 10 earned in the RATCH. Very exciting for all of us!!!!

Taken at Waukesha County Expo Center

2014.7.27 Waukesha (3)

Moments after final leg required for RATCHX was earned in Trial 1 on Sunday morning, in a run judged by Susan Chapman. — with Laurel Stone and Susan Chapman at Waukesha County Expo Center.

Jake's personalized RATCHX bar and ribbon. — at Waukesha County Expo Center.


By the end of the weekend, Jake was a very decorated fellow! — at Waukesha County Expo Center.

Andrea Dugger - May 25 congRATulations Laurel Stone and RATCH Jake for becoming the 3rd? Barn Hunt Champions in the world! I can't wait to see the pics / videos!

You, Kelly Mientke Butkiewicz, Brenda Coffield, Karen Alvarez and 48 others like this.

  • Brenda Coffield Sorry I didn't get back to see it, Laurel. But huge congRATS!
  • Kitty Check Huge congRATS!. Great job!
  • Kitty Check who is the 2nd RATCH?
  • Ellen Bloomfield CongRats!!!!!
  • Andrea Dugger 2nd? Carol Cagel and Gracie
  • Nancy Yeoman Awesome!!! Woo Hoo!!!
  • Darla Lacey Congratulations Laurel.
  • Jean Richardson Whoopee!
  • Sandra Hoesel Congrats Laurel & Jake!!
  • Kathy Kimmeth Congrats what a great accomplishment.
  • Sandra Hoesel Who are the three? Andrea, Carol and Laurel?
  • Andrea Dugger As far as I know- unless there have been others that we just haven't about yet.
  • Karen Alvarez Big Congrats to you and Jake!
  • Paula King I'm so happy for you and glad I was able to film your winning run!
  • Sandra Hoesel What I find interesting is in a true testament to Barn Hunt being a sport for all dogs, the 3 are a Weimaraner, a GSD and a GWP. Way to go ladies!!
  • Andrea Dugger I disagree- apparently the Germans have a leg up in the sport. Bwahhaaaa
  • Sandra Hoesel Well considering Weims and GWP's are two of my breeds and I competed in 4-H and AKC with a GSD, I think you are correct Andrea. German breeds have a leg up! (said somebody of German descent... )
  • Nancy Yeoman We're going to get Dachshunds in there some day! Go short-legged Germans! hahaha
  • Jean Richardson Beware, the Brits are coming. Terriers of the world, unite and get to hunting those rats.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Menasha Trial July 5-6, 2014

WOOHOO! – a local trial!!  travel time 20 minutes! 
Entered both Jake and Brita! 
Thank you Paws Applause (Gail Donaldson)!!


Jake:   Saturday Trial 1     Saturday Trial 2       Sunday Trial 1       Sunday Trial 2

Brita:   Saturday Trial 1     Saturday Trial 2       Sunday Trial 1       Sunday Trial 2

Brita got one open leg and Jake got 3 legs..  two 1st places, one high in class and one 2nd place.

and… Jake got 3 more legs towards his RATCHX and has only 3 more to go!!


Monday, June 30, 2014

I want to have fun with my dog–that’s all…

So I just got home from a Barn Hunt in Bloomington IL and as I was driving back a number of things were going through my head.  Most of the way TO Bloomington I was grumbling about driving, traffic and anything else that I could think of.  I had decided that I hate traveling and plan to do less and less which is still my plan.  On the way home I was thinking of how much fun I had or didn’t have.  

  • The people were friendly. 
  • It was fun seeing fellow competitors.
  • It was really hot and I had to keep moving the van to keep the dogs cool. 
  • The blinds were inside and awful because first we had to sit in line and then walk in order into the blind across from the dogs in the blinds in the other ring…  very stressful!

More thoughts crossed my mind.  I had been accustomed to Jake passing and if he passed he placed with one exception and that was his first barn hunt.  In fact, he passed every one until halfway through master (that’s 11 or 12 consecutive trials)  I should correct myself…  Jake ALWAYS passed, I, however, found numerous ways to make the wrong decision.   I did notice some consistencies:

  • The shorter the run, the more I think he felt cheated.  This actually makes sense…  He does well so he gets taken from the course. 
  • He finds the rats and they are taken away from him. It was adversarial and he didn’t want to give up the rat. 

A few things started happening. 

  • He started going TO the rat and then continuing to hunt and then coming back to it.  This was not at all like him because previously he would immediately go to it and try to pick it up and keep it.  But it gave him more time to search (play) on the course.
  • He started picking up litter tubes to take back to the van. Of course, I thought those tubes had rats in them so I called them.  He got to keep something or so he thought.

    I had watched video after video to try to understand his actions to come to these conclusions.  His times were amazing… 20 seconds in novice, 90 seconds in senior, under 2 minutes in master.  He did his job and is rewarded by being crated again for hours.  How fair is that??

    So this past weekend I had time to think. 

    • Why am I doing barn hunt?  Jake likes it… to spend time with my dog…  it’s fun… nice people.. All good reasons. 
    • What about Jake?  He has fun when in the ring and then the rest of the time is in the crate in the van.  (I should include Brita here also because she most often is along for the ride if not entered.)

    So this past Friday morning, load up at 830 to go – run errands – get him and Brita out of van for 5 min. at about 10am… take off – stop again at 1 or so, get them out …  arrive in Bloomington…  go to motel .. go outside a bit… no playing in room … sleep … up and into crate… trial … out of crate 2x to hunt and maybe 4x to potty… back to hotel – Subway sub for supper (meat to dogs)…  ice cream from McDonalds … next day..  crate … hunt.. out to potty several times..  drive home… 

    On the way home I think to myself how much time they spent crated… how much time I actually spent with them …  did they really have fun?  We get home and Jake and Brita run like crazy through the yard, chasing each other, finding a REAL critter in the wood pile…  they finally looked like they were having FUN!

    So as I mull over my thoughts about this whole thing I really do question myself and ask myself the question:  Is it really fun for Jake and Brita… really?  They seem to have so much MORE fun just playing in the yard and chasing critters through the woods.  So what to do??  We’ll see….