For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Barn Hunt - Love to Hunt, Try the New Sports to Search for Rats
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    We had the pleasure of attending a 2-day Barn Hunt clinics/fun test a couple weeks ago.

    You can read more about the sports background/purposes from the Barn Hunt Association's website.

    Day 1 is Clinics, where dogs were introduced to rats in a cage, then rats in a tube and ended with quick runs of Instinct test.

    This was the first time my two Shibas ever saw a rat.

    Koji caught on right away and realized the rats were prey. He nailed the instinct tests in the 3 runs we did. We went from a little bit over 30 seconds in our first run to 8 seconds of our 3rd run. I think he located the rat very fast all three times, but it took me a while to learn how to read and trust his nose to call a definite "alert" or "mark".

    Koji very focused in the start box waiting to be released to search!
    image

    Maluko was curious about the rats, but cautious. She was not too keen on a rat in a tube, so I decided to pull her out of the fun test on Day 2 and added more runs for Koji instead. I am sure I can train her to do Barn Hunt, but I will need access to the rats for training purposes. If I can train her to search for odor in Nosework, I can train her to search for rats.

    Maluko could give a rat's ass about finding live rat in a tube (pun intended), so she just chilled with me on Day 2 while we waited for Koji's turn.
    image

    Day 2 are fun tests - they offered Instincts Test, Novice and Open level runs. Since Koji did so well in Instincts Test on Day 1, I decided to start him in Novice and if he passed Novice, we would try Open.

    Koji passed Novice with ease. Not only did he got 1st place in Novice medium dogs, he also got the Fastest Novice Dog ribbon across all 3 sizes (small, medium and large).

    Koji and his loot attached to his crate, picture taken on our way home.
    image

    This is Koji's Novice Barn Hunt Fun Test run. You can tell how focused he was in the start box, ready to go. Once I released him, he went straight to the rat tube and he found the rat tube in like 10 seconds and I waited like 20 seconds before I called the "alert", so our final time was around 34 seconds.



    We had 2 open runs - he passed the first run with a 2nd placement among medium dogs. For the 2nd open run, I messed him up and called an false alert on the second rat while he was investigating, but he did find rat #2 later in the search.

    Here are some of my observations and thoughts to share with others who are interested in Barn Hunt.

    1. Try to figure it out early on if your dog is excited about the live rat, just the rat smell (there is a tube with rat beddings) or the empty tube (some dogs think the tube is a toy and get mouthy and excited by it). Note the differences in their reactions to all three types will help you better read your dog beyond Instincts test.

    2. It takes some learning on the human's part to read their dogs when they locate the rats. I saw several handler not trusting their dogs' noses and insisted that the dogs check out other tubes even when the dog was indicating very strongly on a tube. (beyond instincts tests, the tubes were spread out and usually hidden from plain sights). It confused the dog to be called away from the live rat and some just lost interests after that.

    3. In addition to locating all live rats (# of live rats depend on the levels), the dog also needs to do a climb (all 4 paws on a bale) and go through a tunnel. Many handlers try to get the dogs to complete the climb and the tunnel in the beginning or while the dog is still busy searching for the rats. It is confusing for the dog and not very effective for the rat search. I would suggest getting the dogs focused on finding the live rats first and if in the search process, the dog completes the climb or tunnel, then all is fine. If not, just direct the dog to do those tasks after the find.

    4. Many handlers kept talking to their dogs while the dogs were actively searching. It can be distracting to the dog to focus on the task at hand. I was quiet after I released Koji from the start box and focused on watching him search, his changes in behaviors and made a mental note of where he had covered. I only talked to him if he seemed stuck and wanted to instruct him to check out some other areas. If you constantly talked while your dog was searching, not only you would distract the dog from the search, you may also not pick up some subtle changes in their behaviors.

    It's great to have done Nosework with my two Shibas, so I am more experienced in working with them in a search and my ability to read my dogs. With Nosework, when Koji finds a hide, he would try to put his nose on the odor and then look up at me for the reward. I notice that with Barn Hunt, the rewards for him is the rats, so he does not look up. He is dead set on getting the rats.

    If you can find a Barn Hunt fun tests or trials in your area, I would strongly suggest you check it out. It is fun for the Shibas and no rats are hurt in the process.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2013-03-01 10:11:59
  • sounds cool...
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    I think gidget would do great at this and all nose work games. I should really do this with her.
  • AraksAraks
    Posts: 399
    I wish I knew about this when Sevuk was still around, he would have loved this, since he loved chasing rats. I'll probably try this with my future dog though, it sounds really fun for the dog.
  • lucylulucylu
    Posts: 500
    @gatsu, if you attach a rock to the rat Lucy wins.
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    I love the sound of this - @Sandrat888 you and your Koji are an inspiration! I passed this along to some people who do nosework workshops and hope something can get started here...

    Thank you for sharing all your activities...
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    That's so cool! I wish there was something like that around here bc I know Kaji would love it!
  • BuckyBadgerBuckyBadger
    Posts: 602
    I have been looking into this for a bit now on http://barnhunt.com/. I'd be willing to travel 8 hours or so, but right now for the fun test they are just a little to far..I'm hoping one pops up in columbia MO. and St louis. That seems the closest for the barn hunt i've seen, but no fun test there yet
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
    Post edited by BuckyBadger at 2013-03-02 08:36:31
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    I saw on the Barn Hunt Yahoo Group that there are several people from WI that want to get together and take the sports there. You may want to join the Barn Hunt Yahoo Group and the Barn Hunt FB group to see what may be coming your way.
  • BuckyBadgerBuckyBadger
    Posts: 602
    Thanks for that..
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 644
    Did they drop the rats in front of you then stared at you like "this poor predator is gonna starve in my domain."
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 644
    Mine did that with lizards.
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    Sounds great, I'd love to try this with Sansa, but the nearest group is all the way down near Philly. I need a North Jersey barn hunt!
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya would like this event Bella probably too she is into sniffing mole holes and scents..

    If one is by Indiana I might try it someday.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BuckyBadgerBuckyBadger
    Posts: 602
    Arctic said:

    Sounds great, I'd love to try this with Sansa, but the nearest group is all the way down near Philly. I need a North Jersey barn hunt!



    Crosswicks, NJ Fun Test
    May 6, 2013
    Fun Test
    1 Day
    Trial Host/Club Name: West Highland White Terrier Club of America
    Website: http://www.westieclubamerica.com
    E-mail: digm2@aol.com
    Website: http://earthdog.info
    Classes: RATI (instinct);RATN (novice)
    the Westie Roving National Specialty and an Earthdog Test earlier in the day. We have AKC approval to run a Barn Hunt Fun test in the afternoon after the close of the Earthdog test in the morning.

    Judge: JoAnn Frier-Murza
    View Map
    Village Green Farm Earthdog Center
    221 Bordentown-Crosswicks Rd.
    Crosswicks, NJ 08515
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
    Post edited by BuckyBadger at 2013-03-02 14:39:54
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    @BuckyBadger I saw that but it's kind of far. Definitely doable but not the most convenient. Thanks for the info though!
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    For anyone that is interested in Barn Hunt, be aware that it is a new sports, so keep checking back Barn Hunt Association's website for updates as new events/clubs are added constantly and join their Yahoo discussion group to learn more about what's happening behind the scenes.

    You can also try to contact your local earthdog clubs to see if they have any plan to get involved with the new sports. You may have to drive a bit to go to an event, which may not be convenient for you, but I did it because I know my dogs would appreciate it. We drove hours and stayed over-night at a hotel to attend the fun test.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    The barn hunt fun match I signed Tetsu up for is about a 2.5 hr drive (or 1.5hr drive and 1hr ferry ride) on a good day, which is really good especially since this is not an everyday thing. Road trips can be a lot of fun, even more so when you bring a human friend along, so taking that drive to a Barn Hunt event could be more than worth it and makes for a great story to share in the future.
    image
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    Koji rocked the Barn Hunt trial over the weekend, coming home with 2 new titles, RATI (Rat Instincts Test) and RATN (Novice Barn Hunt), 4 1st placements, 1 3rd placement and 1 high in trial.

    image

    He has the fastest time across all height classes in Instinct Test with a time of just 6.28 seconds and High in Trial in the Novice class with only 16.53 seconds. Koji is not flashy when he searches, but he is focused, on task and very methodical. Way to go, Shiba Koji!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8428
    Awesome job, Koji! :-D (And Sandra!)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Way to rock it! Love the photo!
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 644
    You have an awesome dog. :)
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Great job...congrats! We just missed a fun test in Princeton, Ontario(late May). Would have been fun...guess there's always next year!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • kirinkirin
    Posts: 68
    good job!
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    This is Koji's High In Trial Barn Hunt Novice run at Castle Rock, WA on June 1, 2013. He located the live rat tube (at Novice level, there are 3 tubes - 1 with live rat, 1 with just bedding and 1 empty) within seconds after being released from the start box. I trusted his nose and called the find right away.

    I then directed him to complete the required "climb" and "tunnel" to qualify. His time was a little bit over 16 seconds and the maximum time allowed for the Novice class is 2 minutes. He has the fastest time among all dogs and earned High in Trial with this run.

  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    This sport is so cool! Koji did awesome!
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    Had a lot of fun at the Barn Hunt trial in St. Helens, OR yesterday. Koji got his first Open leg, despite suffering from an ear infection (will take him to a vet tomorrow morning) and won High In Trial Open Dog across all sizes (Large/Medium/Small). He was happy and enthusiastic hunting and we worked great as a team.




    There were a total of 6 Shibas at the trial and all did really well. Maluko still could give a rat's ass (pun intended) for rats, but we could work on it some more.
  • LucyLoveLucyLove
    Posts: 24
    OMG! Koji is so CUTE!!! I'm inspired. Thank you for sharing Barn Hunt trial with us.
  • Koji earned his Barn Hunt Open (RATO) title yesterday with a 3rd and 2nd placement among the medium size dogs. He was happy and did a great job searching for the rats.

    At the Open level, there are 5 PVC tubes with 2 live rat tubes, 2 tubes with beddings (just the rat smell) and 1empty tube hidden in the hay bale maze. The team has 2 1/2 minutes to locate the 2 rat tubes (dog finds and indicates the find and the handler reads his or her dog and calls the find definitely to the judge. Any wrong call of a tube that does not have a rat disqualify the team). In addition to locating all rat tubes, a team has to finish a climb on the hay bale and tunneling (made of hay bales).

    We will be trialing at the next level - Senior, where there will be 8 PVC tubes - 4 with rats, 3 with beddings and 1 empty. Look forward to our next trial and I am sure all those rat tubes will blow Koji's mind!

    image
  • very nice sandrat888
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
    Always an inspiration, and what a gorgeous photo of Koji!
    X & I signature smaller
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Um, I want to find something like this in norcal. There are many rabbits around my place and Tatonka goes totally nuts wanting to chase (eat?) them.
    Monkey!
  • @tanonka

    Check out the Events page on Barn Hunt Association. http://barnhunt.com/bha-events/. I believe there are several events planned for CA.

    I attended a Barn Hunt fun test in Sacramento, CA about a month ago when I headed down there for the Shiba National in Reno. There are definitely activities going on in CA and they are constantly adding new events, so keep an eye out!
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2013-10-22 16:13:12
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    I see some nearby events on this page too: http://abbadogs.lookadalmation.com/web20/abbabarnhunt/categoryevents/4-barnhunt

    @sandrat888 I corrected your link. Seemed to just redirect back to this forum thread instead of the link it shows: http://barnhunt.com/bha-events/
    Monkey!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    @Tatonka,

    Let me know if you attend any of the events! I want to go watch :)
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    @Bootz you don't think Ms. B would chase any rats?
    Monkey!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    @Tatonka...uhh...if the rats were actually outside of the container? Yes...but i'd say she's more like a cheetah, it only lasts a short period LOL.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    I'm going to go register for this event (11/23, Rancho Murieta):
    http://abbadogs.lookadalmation.com/web20/abbabarnhunt/details/171-barn-hunt-fun-runs-a-trial

    Gmaps says it's close to me but far from you @Bootz..
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=rancho+murieta&hl=en&ll=38.500893,-121.091309&spn=0.770577,1.674042&sll=38.561541,-121.442912&sspn=0.384966,0.837021&hnear=Rancho+Murieta,+Sacramento+County,+California&t=m&z=10&iwloc=A

    Let me know if you find something in the bay area. Seems like a fun idea. Also, LOL @ "cheetah".
    Monkey!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3485
    @Tatonka, holy moly that is far. We should try lure coursing too! we never got that ball rolling.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    MAN, this is such a cool thread (Koji is awesome!) and barn hunting in general sounds pretty fun to watch. Sucks that the nearest BH event is like, 3+ hours away from me.
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • @Rikka

    Compared with many parts of the country, Pacific Northwest is blessed to have enough interests and activities for many new doggie sports that we usually don't need to travel that far (2-3 hours drive is considered pretty doable).

    As it stands, there are more Barn Hunt activities around the general Portland area and there are some enthusiasts up in the Bellingham area that would want to put on more trials/fun tests. The problem with the Seattle area is that it is difficult to find a facility to host such event. Many suitable places/facilities are already booked way ahead for other sports and it is more challenging to find new venues.
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    Thanks for the link! There is a North Texas Barn Hunt group in the DFW area! They have an event going on this weekend and sometime in November too! I will have to check this out.
  • Over the weekend, we made an out-of-town trip to Dallas, Texas area to attend the Barn Hunt Judge's Workshop on Saturday and then trialed on Sunday. It is Koji's first time flying on an airplane and he did great.

    The judge's workshop was very informative and I got to meet the founder of the sports, Robin Nuttall and many other Barn Hunt enthusiasts.

    There was a winter storm alert for the area all weekend and I was worried that we might not be able to fly out, let alone to say that the trials may be cancelled all together.

    Fortunately, the North Texas Barn Hunt group decided to go ahead and hold the trials as Sunday morning, it was cold, but still dry. The forecast predicted precipitation throughout the day, with some sleets and freezing rain as the day went on.

    When Koji ran, the wind was blowing pretty hard and we had sleets and freezing rain, neither of which seemed to bother Koji's enthusiasm for rats. He had a blast locating all 4 rats (8 tubes on course, with 4 live rats, 3 litters and 1 empty tube).

    This is a video of Koji's first Senior run at trial 1. He was the only Senior dog at the trial, got the Q, 1st place and High in Trial Senior.



    He got his 2nd Senior leg in the afternoon trial, 1st place and also High in Trial Senior.

    Several people approached me later and told me how impressed they were with a working Shiba. Shibas sure CAN!

    If you have not tried Barn Hunt yet, I strongly encourage you to check it out! You can find more info on http://www.barnhunt.com

    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2013-11-25 19:19:38
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I just signed Elwood up for a Barn Hunt Instinct class at a local training facility! He goes next Wednesday. I can't wait to see how it goes! :D
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @catloree,

    Are you in south or north Texas? Who is the instructor? Traci?
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2014-03-20 21:02:05
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    @sandrat888 - I'm in north Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth area). The instructor is Kim Brewer, who I believe is a judge for Barn Hunt. The facility is All Fur Fun in Addison, TX. I train there with my Pomeranian (clicker classes & some agility) & really like the facility & staff. They do positive training only.

    I have a friend who trains at What a Great Dog in Frisco, TX & does Nosework with Traci Murdock. I think Traci also teaches Barn Hunt classes. My friend loves Traci & I had considered trying the class there as well, but ended up going with the facility that I'm already familiar with.
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @catloree

    I was at a Barn Hunt Judge's workshop last November, so have met many of the Barn Hunt enthusiasts in your area. I also took Koji with me and trialed him there for one day after the workshop. We earned our first two Senior legs at the Prosper, TX trial and it was the first time the North Texas Barn Hunt Group saw a senior dog run.

    I did not know Kim offered Barn Hunt classes too. She has a really small dog herself, right? She was actually one of the judges that we showed under at the Texas trial. Mark Shaw was the other judge we had.

    You are lucky to live in an area where there are a lot of Barn Hunt activities. There are one other Shiba person down there that does Barn Hunt, Gwen Vanderbolt with Quick and Inka, both Black and Tan.
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I live in Prosper! Was the trial at Prospering Farm/Prospering Paws? We used to train agility out there. Congrats on your success with Koji!

    I haven't met Kim yet. The class is new, they've only been offering it for a few weeks. And I actually know Mark Shaw, I've seen him run his schnauzer at agility trials in McKinney & he is very involved in DAWG (Dallas Agility Working Group). I've met Gwen too, she has gorgeous dogs. I've seen her running at agility trials & am always so impressed with her dogs. Small world! :)
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • JScarf5JScarf5
    Posts: 202
    This is so AWESOME!!! I am super impressed with Koji! What a smart and handsome boy!!! You are doing GREAT with him!!!! LOVE the videos!!! :-bd
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    image
    catloree said:

    I live in Prosper! Was the trial at Prospering Farm/Prospering Paws? We used to train agility out there. Congrats on your success with Koji!

    I haven't met Kim yet. The class is new, they've only been offering it for a few weeks. And I actually know Mark Shaw, I've seen him run his schnauzer at agility trials in McKinney & he is very involved in DAWG (Dallas Agility Working Group). I've met Gwen too, she has gorgeous dogs. I've seen her running at agility trials & am always so impressed with her dogs. Small world! :)



    It sure is a small world we live in. Hope you and Elwood have a ton of fun Barn Hunting. If you ever see Gwen at a trial (agility or Barn Hunt), please send her my regards. Quick and Inka are both great dogs!
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I already posted this in Elwood's life story thread , but Elwood had a great time at Barn Hunt class! The trainer thought he showed a lot of promise. This video is of his very first time in the ring:



    He found the rat (it was in the 1st tube) in 19 seconds. The trainer said that he would have gotten his instinct title in a real trial.

    Another thing I noticed is that Elwood is usually a pretty soft, shy dog, but Barn Hunt really brought out his confidence. He was so proud of himself for finding the rat! It was great to see him so happy & confident! I think we'll be entering him in more classes!
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (2)