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    Thread: Barn Hunt Fun

    1. #1
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Barn Hunt Fun

      We've been to a 30 minute barn hunt seminar and then a little fun match, both held at events we were already attending. It's been awhile though, maybe a couple years. I figured that the next time we were at an event with barn hunt, I'd enter him if it worked out with our schedule. Finally happened yesterday as I was helping my friend at a conformation show. Certainly broke up the boredom of ten hour day. Ugh!

      Initially I was just going to do Instinct but figured he'd probably pass that and signed up for a Novice leg too. They are pretty laid back, so if I wanted/needed to, I could just go into Novice and basically practice (within the rules of the trial). I didn't care about an NQ in this particular sport so wasn't worried that we didn't train for it.

      Instinct was easy for him and we had time to practice the tunnel and jumping on a bale, which is something he'd have to do for Novice. Then we went to the Novice round. The tunnel is in front of the start box, and the agility cue for tunnel worked well in this scenario. After the tunnel he found the rat. Then he jumped on a bale of hay. And that was that. No idea if we were fast or what. I was told we passed and he had a good time.

      Turns out, Linus won his group (they break it out into three sizes - small, medium and large and he is large) against the Malanois, German Shepherds, Rotties and a few other larger dogs. He then went on to win High in Class with an 11 second gap, which is a long time in the world of barn hunt. So, he was faster than the scent hounds, sight hounds and terriers as well as the herding dogs that do really well in the sport. There were about 25 dogs total.

      It was interesting to watch and also harder than it looks (about a 50% NQ rate). A lot of people were trying too hard to control their dogs, not letting them work. Dogs are professional sniffers; they don't really need our help as long as they know what they are looking for! The handlers were nagging and the dogs tuned them out. A lot of the dogs were stressed or anxious by the atmosphere and their handlers being "weird" in a trial environment due to nerves. The dogs' alerts changed because of the stress and the handlers were second guessing themselves because of that and their own stress. I guess it helps when you have a dog like Linus that "attacks" the live rat tubes with his mouth and both front paws (not aggressively though; that's a big no-no) -- he is not subtle at all. You're in a rather small pen (12x12-ish) with three people (judge, rat wrangler, handler) which is crowded because of all of the hay bales. People and dogs are hanging out outside of the pen, which is a four-foot chain link fence. That's tough for a pressure-sensitive or environmental dog. I think our advantage was that my dog is well trained and is used to working in weird places with dogs and people and can also work and listen when stimulated, not that he is better at sniffing out rats than other dogs. He's also not pressure sensitive in a physical sense, just handler pressure sensitive and I gave him space to do what he needed to do and didn't follow him around directing him. So, I highly recommend anyone try it, but be aware that it does require some training to be successful in there, even though it looks pretty easy!

      Here's a goofy photo we took with the High in Class rosette. We did end up getting our photo done at the pro booth because I always try to give my money to dog event workers whenever I can. I'll post it when it's ready as long as one turned out OK.

      -barn-hunt-jpg
      Last edited by Labradorks; 11-26-2017 at 05:28 PM.

    2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Annette47 (11-30-2017), dxboon (11-27-2017), kimbersmom (11-26-2017), POPTOP (11-27-2017)

    3. #2
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      Congrats! I see more Labs now with RATI or other barn hunt titles. Anything you and your dogs can enjoy together is worthwhile.

    4. The Following User Says Thank You to dxboon For This Useful Post:

      Labradorks (11-27-2017)

    5. #3
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      Congrats

    6. #4
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      Congratulations! Ribbon could not be a more perfect color combination.
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      Kissing Bandit

    7. #5
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      wow congrats! someone is a natural pro at this!

    8. #6
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      Congrats! I know a couple of Lab people around here who have been very successful at Barn Hunt. I’ve never tried it, but I think my girls would enjoy it.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM4) 6/7/2009


      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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