Saturday, July 26, 2014

Barn Hunt Seminar

NOLA Barn Hunt Friends presented a Barn Hunt seminar in Baton Rouge on Saturday.  It provided rat introduction and simulated runs for the dogs at the seminar.  Dogs hunt rats in tubes hidden in bales of straw - handler must interpret dog's reactions and identify tubes with rats (vs rat litter or empty).

I signed up Striker, Spice, and Capt'n Kirk.  Each dog got multiple turns.  There was a schedule up by each blind - a closed area that blocks the handler's view of the hunt ring during rat tube hiding.

The first turn for each dog with introduction to rats in wire cages.  It seems there are differences in smells between white and colored rats - this may be a tall tale but I believe each dog met a white rat and non-white rat.  Interest in rats varied but was ranked Kirk, Spice, Striker with Striker being the most interested.

Next we did a simulated Rat Instinct Test run.  Each dog performed the hay bale climb and hay bale tunnel.    I was only able to identify the tube with the rat for Kirk and Striker.  Spice did not show me clear indication the tube with the rat.  Striker clearly enjoyed the game - 13 seconds to show me which tube.  This was one of the faster times.  Shelly Spotswood and Spyder had a time of 9 seconds.  Spyder is also 10 - old dogs can rock at this sport.

The last run of the day for each dog was a simulated Rat Novice Test.  Again each dog performed the hay bale climb and hay bale tunnel.  Kirk also performed a young male dog leg hike in the ring and was eliminated (after he eliminated).  Spice found the litter tube but did not find the rat tube.  Striker was in the last group of the day so the tubes had been several places by then.  His rat tube was up on a hay bale.  He needs lessons in searching which we can give him at home.  I think he might like to play this game.  Spice was all excited about the rat in the cage so she could learn to do this too.  Kirk was play bowing a bit to the rats - he may need to mature more.

Tracey came with Sprigs and Josie - Josie was ALL in.  She thinks this is an awesome idea for a dog sport.  Shane and Caboose came as well - Caboose gave this sport continuous tail wags too.