Can someone explain how Barn Hunt works?

mrose_s

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#1
I'm intrigued. Not that there is any in Australia yet. (Seriously... Dock Dogs is only just getting rolling with something like 3 pools/training facilities in the entire country)

How does it work? What is the dog expected to do? What training do you do for it?
 

CaliTerp07

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#2
I went to one seminar/instinct test. It went as follows:

-Dog enters through a "tunnel" of hay bales. They must go through the tunnel.
-Dog jumps up and over a hay bale at the end of the tunnel. They must put 4 paws on the hay bale (Lucy failed, she leaped it like an agility jump)
-Dog must identify which of the three tubes has a rat in it. All dogs alert differently--some point, some whine, some paw at it--your job is to read your dog's signals and figure out which one has the critter in it.

Training: Get your dog comfortable going through an inclosed space and jumping up on hay. Learn to read your dog's signal. Basically nothing if you have an outgoing/brave dog. Little more if your dog is timid.

At higher levels there are more tubes (I think?) and they are hidden. At the instinct level, they were just out there in the middle of the area.
 

Kalyxa

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#3
I'm also super interested. How do you find events nearby? Although it wouldn't matter for me, I don't have a car. But for the future!
 

Flyinsbt

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#4
Basically, there's a maze constructed of hay bales, and within that maze are hidden rats, safely contained within PVC tubes. There are also PVC tubes that contain rat bedding without a live rat, and empty tubes. Number of each depends on the level (starts with one of each). The dog has to search and find the rats, the handler recognizes when the dog has found a rat, and calls the find. The dog is also required to go through a tunnel made of hay bales at some point during the course, and to climb onto one of the bales. If you find all the rats, without error, and do the climb and the tunnel, the dog qualifies.

Training is minimal, and depends somewhat on the dog. Many dogs don't need training at all. Finding the rat is instinctive behavior. Some dogs need to be introduced to the quarry to bring out their prey drive. Some dogs need a little training to do tunnels, and surprisingly to me, to climb on the bales. (mine love to jump on the bales). The harder part is usually for the handler to learn to read their dog's alert.
 

Fran101

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#5
It's great that I learned what this was about.

But I'm also a little disappointed because I honestly thought barn hunts were just a bunch of people and their dogs meeting in rat infested barns and letting the dogs have at it.

this seems a lot more controlled.. but still haha less fun perhaps
 

GipsyQueen

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#6
Barn hunt sounds awesome :) Sounds like Zora would have an awesome time doing it.. though I doubt it will come around here any time soon. :(
 

CaliTerp07

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#7
It's great that I learned what this was about.

But I'm also a little disappointed because I honestly thought barn hunts were just a bunch of people and their dogs meeting in rat infested barns and letting the dogs have at it.

this seems a lot more controlled.. but still haha less fun perhaps
Yeah! I went to the seminar because I had no idea what it was about and my dog loves to chase critters. They explained the game and I was like...that's it? Lucy found the rat, alerted very clearly (pawed at that tube and whined), and then lost interest. So did I.

The majority of people there were earth dog people, so they're used to the same idea, I guess.
 

Flyinsbt

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#8
It's great that I learned what this was about.

But I'm also a little disappointed because I honestly thought barn hunts were just a bunch of people and their dogs meeting in rat infested barns and letting the dogs have at it.

this seems a lot more controlled.. but still haha less fun perhaps
Like many dog sports, it's a replica of a traditional task. It's very controlled, but it's a chance to let dogs do something that a lot of them instinctively enjoy, and title at it.
 

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