Barn Hunt

Raevyn RATO 2
Raevyn in a Senior Trial
Niko trying Instinct
Niko in Instinct
Niko did a tunnel
Raevyn in an Open trial
Zivah is trying it out!
Raevyn RATO 1
Raevyn barn hunt trial
Raevyn Barn Hunt Aug 2015
Raevyn in a Senior Trial
Raevyn in a Senior trial
Raevyn Barn Hunt1
Truffles heard the rat!
Is it in there?
I think Truffles found it!
Is it still there, dad?

Barn Hunt is fast becoming one of our favourite activites to take part in! Raevyn is a natural at it, using both her acute sense of smell and hearing in order to find the rats who are hidden in the straw, in tubes. Barn Hunt has different levels of difficulty, starting with the very basic Instinct, going up to a Masters level, which you can then continue in to keep adding titles. 

 

Even though Keeshonden are known primarily as companion dogs, one of their jobs while being companions on the barges, was ratting. They were required to clear the vermin on deck. They are also still widely used as farm dogs in the Netherlands. This was a natural decision for us to try with our girls, and Raevyn has both the knack, and the drive to 'hunt' out the rats. 

 

The rats who participate in Barn Hunt are peoples' pets, and are taken care of extremely well. Their safety is of the utmost importance, and if a rat in a tube is in danger from a dog, it can be enough to disqualify a run. They are placed in large PVC pipes with secured ends, with small air vent holes that have been drilled through. They have litter in the tubes with them, and are switched out often, especially in hot and cold temperatures, and between trials.

 

Classes are typically run Instinct through Masters, though some venues will have rings set up specifically for Senior and Masters classes, because the area is so much bigger, a lot more bales are used, and the tunnels are more complex. When you get to the trial, they put you in what is called a 'blind', with a maximum of 5 dogs. This is so the rats can be placed in the same places, for up to those 5 dogs, without the handlers knowing where they are hidden in the straw. 

 

Some basic rules of Barn Hunt include: defecating or marking in the ring is automatic grounds for disqualification (called an NQ). Touching the dog at any time, unless you have called a rat tube and are holding the dog back so the rat wrangler can come in and safely remove the tube is an NQ. Touching the bales of straw or stepping over them, unless you are going to hold your dog back after calling a rat tube, is an NQ. Dogs are to run without collars and leashes while in the ring, but must enter and exit with one on. 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on images to enlarge and see full photos. 

Barn Hunt Instinct (RATI)

 

  • Prerequisite: None. Dogs may enter this class and Novice (RATN) at the same trial. Dogs may con- tinue to enter this class until the Novice title is attained. Dogs with a RATN or above cannot enter Instinct. An Instinct pass is not required to enter Novice.

  • Course time allowed: One minute.

  • Number of Qualifying Legs Required: One.

  • Number/Type of Tubes on the course: One empty tube, one litter tube, one rat tube.

  • Required elements within course time allowed: Correctly indicate the tube with the rat.

  • Summary: RATI is an optional class for any dog without a Barn Hunt Novice (RATN) title. RATI is
    a set course (see Appendix B). The three tubes will be placed uncovered in plain sight on the course. While the course is set up in such a way that tunneling and climbing are difficult to avoid, the purpose of RATI is correct identification of the live rat tube. A dog who avoids the tunnel/climb yet finds the rat will be marked as a passing effort for RATI. Time starts when the dog leaves the start box. Time ends when the handler indicates a rat tube. 

 

Novice Barn Hunt (RATN)

 

  • Prerequisite: None. Dogs may enter this class and Instinct (RATI) at the same trial.

  • Course time allowed: Two minutes.

  • Number of Qualifying Legs Required: Three.

  • Start Box location: One flat side not less than three nor more than four feet from the opening to an Official Tunnel. The area from the entrance gate to the start box must be handicapped accessible.

  • Number/Type of Tubes on the course: One empty tube, one litter tube, one rat tube. At least one tube of any type must be elevated. All tubes may be elevated.

  • Tunnel and Bale height requirements: The tunnel is straight and no shorter than the width of two bales or longer than the width of three bales. At least one place on the course other than the tunnel must have bales stacked two high. More than one place on the course can have bales stacked two high. There can be more than one Official Tunnel.

  • Required elements within course time allowed: Execute a climb. Execute an Official Tunnel. Cor- rectly indicate one live Rat tube.

  • Summary: Time starts when the dog and/or handler exits the start box. Time stops when the dog/han- dler indicates the rat and has executed both a tunneling and climbing effort. The required elements can be achieved in any order. If all other elements are not complete when the correct rat tube is indicated, the handler proceeds as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward and Part 9: Safely Remov- ing the Rat Tube. If the dog/handler indicate the incorrect tube or run out of time before finding the live tube, the dog is NQ but should be immediately escorted to the live tube, shown the tube, and briefly praised as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward. before leaving the course 

 

Open Barn Hunt (RATO)

 

  • Pre-requisite: RATN title.

  • Course time allowed: Two minutes 30 seconds.

  • Number of Qualifying Legs Required: Three.

  • Start Box location: Anywhere on the course. The area from the entrance gate to the start box must be handicapped accessible.

  • Number/Type of Tubes on the course: One empty tube, two litter tubes, two rat tubes. At least one live rat tube must be elevated. All tubes may be elevated.

  • Tunnel and Bale height requirements: The tunnel must have one turn and the exit cannot be readily visible from the entrance; the tunnel must look dark. At least one place on the course must have bales stacked three high. More than one place on the course can have bales stacked three high. There can be more than one Official Tunnel.

  • Required elements within course time allowed: Execute a climb. Execute an Official Tunnel. Cor- rectly indicate two live Rat tubes.

  • Summary: Time starts when the dog and/or handler exits the start box. Time stops when the dog/ handler has indicated both live rat tubes and has executed both the tunneling and climbing effort. The required elements can be achieved in any order. After indication of a live rat tube, the handler proceeds as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward and Part 9: Safely Removing the Rat Tube. If the dog/handler indicate an incorrect tube or run out of time before finding all of the live tubes, the dogs NQ but should be immediately escorted to the closest live tube, shown the tube, and briefly praised as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward before exiting the course. Dogs are only to be shown one live tube and are not allowed to find all remaining live tubes after they are NQ. 

 

Senior Barn Hunt (RATS)

 

  • Pre-requisite: RATO title.

  • Course time allowed: Three minutes 30 seconds.

  • Number of Qualifying Legs Required: Three.

  • Start Box location: Anywhere on the course. The area from the entrance gate to the start box must be

  • Number/Type of Tubes on the course: One empty tube, three litter tubes, four rat tubes. At least two live rat tubes must be elevated. All tubes may be elevated.

  • Tunnel and Bale height requirements: The tunnel must include two to three turns. One place on the course must have bales stacked four high. More than one place on the course may have bales stacked four high. There can be more than one Official Tunnel on the course.

  • Required elements within course time allowed: Execute a climb. Execute an Official Tunnel. Cor- rectly indicate four live Rat tubes.

  • Summary: Time starts when the dog and/or handler exits the start box. Time stops when the dog/han- dler has indicated all four live rat tubes and has executed both the tunneling and climbing effort. The required elements can be achieved in any order. After indication of a live rat tube, the handler proceeds as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward and Part 9: Safely Removing the Rat Tube. If the dog/handler indicate an incorrect tube or run out of time before finding all of the live tubes, the dogs NQ but should be immediately escorted to the closest live tube, shown the tube, and briefly praised as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward before exiting the course. Dogs are only to be shown one live tube and are not allowed to find all remaining live tubes after they are NQ. 

 

Master Barn Hunt (RATM)

 

  • Pre-requisite: RATS title.

  • Course time allowed: Four minutes 30 seconds.

  • Number of Qualifying Legs Required: Five, under two or more different judges.

  • Start Box location: Anywhere on the course. The area from the entrance gate to the start box must be handicapped accessible.

  • Number/Type of Tubes on the course: 8 tubes. One to five tubes will have rats. All tubes without rats will have litter. The number of rat tubes to litter tubes will change with every competitor. Any/all live tubes may either be on the floor or elevated or a mix of both. For each blind all 8 tubes are moved, but those 8 tubes remain in the same location for all dogs in each blind, with only the number of live versus litter tubes changing for each dog. The extra four tubes are used to swap out rats and litter. Five rats must be staged in tubes at all times during this class.

  • Tunnel requirements: The tunnel must have two turns and may have as many as five turns. The tunnel may have more than one exit as long as the first exit is after the execution of at least two turns. More than one place on the course must have bales stacked four high. If Senior class is scheduled prior to Master class in the same ring, the same tunnel foundation may be used if enough bales are moved to change the overall appearance of the course. For back-to-back upper level tunnels (Senior/Senior-Mas- ter/Master) the tunnel openings (either or both) must be modified between classes to ensure a unique tunneling experience for each class. The primary foundation of the tunnel may remain the same, as long as one or both openings are modified.

  • Bale height requirements: At least one place on the course must have bales stacked four high. No more than two places on the course may have bales stacked four high.

  • Required elements within course time allowed: Execute a climb. Execute an Official Tunnel. Cor- rectly indicate all live rat tubes on the course. Correctly indicate when all live rat tubes have been found.

  • Special Master Staging and Rat/Litter Tube Changes: Competitors are staged in each Master blind in groups of 3, 4, or 5. The Club, with judge input, determines the total number of competitors to be staged in each Master blind based on entry numbers and site considerations. The number of competitors per blind must be published and/or posted and announced prior to the first Master class held at the event. Once published and/or posted and announced, the Master staging group size must stay the same for that entire event, allowing for smaller blind-group sizes as needed to accommodate conflicts and odd numbers.

  • Summary: Time starts when the dog and/or handler exits the start box. Time stops when the dog/ handler has indicated all live rat tubes, has executed both the tunneling and climbing effort, and the handler has declared that all rats have been found. After indication of a live rat tube, the handler can proceed as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward and Part 9: Safely Removing the Rat Tube. If the dog/handler indicate an incorrect tube, run out of time before finding all of the live tubes, or the handler indicates all the tubes are found when there are still unfound live tubes on the course, the dog is NQ but should be immediately escorted to the closest live tube, shown the tube, and briefly praised as outlined in Part 8: Allowed Praise and Reward before exiting the course. Dogs are only to be shown one live tube and are not allowed to find any remaining live tubes after they are NQ. Handlers can re- quest to know the number of live tubes on the course. 

 

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. 

 

Barn Hunt Champion X (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 Mas- ter legs after attaining the RATCH Master title. The letters RATCHX precede the dog's name. Repeat- ed RATCHX titles are allowed and are shown as RATCHX2, RATCHX3, etc..

 

Source: www.barnhunt.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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