Barn Hunt - our first trial weekend - March 10-11, 2018

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I started doing Barn Hunt with Anna in February. One of my Doberman club members set up a barn hunt seminar last September. The club had a fun time starting with an introductory slide show, then doing Barn Hunt Instinct tests followed by a short lesson inside the ring. I don't recall any of our dogs flunking the instinct test.

BarnHuntSeminar-2017.jpg


Anna is a born ratter (literally - her mother used to keep the farm clear of rats), so I took a couple lessons and entered a trial weekend. At the Novice level, there's three things that must be done. The dog has to find the rat (RAT), climb on hay bales with all four feet touching (CLIMB) and go through a tunnel two hay bales long (TUNNEL) within two minutes. There are also two decoys in the ring the dog has to ignore. The dog NQs if it doesn't do all three exercises, the handler calls RAT where there isn't a rat or the team runs out of time.


In the two classes we had, I learned how Anna acts when she finds a rat so I can call RAT. We didn't do any tunnel work, so the week before the trial, I had to make a practice tunnel out of picnic table benches and a baby mattress that was Cooper's bed. Anna quickly learned the TUNNEL command, but my jury rigged tunnel wasn't anything like the barn hunt tunnel which is smaller and darker.


Anna was in four trials last weekend. She found all the rats, found but ignored all the decoys, had no trouble with the climb, but wouldn't take the tunnels until the fourth trial. So we got one Q with a fourth prize out of 17 dogs. In the first trial, I leaned over to point to the tunnel entrance and Anna instead jumped to the hay bale on top of the tunnel, smacking me in the mouth with her head bone on the way. So I had a swollen lip for the rest of the weekend.

RS_20180311_115558.jpg

In herding, my teacher and the judges during post-run debriefing talks told me to LET MY DOG WORK!!! Don't tell my dog what to do with verbal or body language commands. As an Obedience competitor, I have a tendency to over control my dog when she's not doing exactly what I want, and I have to let the dog learn to trust her judgement instead of looking to me for directions. (I'm not alone in that, the judges have often said they can tell Obedience people when they trial.) So in Barn Hunt, I stayed out of Anna's way, kept my mouth shut except on the times she was wasting time sniffing the floor, and we had a successful weekend, even if it was only one Q.


I worked after my runs and learned a lot watching other handlers. As a rat wrangler, I had to place the rats and the decoys, so knew where they were hidden. Many times I saw a dog start to work where the rat was and the handler called off the dog and didn't call the rat. They either started moving away which cued the dog or gave it a verbal command.


Some things were funny. A tiny dog I guess was about eight pounds was on top of a leaner bale of hay, and started sliding down the bale. It was scrambling with its feet trying to stop, but landed on it's butt on the tube with the rat in it and bounced off knocking off all the loose hay that hid the tube, so it was face to face with the rat. It was stunned to see the rat for about a second, then started barking wildly.


I encourage all to look at barn hunt if you have it in your area. I found out that Barn Hunt is very popular with Dobies in this area. I saw a few old friends I hadn't seen in years. So after my runs were done, I worked most of the positions - gate steward, inside ring rat wrangler and outside ring rat wrangler. At one point, the judge commented that we just had three Dobermans in a row. One of the Doberman owners organizes a Sunday barn hunt practice for Dobermans that I'll start attending.


The show chair approached me and said she wants to offer a high scoring Doberman prize in her June trials because so many Dobermans enter, and said she wants to talk to me later.
 

Kaiser2016

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What is up with that? Ratting wasn't in the breed description that I recall before, but they seem to love it :)
Isn't it part of terrier behavior? And yet I seem to recall terriers were bred OUT of Dobermans some time ago...? Or I could be completely mixed up :confused:
 

Rits

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Just need a bit of prey drive...and Dobes usually have plenty of that!

We love barn Hunt! It's been a year or so since we last competed because a lot of trials were far away. There's one right down the road from us in April! Java has 3 trials coming up and can't wait. Java got her RATN in one day. Now we are aiming for that RATO but have fun no matter the outcome. The last trial she was waaay too excited and didn't get any Qs for her next title.

So glad you had a lot of fun! Definitely a sport where you sit back and let your dog work!
 

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What is up with that? Ratting wasn't in the breed description that I recall before, but they seem to love it :)

Just need a bit of prey drive...and Dobes usually have plenty of that!

We love barn Hunt! It's been a year or so since we last competed because a lot of trials were far away. There's one right down the road from us in April! Java has 3 trials coming up and can't wait. Java got her RATN in one day. Now we are aiming for that RATO but have fun no matter the outcome. The last trial she was waaay too excited and didn't get any Qs for her next title.

So glad you had a lot of fun! Definitely a sport where you sit back and let your dog work!

Anna always had high prey drive and is a hyper-active dog, so Barn Hunt is her sport. She didn't care for lure coursing, which was Cooper's fun sport, so I'm very happy that I found something she enjoys.

Rits, Congrats on your RATN and good luck on your RATO!
 

Rits

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Anna always had high prey drive and is a hyper-active dog, so Barn Hunt is her sport. She didn't care for lure coursing, which was Cooper's fun sport, so I'm very happy that I found something she enjoys.

Rits, Congrats on your RATN and good luck on your RATO!

And it's a great sport! They can do this sport even into their old age. :thumbsup2:

Ty for the good luck! Would be great to get some Q's but I'm just happy there is a club close by. :D Java might play stupid and get too excited on those litter tubes again. She loves to uncover them. :rolleyes:
 

LifeofRubie

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I started doing Barn Hunt with Anna in February. One of my Doberman club members set up a barn hunt seminar last September. The club had a fun time starting with an introductory slide show, then doing Barn Hunt Instinct tests followed by a short lesson inside the ring. I don't recall any of our dogs flunking the instinct test.

View attachment 81365


Anna is a born ratter (literally - her mother used to keep the farm clear of rats), so I took a couple lessons and entered a trial weekend. At the Novice level, there's three things that must be done. The dog has to find the rat (RAT), climb on hay bales with all four feet touching (CLIMB) and go through a tunnel two hay bales long (TUNNEL) within two minutes. There are also two decoys in the ring the dog has to ignore. The dog NQs if it doesn't do all three exercises, the handler calls RAT where there isn't a rat or the team runs out of time.


In the two classes we had, I learned how Anna acts when she finds a rat so I can call RAT. We didn't do any tunnel work, so the week before the trial, I had to make a practice tunnel out of picnic table benches and a baby mattress that was Cooper's bed. Anna quickly learned the TUNNEL command, but my jury rigged tunnel wasn't anything like the barn hunt tunnel which is smaller and darker.


Anna was in four trials last weekend. She found all the rats, found but ignored all the decoys, had no trouble with the climb, but wouldn't take the tunnels until the fourth trial. So we got one Q with a fourth prize out of 17 dogs. In the first trial, I leaned over to point to the tunnel entrance and Anna instead jumped to the hay bale on top of the tunnel, smacking me in the mouth with her head bone on the way. So I had a swollen lip for the rest of the weekend.

View attachment 81361

In herding, my teacher and the judges during post-run debriefing talks told me to LET MY DOG WORK!!! Don't tell my dog what to do with verbal or body language commands. As an Obedience competitor, I have a tendency to over control my dog when she's not doing exactly what I want, and I have to let the dog learn to trust her judgement instead of looking to me for directions. (I'm not alone in that, the judges have often said they can tell Obedience people when they trial.) So in Barn Hunt, I stayed out of Anna's way, kept my mouth shut except on the times she was wasting time sniffing the floor, and we had a successful weekend, even if it was only one Q.


I worked after my runs and learned a lot watching other handlers. As a rat wrangler, I had to place the rats and the decoys, so knew where they were hidden. Many times I saw a dog start to work where the rat was and the handler called off the dog and didn't call the rat. They either started moving away which cued the dog or gave it a verbal command.


Some things were funny. A tiny dog I guess was about eight pounds was on top of a leaner bale of hay, and started sliding down the bale. It was scrambling with its feet trying to stop, but landed on it's butt on the tube with the rat in it and bounced off knocking off all the loose hay that hid the tube, so it was face to face with the rat. It was stunned to see the rat for about a second, then started barking wildly.


I encourage all to look at barn hunt if you have it in your area. I found out that Barn Hunt is very popular with Dobies in this area. I saw a few old friends I hadn't seen in years. So after my runs were done, I worked most of the positions - gate steward, inside ring rat wrangler and outside ring rat wrangler. At one point, the judge commented that we just had three Dobermans in a row. One of the Doberman owners organizes a Sunday barn hunt practice for Dobermans that I'll start attending.


The show chair approached me and said she wants to offer a high scoring Doberman prize in her June trials because so many Dobermans enter, and said she wants to talk to me later.

That's so awesome! Maybe someday... when agility has *run it's course* we need something a little lower impact. Are there many labs at the trials? We have a new pup coming and I haven't decided what I'd like to start with him, yet....
 

JanS

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That's awesome Art! Della's prey drive is through the roof but I doubt she's ever qualify since she'd spend a half hour stalking one instead of doing what's required. LOL
 

WiglWerm

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Me and Ruby signed up for a intro to ratting, she seemed to like it. We then signed up for the trial they had in dec...She went into full blown heat so we opted to wait till next trial...seems like a lot of fun!
 

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