Barn hunt

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Laurelin, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    So I actually will be able to make it to the barn hunt seminar I think. They say they are covering the following:

    Intro to sport/rules
    Rat familiarization
    Variation in alerts
    Tunnels/climbs
    Rati/ratn courses

    What should I expect from the rat familiarization? They said since its a short seminar they don't have the time to really build prey drive. I don't think that will be a problem but Mia has never seen a rat before. She goes nuts for mice and bunnies and squirrels though. Do they actually get to see the rat when they start off?

    Also how tall are the climbs? Do they have different course heights?
     
  2. Dagwall

    Dagwall New Member

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    *jealous*

    After Jackson's mom posted about barn hunts I got all excited about them. As of now there are none scheduled close to me until April. I really wanna try it out. With getting wait listed for my first nosework trial it's just another thing to be excited about but just have to sit around and wait for.

    Have fun!
     
  3. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Climbs for Novice dogs are one bale high and they have ramps for the small dogs to use, too. With Mia's drive and agility background they shouldn't be an issue.

    Rat familiarization is usually a rat in a wire cage the dogs can sniff, but with Mia, they may not let her get too close due to her interest. For ex: Snipe and Kes did not get to sniff the rat because both were shrieking by the time they got within 4 ft of the cage, but Aeri and Ziva both were allowed to sniff the rat directly (and the rat was totally cool with it lol, he touched noses with Z).
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I'm really hoping we get in. The lady said that it is looking very popular and is limited to a few dogs. I mailed off our entry quick though so fingers crossed.

    I'm not too worried about her being interested in the rat. I think once she sees it she will start screeching and pulling. She goes nuts for mice in my live traps so hopefully it will be the same. I do think being able to let her see it will help though. For some reason I thought the rats were in tubes where the dogs couldn't see them and had to smell them.

    Can the handler do anything to hype up the dog? Mia knows what mouse means. I'm really hoping we get in though. Seems right up Mia's alley.
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I've been wanting to do one for a long time with Mia since Adrienne did one a long time ago. I'm hoping if the seminars take off they'll have actual trials soon. Still no nosework trials in the area. :(
     
  6. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    The rats on the course are in opaque tubes, but that's why they do rat familiarization at seminars - lets the dog associate the smell with the visual.

    I don't hype my crew up because if they get too high they run past tubes, but I do have a specific cue for barn hunt ("find the rats!") and a routine that includes asking the dog if they are "ready to find them?!" :)
     
  7. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I am very jealous and would love to try barnhunt with my real-life barn hunting dogs. Unfortunately when a request went out to gauge interest here, I was apparently the only one who responded :'(
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Haha that's similar to what I do with Mia and mice. 'Where is the.... Mouses!?' (Yes mouses is always plural lmao). She goes nuts. She does seen to trigger more by seeing movement but sniffs them out too. I don't guess there will be much difference in smell between a mouse and a rat?

    I think you might be right that I could hype her up too much. I know that has sent her past little fuzzies before.

    I can't wait to see if she has fun. I imagine it being made for her. It's like nosework but with her favorite thing- mouses.
     
  9. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Several folks at the trial this weekend called the rats 'squirrels' when cuing their dogs, so you can certainly call the mouses. ;) I suspect the scent is a wee bit different, but the rats are bigger and stinkier vs the opposite.

    Do bring a couple types of rewards to the seminar. Since they can't catch the rats, some dogs need a prey drive release via tug, squeaky toys, etc. while others do better with a food reward jackpot at the tube. Of my dogs, Aeri tugs on her leash, but the other 3 dogs all seem to do better if I reward with food.
     
  10. k9krazee

    k9krazee Active Member

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    I did a 3 hour barn hunt workshop with Crossbone a week ago and we're doing another this next weekend.

    We began by introducing dogs to a rat in a cage. You're allowed to praise, talk to, encourage, feed treats to, etc. The cage was on a leash and they moved it around for dogs that weren't as interested.

    Then they were introduced to a rat in a clear tube.

    Then a rat in an opaque pvc tube. Still encouraging any interaction with the tube and learning how your dog reacts.

    Present dog with three tubes - one empty, one with litter & one with Rat. Praise & reinforce an indication to the rat tube only.

    Then we had three tubes covered in straw- same as above.

    After dogs had time to acclimate to each step we practiced on an instinct course where the three exposed tubes were at the end.

    Then we exposed the dogs to the course itself. Tunnels & climbs. After the dogs were comfortable on the straw we simulated a novice barn hunt with the three hidden tubes.

    Crossbone wasn't terribly interested in the rat (slightly scared, actually!) and was indicating all the tubes because that's what he thought I wanted :D and was very handler oriented....but we're doing another one next weekend close to home and hope with some regular practice he can be taught. He has like 0 rat hunting instincts, apparently.

    I have a video --- He did the tunnel & climb no problem (he thought the straw enclosure was the COOLEST THING EVER!!!) and then found the rat at :26 when he turned back...but he didn't indicate so I kept going. THEN he started to pee or poop or who knows what right after. GAH.

    [YOUTUBE]yJnJTWlEw-0[/YOUTUBE]


    eta-- there are different heights of straw as the levels progress and as the levels progress there must be a rat on the second level, etc. But a climb (which is required each course along with one tunnel - before or after the rat is found) is all 4 feet touching the bale for small dogs and three feet for large (I believe? I didn't really listen to any big dog rules!)
     
  11. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    I'm so jealous. We don't have any here. Mind you using a rat would be illegal here but they could use a mouse or something.
     
  12. Elrohwen

    Elrohwen Active Member

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    This looks really really cool! I noticed that there are some events within a few hours of me, but none super close. I can't wait to hear about your experience and how Mia does (I'm sure she will rock it if your mouse stories are any indication)

    I think Watson would looove this type of thing. He's tried to get chipmunks and groundhogs out of their holes and if he was small enough to get in there he would have. Any hunting for furry critters is his idea of a good time. I'm still not sure what he would do with them if he caught them, but the hunt seems to be his favorite part, vs the chasing.

    Maybe we can do our own version by putting a bunny in a carrier and hiding it somewhere in the house. lol Otto (the bunny) wouldn't even be phased by it.
     
  13. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Le sigh, no BHA events in Iowa at all. Bah!
     
  14. k9krazee

    k9krazee Active Member

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    My aunt just jump started it in Michigan -- she invited a Wisconsin judge to come up and teach her how to run a workshop, now she's holding classes at her house and organizing workshops all over the state in any barn/garage/space available. Anybody can start it up & get others involved and interested!! Once we have enough groups in Michigan training and interested we'll start holding trials.
     
  15. iriskai

    iriskai New Member

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    I really want to do BH with the Skinnies... Not really any events close to me, though. :(
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yay we got in! Huzzah!!!

    I really hope she has fun.
     
  17. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Yay! You're going to video it, right? ;)
     
  18. Dagwall

    Dagwall New Member

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    I'm now strongly considering driving 2 hours and getting a hotel for the night to do a barn hunt in Red Lion PA in December. Trial starts early around 8:30 am so just driving the 2 hours in the morning isn't much of an option. This is when I start to feel more like the crazy dog lady.

    It's that or probably wait until April to try it... still driving 1.5 hours then.
     
  19. Elrohwen

    Elrohwen Active Member

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    Embrace it!
     
  20. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I drove 90 minutes each way for two days in a row to get to our trial...usually I'm a night owl, but you get used to getting up at 5a for dog events. ;)
     

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