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Barn Hunt comes to Tampa

Something smells ratty for the Barn Hunt at DTCT

Barn Hunt games let those noses do the work.

BHA games at the Dog Training Club of Tampa

(full photo feature at end of article)

The Dog Training Club of Tampa (DTCT) celebrates 60 years this year and moved to a new larger facility in South Tampa. A long with the new location, the club is adding new games for all the pups to come play.

We went to take a look at the Barn Hunt event "Fun" day and see what DTCT was up to for ourselves.


No experience required

Barn Hunt has exploded across N. America in the relatively few years since Robin Nuttall first created the sport at the Barn Hunt Association (BHA) and it continues to grow fast in Florida. I have never been disappointing at these events and featured Barn Hunts at Deland Dog Sports and G2 Barn Hunt previously.


To introduce it to their local community the club organized the one day Barn Hunt Fun Trial in July 2019. It provided a great opportunity for those new to the game to come see it and even play for those ready to take the first "Sniff".


New look and new games

The DTCT is a not for profit AKC club with 60 years in the community and run by volunteers. They provides training from basic puppy, advanced basic, obedience and rally. The club has a fully padded and very active 4-6 day schedule for agility. The new location has been very active in adding to it's calendar of events and is one of the only Central Florida clubs to have consistent Trick Dog, Stunt Dog training and events and are relaunching Freestyle (a.k.a. Heeling) this fall. The size and comfort of the new location has allowed this expansion, but with limited parking the larger events still have to be off site. However, the majority of events are comfortably hosted at there S. Tampa location still, and with happenings most days of the week, they stay very busy.


A competition for everyone

Barn Hunt is likely the most inclusive growing competition for all breeds and ability of dog… and human. This could be called a “Low-Impact Sport”.


There is no running, climbing, throwing, or gymnastics required of the bi-ped (Human) in the team. Simply the ability to watch and communicate with their pup and most importantly understand when they tell you they found that rat!

By picking what I liked about various organizations and sports and discarding aspects I didn't care for, I worked to put a sport together that would have wide appeal to a number of different people at all levels of experience. – Robin Nuttall Barn Hunt Association (BHA)

As you advance through the various tiers, the challenge and variation of the contest become more difficult. Starting with a simple response to find a rat in one of the tubes, and up to a challenge of up to 8 rats hidden that the team must locate without knowing exactly hoe man and calling “Clear”! They call the later one “Crazy 8’s”, which perfectly reflects the light and fun nature of Barn Hunt, and probably a big reason for its fast growing popularity.

We are not exaggerating that popularity.

With clubs popping up all over Florida and now with events recognized by both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC ), there are plenty to find and high chance one close to you.


Further proof was the shear number of competitors we have seen at these events.


For Disabled Veterans Sports Dogs (DVSD)

I spoke to DTCT representatives about the facilities and look forward to seeing the club join the growing number of locations around the state to provide targeted support and activity of our disabled 1st responder and Military veterans in the Bad Azz Dogz DVSD program. The club has parking for handicapped and large restrooms. There were no significant obstacles to entry and the volunteer staff were friendly and welcoming.



Wrapping Up

Barn Hunt is a truly fun event for all involved. There is a casual and relaxed nature to the game and a truly varied range of both dog and human alike. The accessibility of the “arena” can be modified and ideal for those with mobility concerns and the judges are some of the nicest you’ll meet in any sport. It really is about have an enjoyable day with your best friend. Links to more information below, but for now, come see for yourself in our special photo-feature.

Oh… What about those rats?


Don’t worry. The rats are stars of these events and cared for by their own rat moms and dads who love them as much as the owners love their dogs. They are never in harms way and go home to plenty of treats… or whatever it is rats like.


** Photo-Feature **

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Barn Hunt at DTCT July 2019

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More Information:

Dog Training Club of Tampa (DTCT)

https://dtct.org/

Barn Hunt Association http://www.barnhunt.com

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