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You Dirty Rat

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

Deland Dog Sports gives low down on Barn Hunt….

What is a “Barn Hunt"?

Deland Dog Sports showed us why this is the sport for so many. Barn Hunts roots are deep in the traditions of dogs that "ridded" our urban and rural homes, ranches and stores of vermin. It was a real problem and still can be in some parts. However, in the growing Barn Hunt competitions, the vermin have much happier end of a day with the dogs.

Barn Hunt is committed to creating a safe and fun sport for dogs, that also holds rat care at the highest level of consideration. The rats used in Barn Hunt are beloved family pets. They jump eagerly into their safe, comfortable aerated tubes and truly enjoy interacting with the dogs. – Barn Hunt Association

Using standard hay bales the courses are set while the teams wait out of site. A number of live rats are then hidden in this arena. Then, one at a time the dog and handler enter the fenced area and have a set time limit to discover all the rats. There are bonus points for climbing the bails and a traveling though tunnel that exists on each course.

Not surprisingly, all this hunting and digging is great fun for the dogs, and the community shows great humor as some of the dogs inevitably decide to add their own twists to the event. As dogs will do. Obviously all the Terrier Breeds may come to mind, but others like some Pinschers and Schnauzers too. In this competition, most all breeds are welcome and mixed breeds are common.

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!

My mission is to provide the public and fellow dog-sport enthusiasts with education and the training to develop a fun and positive working partnership with their dog. We want...both to enjoy what they’re doing while getting the desired results. – Deland Dog Sports

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.

A Closer Look

Our Full Gallery is HERE

Growing and GrowingRecently at the Treasure Coast Pirate Cluster, the Tailwaggers Learning Center hosted an event that lasted three days and was still going after everyone else was wrapped up. This time visited the Deland Dog Sports in Volusia County to learn more. There were over 85 runs taking place on the day were visited, and this was a two-day event. Further, the Deland Dog Sports also offers Nose work, Obedience and Scent Work training. Yes, those are all a little different. (More on Nose Work Here)

So what is Barn Hunt? Barn Hunt can provide anyone with a dog with the drive to snoop around and find stuff and truly fun activity and large community of welcoming and others passionate about their own Bad Azz Dogz. So check out more information and find out what clubs are closest to you. Get your dog sniffing today.

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.

More Information:

Deland Dog Sports: On Facebook @delanddogsports

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