|Rocco is introduced to the rat, who is safely ensconced|
in his PVC pipe shelter
At the fun day, we learned about Barn Hunt runs and what's expected of you and your dog when you compete. We also got the chance to try a couple of runs and Rocco got his first experience of finding a rat in a tube!
Read more about what Barn Hunt is all about in our last post. Today, we're going to show you how Rocco found the rat!
First, Rocco was introduced to the rat, who is kept safe and snug in a little tube filled with rat litter. To the right you can see Rocco checking out the rat in the tube.
|A Barn Hunt course with tunnels, climbs and PVC pipe rat tubes.|
THREE tubes are placed in the ring -- one with a rat, one just with litter and one that is empty. Not only does your dog need to find the tube with the rat, but then YOU, the handler, must recognize your dog's indication that he's found the rat, and then YOU must declare with certainty "RAT!"
So you can't say something like, "hmmm, I think that may be the tube with the rat." Here's where you must know your dog well enough to recognize his sign of finding the rat. Excellent dog/handler communication is key!
You'll see in our video that first, Rocco gets the chance to see all three tubes and signal to me which one contains the rat. Then, in a second run, he must find a rat that is hidden underneath some loosely piled straw, making things a bit more challenging.
Different breeds and different dogs may signal the rat with different levels of exuberance, In Rocco's case, he paused in front of the rat and then sat. I learned that was his way of telling me he found the rat.
There are lots of guidelines you must follow in order to received titles in Barn Hunt. You can find all the details in the Barn Hunt rules. One thing that's an automatic disqualification is if a dog eliminates on the course (which is basically anything coming out of your dog that shouldn't be!).
We, a-hem, may have to work on that some. I mean the hay bales look an awful lot like the pinestraw in our backyard!
We had a fun day and got to experience the whole thing with our pals Johann and Gracie and their mum! You can read about their experience here!
We're also super excited to join our FitDog Friday co-hosts Peggy's Pet Place and SlimDoggy for this year's K9Kamp. Held twice a year (January and June), K9Kamp is a blog hop event where you can get fit with your dog! The challenge will be issued on January 24th, so be sure to and stop by to check out the challenge so that you can participate. Then, at the end of K9Kamp, join our blog hop (co-located with FitDog Friday!) and share your experience. Everyone is invited and we'll have prizes too!
The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With Love, SlimDoggy and Peggy's Pet Place to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.