Saturday April 23, 2022
9 am – 4 pm
Superpup in Severn, MD
MSDA hosted a full-day Barn Hunt Seminar by Superpup. This seminar was targeted at beginners.
Barn Hunt and Rat Games are the two prime rat hunting games in the Mid-Atlantic. This seminar was designed to introduce the dogs to tunnels made of straw bales and to climbing on bales, introduce them to a rat in a tube, and introduce handlers to the basic rules of the two venues. Along the way, the dogs and handlers practiced on both Instinct and Novice-level courses and learned some basic handling skills.
The seminar was lots of fun: dogs, handlers and the instructor all had a great time. Dogs attending included three Brittanys, a French Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Mini Wirehaired Dachshund, and a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Some pictures are posted below. Click on any photo to enlarge it and move through the gallery.
If you’re not familiar with Barn Hunt, there is a lot more information on the Barn Hunt Association website. MSDA also has a video on YouTube (see below) in which MSDA members provide tips and share their experiences, including videos of their own dogs. This presentation was recorded at the March 2022 MSDA membership meeting, not long before the seminar.
Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but titles can be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Rat Games has many additional games, most of which are skills-based (i.e., tunnels, distance, speed, etc.). They also have a veterans class where the rats are hidden either on the ground or only one level up so the older dogs don’t feel like they have to climb, if they don’t want to.
Please note that the rats are pets and were well-protected in their tubes during the seminar. They are also trained to this sport, not just stuck in a tube in a trial situation. Safety for the rats is critical to this sport and is something that is addressed during the seminar.
Loreen Peterson was the Barn Hunt Seminar Chair and was the on-site host for MSDA. If you have questions about the seminar or about barn hunting in general, contact Loreen at Peterson@mdsportingdog.org .