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Greater Columbia Obedience Club, Inc.

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Barn Hunt gives your dogs a chance to put their nose and working traits to the test! Barn Hunt is based on the traditional roles of many dog breeds in riding farms, barns, and other areas where vermin take residents. This safe, humane, dog sport involves hiding live rats in tubes around an enclosed straw-bale course while the dog uses its instincts to find where the rat is hidden. Once correctly identified, the dog is restrained while the rat in the tube is safely removed from the field. The search is continued until all tubed-rats are found or the time allotted is called.

The level of difficulty and number of tasks required to complete each run depend on the dog's run group starting with Novice, Open, Senior, Master, etc. Check out the Barn Hunt Association for more information, BHA dog registration, events and more resources on Barn Hunt!

NEW SEPTEMBER 2023: Barn Hunt Classes will be taught by Jaye Pearce at her new Barn Hunt Building! 

To avoid having straw in the GCOC building and needing to transport the rats back and forth between classes, it was decided to have Barn Hunt Classes taught by Jaye and other Co-Instructors at her newly constructed building. This will allow for private lessons and more classes to be taught for those interested in Barn Hunt lessons!

For more information and availability: Contact Jaye Pearce directly by TEXT: 803-446-3575 or EMAIL: Jaye (please put BARN HUNT as the subject.)

Need a refresher on Barn Hunt rules?


Basic Barn Hunt Skills

This class is designed to introduce the dog and handler to Barn Hunt. Recognizing that each dog is different, the 6-week class is limited to 4 students, so each one has plenty of opportunity to work in the ring and work with the instructors to determine work works best for each team.

There are no Prerequisite classes but the dog needs to be able to stay in a crate until it is their turn. Crate Whining is okay but the dog needs to be safe while in it.

Step 2 Barn Hunt Classes

Once dogs are showing they understand the game and are hunting and will go through the tunnel (at least the majority of time) the next class works on developing alerts and being consistent in the hunting aspect. Not all dogs alert by barking or scratching at a tube. Handlers will start to develop strength in reading their dogs, understanding when to let the dog hunt and when the dog might need a little encouragement or redirection. We will working on timing and create more a trial like type of setting.

Prerequisites the dog has to have demonstrated they understand the objective is to find the rat, and be able to go through a Barn Hunt tunnel the majority of the time. If you did not take the Basic Barn Hunt Skills class your dog will need to be evaluated to make sure this is the appropriate level for him/her. There s no charge for the evaluation. It can be set-up by calling or texting Jaye. Texting and putting Barn Hunt in the subject is the best method. 

After Step 2 Class is successfully completed

Dogs will be broken out by skill levels and work in a class where a similar number of rats and tunnel difficulty is set-up for the class.

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