Barn Hunt is a wonderful "new" sport that allows dogs of all ages, breeding, background to come play on a course of straw bales while searching for a rat. The rats are hidden in safe tubes in the hay and it is up to your dog to search them out using their nifty nose!
For non-training oriented people: This sport requires a lot of thinking and effort on the dog's part which means a tired dog! DogJoy is well aware that not everyone is striving for the next top performance dog but would still like to do fun activities with their dog. Barn Hunt is great because the commitment to training is minimal, the classes are FUN, and its easy to get going in this sport! Even if you're not a great trainer, the group will help point out scenting behaviors and the dogs learn the skills so rapidly that you get to just enjoy them working.
For training oriented people: We work our dogs on a lot of concepts all the time: body awareness, compliance, drive, etc. This is a great sport that allows them to use all those skills that have been built into them while working their scent discrimination skills and independent thinking. You can modify your cue to be as specific or general as you would like. It is also a great "shake out the nerves" type of activity or a great way to cross train your dog! Additionally, AKC and UKC are accepting the Barn Hunt titles as cross over titles! See AKC's information HERE. Here is UKC's information on accepting BH titles.
How Do the Classes Work?
We are offering an Introduction to Barn Hunt for those that have never attempted this sport. This will allow the dogs and handlers to orient to the skills needed to perform barn hunts in a safe and controlled way. The rules will be discussed and of course, the rats will be introduced! Once you've attended three Intro sessions, you get to move on to proofing, multiple tubes, and trial readiness as well as scent theory and handler strategies in our Foundations classes. We recommend training at least once a month to see forward progress and up to 4 times a month. You do NOT need to practice at home (no homework!) and our progressive program is built on you and your dog's personality with our background in scent detection/working dogs.
If you have already participated in barn hunt and would like to come play on our equipment, the first step is to run the RATI course so we can assess your skills. Upon passing, you will be allowed to rent the facility depending on availability. If you need a bit more work, we will gladly enroll you in the Barn Hunt training sessions to help you master this sport.
Are There Titles I Can Earn?
Absolutely! The Barn Hunt Association has multiple levels to compete at. Beginner dogs start out earning their Instinct titles (RATI) or Novice title (RATN) and move up to progressively more difficult courses and earning progressively higher titles!
DogJoy's intent at this time is to help grow the sport in this portion of Texas and have events locally to support this goal. There are other groups in Texas that offer really fun trials as well so if you want to hit the road, there are lots of options!
Additionally, your AKC/UKC registered dog can earn dual titles by submitting their Barn Hunt titles to the American Kennel Club and/or United Kennel Club. This means that you can earn TWO or THREE titles in one! All dogs are eligible for participation in AKC events (except conformation). See AKC's information HERE. Here is UKC's information on accepting BH titles.
Due to the overwhelming interest in this sport , we recommend scheduling online HERE. Currently, training times are offered on Saturdays and Sundays and a few evenings each week. We recommend training at least once a month to see forward progress and up to 4 times a month. You do NOT need to practice at home (no homework!) and our progressive program is built on you and your dog's personality with our background in scent detection/working dogs. Come join in the fun!
AWESOME! I Want to Help With Trials!
You rock for wanting to participate already! The only way we'll be able to have trials in this portion of Texas is with the continued support of dedicated volunteers at the trials, so thank you for being so gung ho! Check out our upcoming events chart and CONTACT US for more information about helping out. Running a dog is NOT a prerequisite for helping at trials, so if you're game to help out with or without a dog, we'd love to hear from you! We have trials throughout the year with our super huge barn hunt blowout in July at the NRG Center in conjunction with the Houston World Series Of Dog Shows. Demos, Run Throughs, and Seminars are other activities that you can participate in as well and those are ongoing!