We had a great day in Barn Hunt today. Tilda found all of her ratties and earned her last 2 legs of her Novice title. It took us a while to get going, but we are starting to communicate better and her confidence is growing and our trust is growing. Barn Hunt is such a fun sport. Today’s competition was at Michigan Barn Hunt Club. Judge Cindy Angiulo was our judge and the trial was conducted by the chair Karli Mueller-Brough. Coach Karli has been coaching Tilda and I and this is the facility where we practice so it was a bit more comfortable for her.
First – Instinct Run
First thing in the morning we ran in instinct. She found the rat right away, always a good sign. I like how I can see her body language with her ears. I’m getting better at that part. In Instinct, there are just 3 tubes secured and out in the open. There is only one with a live rat and the dog has to figure out which that is. After you earn your novice title, you can no longer participate in an instinct run.
Next – Novice Run
In Novice, we have to find one rat, go through the tunnel and get all 4 paws up on a straw bale at the same time. Tunnel, Climb, Rat, Win.
We have to do all of that in under 2 minutes. Here’s our successful Novice run. You can see she gets a bit distracted and watching the video back, I wish that I had done one thing differently. When she found the rat, she was still looking under it. That’s because it was cold and the scent is falling and she is still learning how to pinpoint that. I took the tube without her really seeing it and getting to know that she found it and where it was exactly.
Last – Novice Run
This is our 2nd Novice run of the day. Note that we had previously earned one “leg” (or a qualifier) in Novice. it takes 3 legs or qualifying runs to earn a title.
So, with the one from a previous trial and these 2, this run earned our title. In this run, she zeroed in on the rat right away, but then it took us most of our time to finish our tunnel and climb. I was starting to get worried we wouldn’t make it! So happy for our progress!