Farm Hunt is a hide-and-seek sport that most terriers and sporting-breeds adore. A number of live rats are placed in safe PVC tube-cages and hidden amongst hay bales in a small fenced area. The dog has a set amount of time (around 2 minutes) to find all of the hidden tubes in the straw. The handler may follow and encourage the dog. When a tube is located, the handler marks the find by saying "Rat!", hands the tube-cage out of the activity area, and directs the dog to seek the next one. Empty cages are also hidden and the handler must note whether the dog's body language indicates that a rat or a decoy tube has been found.
The rats are treated as pets and not harmed by handling or by dogs. They typically spend their time in the tube grooming or sleeping. These rats usually live with and are well-accustomed to dogs, so are not alarmed by them.
Shasta Dogs holds occasional clinics and events in Shasta County. Email for more info.
ABBA Dogs holds Barn Hunt events in the Bay Area.
Performance Dogs in Action holds Barn Hunt events in Pleasant Grove.
Revolution Dog Sports is in Reno.