Welcome to the first installment of the Adventure Dog Blog Hop, one in which you can join Mort and Tig on their Barn Hunt adventure. Nope, it wasn’t a real barn hunt – it was a simulated one. But you can learn more about what a Barn Hunt event is like, and see some pictures of it taking place.

What is Barn Hunt?

We’ve done one before, and you can learn about what this fun activity is on this earlier blog post about Mort’s first try at Barn Hunt. There you will find links to the official rules and a calendar that includes organized events all over. It’s a new and growing sport, so if you don’t find anything in your area set a bookmark and check back. Or even consider forming an event of your own!

Mort and Tig’s adventure this weekend

Mort and Tig have a bad (well… exhausted) dog guardian who almost forgot that she registered her dogs for Barn Hunt. Google Calendar sent her an alert about 10 minutes before she had to leave, so suddenly dogs were put in the car (luckily WITH leashes this time. Yup. I’ve forgotten leashes before, despite storing about 30 of them I’ve made for Stylish Canine in the garage on a rack right next to the car. But even if I did it wouldn’t have been a disaster because this event was in the parking lot of a pet supply store. Which, I gotta say, I wouldn’t have been too happy about!)

Anyway, we did make it to the event, and with a few minutes to spare!

Barn Hunt in a parking lot.

All set up in a parking lot.

What was involved

This was a Barn Hunt workshop, so the dogs participated in an Instinct test where they sniff tubes that contain a rat, contain bedding, and contain nothing. If they react to the tubes, good. If they don’t, well you have your work cut out for you.

Then the dogs got to try going through a hay tunnel and jump on bales. Fun!

Then the dogs got to put it together – run through a hay tunnel towards the tubes and sniff them. The human then got to guess which one had a rat inside based on their dog’s reaction.

And finally, a “novice” run. The dog had to search through hay for tubes, run through a tunnel, and climb on a hay bale. If the human and dog team find the correct tube with a rat, life is good.

How did we do?

Not great but not bad. Mort was really REALLY into the tubes this time. Like barking his butt off and going Kelpie-crazy for the tubes. The tubes suddenly became wondrous items that were extremely high value.

This made it a bit more difficult for me to differentiate between “WOW A TUBE THIS IS WONDERFUL!” and “WOW A TUBE WITH A RAT THIS IS WONDERFUL!”

Mort at Barn Hunt sniffing a tube.

Wonderful, wonderful items no matter what was inside! Check out his mouth… he barked and nudged and paw-ed and went insane.

Tig had no interest in the tubes. It was difficult for me to differentiate between “I am sniffing this thing that is a piece of hay.” and “I am sniffing this other thing that happens to be a tube.” and “I am sniffing this thing that is a tube with a rat inside.” I retired Tig from competition. Tig is now just an attendee (yes, she will still need to attend these adventures).

However, Tig DID go through a hay tunnel. This is a really big deal, as she generally doesn’t care to do things she doesn’t really care about… like going through things. But she did do it when I asked and one of the hosts crinkled a cheese packet, which really made my day. You can see me grinning at her success in this photo:

Tig went through a hay tunnel.

Tig went through the hay tunnel. You can kind of see me smiling in this photo.

How about some more photos?

Sure thing, I can do that! Here are some pictures of us doing Barn Hunt.

[AFG_gallery id=’3′]

I’m in the SF Bay Area, can I join?

These events are put on by the Bay Area K9 RATitudes. Follow the group on Facebook here, or on Meetup here.

Join the Adventure Dog Blog Hop!


DOGthusiast and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs co-host the Adventure Dog blog hop every Tuesday. We’re also partnering with YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.com who hosts a monthly Twitter Chat called #AdventureDogChat. The blog hop and Twitter chat focus on doing stuff with your dog: adventures, activities, training, sports, and more!

How to join the Twitter Chat:

  1. Join the Twitter chat on the third Wednesday of every month at 5pm PST.
  2. Use the hashtag #AdventureDogChat to join!
  3. How to participate in a Twitter chat? Check out this post for how to participate in one. More questions? Ask in the comments below!

How to join the Blog Hop:
Here are the details on how to join the hop. For more information about this blog hop, and blog hops in general, see our page about the Adventure Dog Blog Hop.

  1. Grab the badge: Download (right-click to save) or Link to it using the following code, your choice!
    Adventure Dog Blog Hop
  2. Link to your hosts, DOGthusiast and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs. For ease of use, copy this code (there’s a copy button in the top right corner of the code box!):
    This post is part of the Adventure Dog blog hop, hosted by DOGthusiast and Tiffany's Diamond Dogs every Tuesday.
  3. Add your link to the hop! Click “Get the Code” below, add your information and link to your post, and you’re in the hop! Promote your post on your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest! Optionally add #AdventureDogChat to your tweets or post title to help more people find your post!

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.