So, we went to a Barn Hunt trial today. It was nice because it was here in Maine,about 15 minutes away from us.
Ginger needed one more leg to finish her Novice title but I was not hopeful as it is difficult for me to tell when she has found the rat. If she barked or bit at the tube or dug at the straw, it would be much easier to call “Rat” with some confidence but she doesn’t . She is good about searching and listening to me but I was pretty convince that she still hasn’t figured out that her target is the live rat….she just loves to run around, climb on the hay and smell everything. Either that, or I’m so numb that I can’t read the signs when she does find a rat. Other people, who are watching, say that they can see it but I’m still learning.
Anyway, she bombed the Instinct test, which is the easiest, so things didin’t look good for the first trial. People say “Trust your dog….don’t talk so much….just let her work” and that’s what I did. She found all three tubes and I waited until almost the last minute (no place ribbons for us!) before calling it but, fortunately, it was correct. So…..that Q gave her the Novice title and allowed us to move up to Open in the second trial.
Well, I knew that would be a bust but we had paid the fee and it was a good chance to practice so we stayed until the Open class of the second trial. In the Open class, the dog has to climb, go through a “closed” tunnel (one with a turn so they can’t see the other end) and find two rats. Tunnels and climbs are NOT an issue for Ginger. A good alert for a rat is.
Well, darned if she didn’t go through the tunnel, climb and find both rats in a little over a minute, which gave her first place in the class and High Score in Open for this trial. SO…we now have one leg on our Open title.
Good job, Ginger!