Barn Hunt

SmartyPaws Rat Pack Barn Hunt logoDogs love using their noses! They have a sense of smell that far surpasses ours. Barn Hunt is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity and not that physically demanding for us humans. It was created to let our dogs use their sense of smell in an enclosed, safe environment. It’s a team sport where the dog gets to sniff out a rat (which is NEVER harmed) hidden in straw. The dogs also get to jump on the straw bales and go through tunnels we create for them. And to make all this fun stuff even better, you and your dog can earn titles at trials!

All the rats are housed safely in PVC tubes. They’re raised with the trainer around dogs, and are well cared for. No rats are harmed in the making of barn hunt events.

If you want to try something a bit different with your furry pal, this might be just the class for you! It tests speed, agility, hunt drive, and training in finding rats. Appropriate for dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds. These classes are held outdoors!

Equipment Required:

  • Sneakers or Boots (straw gets everywhere!)
  • Four to six foot regular leash or slip lead (no retractable leashes).
  • Flat collar if you’re using a regular leash.
  • Lots of small bite-sized treats and/or toys.
  • A soft crate, collapsible crate, or settle mat is recommended but not required.

In addition to our normal classes listed below, 30-minute private training sessions are also available for $40 each.

We allow up to two handlers per dog in our classes.

Updated shots and a negative fecal test that is at least 6 months recent are required for Barn Hunt. Any dogs one year and older must have a current DHPP vaccine and rabies vaccine.

See our FAQ for more information on our vaccine policy.

SmartyPaws dog training accreditations and affiliations

Six week course, weekly class

Looking for a new sport with which to title your dog? Or, just a fun class to attend with your pooch this summer? This beginners class not only teaches you the rules and the sport of Barn Hunt, but also teaches you to read your dog’s body language better, work better together as a team, and understand the dynamics of scent.

Six week course, weekly class

Our beginner classes for Barn Hunt are for dogs that have experience already with tubes.

Six week course, weekly class

This is a continuation of the Beginner course. We work on longer tunnels, and more hides. You must have completed the Beginner course, or have previously trialed to take this course.

10 week course, weekly class

Advanced Barn Hunt is for the dog and handler that are competing in Barn Hunt Trials. They’re ready to search for multiple rats, and are comfortable navigating tunnels during the search.