Barn Hunt Workshop Sign-Up

With Run-Throughs to follow (Instinct through Masters)

Where: Branchwater Farm, 1800 Knox Avenue, Reisterstown, MD 21136
When: Saturday, July 17th, 2021 from 8 am – 12 pm

Cost: $60 for a working spot, $20 audit

What It Is:
Barn Hunt is a new, fun sport to try with your dog.  It is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin.   The Barn Hunt Association ( sanctions many Barn Hunt trials around the country that are open to any dog of any breed (including mixed breeds!) who wish to play the game.  Dogs must be able to climb over or jump onto or crawl through mazes and tunnels built from straw bales. Heavy duty plastic tubes containing live rats are hidden throughout these straw bales. The dog must find the tube containing the rat and alert the handler. 

[And don’t worry about the rats.  Their special “rat tubes” are designed to protect the dogs and rats from each other. Barn hunt is a humane sport that emphasizes safety for all species. The rats used in this sport are pets who are trained to enjoy their “work,” and there are strict guidelines in place to ensure that they are always safe and comfortable.]

At this workshop Colin Ratcliffe will provide an introduction to the sport.  He is a Barn Hunt judge, and also teaches classes at Branchwater.  He’s excited to show you and your dog how to get started in this fun new sport. No experience necessary! The goal is focused on understanding the sport & safety procedures while also making sure your dog is having fun!  Here’s what to expect:

  • The seminar starts at 8am, and after a short lunch break will finish at 12pm.
  • It is held in an open-sided pole barn.
  • During the seminar you will be introduced to the sport. Your dog will be introduced to a rat in a cage, and some of the basic rules and handling information. Also, you and your dog will have several practical exercises in the ring.
  • You should plan to bring your dog, his/her crate, and everything your dog will need such as a leash, water and training treats.  Dogs crate from your car.  You should also bring a chair for yourself.

Pre-registration is required and working spots are limited.   Note:  This is not a sanctioned BHA event; it is just for fun and education.  

Following the workshop, there will be timed run-throughs at $5/run from 1pm to 3pm.  Sign-ups for run-throughs are taken that day and start at 12:45pm.  All levels (Instinct through Masters).  Masters will be run on a modified Open course.

Working spots for this workshop are now full.  You can sign up for an audit spot or to ask for a working spot if one becomes available.

Questions? Contact Doreen at or Colin at

This workshop is supported by the Oriole Dog Training Club