Barn Hunt

COVID-19 POLICY (effective July 1, 2021):

Participants in training classes and events may now be MASK-FREE on the property providing they can show proof of vaccination.

What is Barn Hunt? | Colin Ratcliffe Classes | Deborah Dean Classes

What is Barn Hunt?

BHPixSimplistically, we often call it “hide and seek for dogs”. If it was just that, your dog wouldn’t need you and you wouldn’t need a training class – you could just let your dog go, and wait until he/she has finished! But BH is much more than that. It is a team sport – to be successful both you and your dog have to do their part. And that’s how I like to run my classes. We jointly train your dog to do its job, and I try to train you to do your part as well.

Colin Ratcliffe Classes

I believe that if you want to compete at the highest level, you need to start training for it from the beginning. For example, your dog does not need to be able to work independently at the Instinct and Novice levels, but even for beginner teams we will do some distance handling in class. Expect to be challenged! That way WHEN you make it to Master’s class, you can modify your dog’s skills rather than trying to un-teach them old ways and then teach them something new.

But don’t be worried that classes may be too advanced. I recognize that while I will challenge you it is also important to train at an appropriate level, and I try to adjust my teaching to match what you and your dog need. If Barn Hunt is your first venture into dog sports, you will need different training than someone who is experienced at other dog sports and is trying out Barn Hunt as an additional activity.

In each class I accommodate beginners through more advanced teams, modifying content appropriately. Classes are a combination of timed run-throughs, and training drills. I will ask you to do some homework which could be dog-specific practice, or looking at a particular BHA rule. You will soon find that as we learn the rules it will make you much more comfortable in the ring and you won’t be worried that you will do something wrong to NQ your dog. Less worry leads to more success, fun and enjoyment, and ultimately THAT’S WHAT IT IS REALLY ABOUT.

Wednesday Ongoing Classes from Spring & Summer 2021 Classes

Dates: September 15 October 13 November 10, 24 December 8, 22
NO CLASS October 27

Price: $150/ 6 weeks


Applications are due by September 10, 2021 with payment.

Wednesday New Classes for New Students

Only accepting 5 dog/handler teams per class.

Dates: September 22, October 6, 20 November 17 December 1, 15
NO CLASS November 3

Price: $150/ 6 Weeks


Applications are due by September 15, 2021 with payment.

Tuesday Classes – Current

Only accepting 5 dog/handler teams per class.

Dates: September 14, 21, 28 October 5, 12, 19
NO CLASSES October 26 & November 2

Price: $150.00/ 6 Weeks


Applications are due by September 10, 2021 with payment.

Tuesday Classes – Future/Upcoming

Only accepting 5 dog/handler teams per class.
Applications will not be accepted before October 19, 2021.

Dates: November 9, 16, 23, 30 December 7, 14

Price: $150.00/ 6 Weeks


Applications are due by September 10, 2021 with payment.

About Colin

Colin is a codger and a Barn Hunt Association judge who enjoys both judging and competing in the ring. In his “spare” time he is a college professor and an engineering consultant who has done some amazing things totally unrelated to dogs 😊. In the dog world he has “done” Barn Hunt, conformation, agility, obedience, rally, scent work, trick dog, CGC, and other stuff. OK, none of them very well, and that’s why he understands your worries and concerns. We all want to do the best we can, but not everyone can be a superstar in every dog sport! If you are a superstar – fantastic. Otherwise, welcome to my world!

Colin loves dogs. Until recently we had four dogs tripping us up around the house. Sadly, we recently lost three within a year (all old, one died from heart disease and two from cancer), and the sole survivor now lives with my daughter Bridget in Manhattan. I now only have one new dog at home – a cute 2-year old scruff Russel terrier, Pippin. He’s a wonderful family pet, and he has been quite a challenge for barn hunting. I had to devise a special training program for him to get him hunting, and now we are working in Senior – yes, that evil class level people often get stuck in for ever! I was there for 12 months with my heart dog, Splash (Smooth Fox Terrier) before he finally qualified and then succumbed to prostate cancer. So yes, I understand your pain in Senior!

Deborah Dean Classes

This Barn Hunt (BH) class is a dynamic, interactive, and progressive class encompassing all levels of the sport.  The class will emulate a BH trial, with dogs of similar experience placed in the same blinds.  Aspects of both the handler and dog behavior are addressed each weak, stressing that this is very much a TEAM sport!  Teams are expected to work at their current competition level, but regularly practice higher level skills, which facilitates easier transitions to advanced levels. Each week students can expect to work on skills that improve team performance in trial settings.  Students are encouraged to trial and bring their successes/experiences to share with the class.  Exercises are based on positive reinforcement- play and treats are used on a regular basis to build team confidence, and to ensure the dogs are having FUN and handlers are CALM before entering the ring!!!  One of the biggest challenges of the sport is moving the team through more complex tunnels as they progress beyond the Novice/Open levels to Senior/Master levels.  Tunnel work is a regular segment each week, and prior semesters have had a great success rate with working through tunnel challenges!  Finally, if teams have no desire to compete, this a great way to spend time enriching your dog’s life and increasing your bond!

Instructor: Deborah Dean
When: Tuesdays 7:00-9:00 pm  (novice and up)
Dates: to be determined
Cost: $200 / 8 weeks
Enrollment: Bring application, health certificate, and payment to first class.