I am sure many of you will have heard of Buhunds doing Barn Hunts in the US. The sport is based on the hunting team work where rat catchers and their dogs used to travel the country side, ridding farms of the vermin which we all know can cause a great deal of damage and cause diseases. There are of course many people who keep rats as pets and these are healthier live longer and are bred in captivity, and most lines can be traced back to the 19th centenary. This year for the Chinese their New Year brings the year of the Rat.
The American Kennel Club recognizes four titles above the Basic Instinct test these are Novice, Open, Senior and Masters the dogs can also go on to become a Ch, with courses being made more difficult for the higher levels. The sport has become very popular with all types of dog, pure bred or crossbreds. The sport is now coming to the UK, there are no trials being held at the moment just taster workshops. One was held over the weekend of 18th/19th January in the West Country, Sue Crocker went on the Saturday and Jacqui Walmsley on the Sunday and she very kindly sent me the following report on how the day went.
‘On Sunday 19th January I headed off to Wiltshire to attend a Barn Hunt Seminar, I am sure most of you will have heard of it from our American friends, although I wasn’t aware it also takes place in Norway. How does it work? Barn Hunt is a timed sport where the dogs search courses of straw bales for tubes which hold rats. The dog is guided (or followed) around by the handler who indicates to the judges, when their dog finds the rat tube. To complete their round the dog must also go through a straw tunnel and climb onto at least one bale. If you have ever been ratting with terriers this mimics the climbing and tunnelling they perform, when they clear a barn of wild rats. However, in the UK live rats are never used in the tubes. Instead frozen rats, (which otherwise would be used as food for pet reptiles) are sourced from pet shops and online suppliers and are defrosted in the fridge before being used in a tube. It may sound gross but we used defrosted rats for the whole day with no issues. In America they train pet rats to go into the tubes and you would be very surprised to see how eagerly they leap in and wait for their turn! as they know the dogs can’t get them. The barn hunt trainers make sure their welfare is always the top priority, they seem to enjoy the adventure. Due to our stricter animal rights laws, we will never use live rats for Barn Hunt in the UK. We had a complete mix of breeds a Swedish Vallund, three Glen of Imaal Terriers, a Barbet two Hokkado Kens, a Poodle puppy, Fox Terrier, Field Spaniel a Border Collie and two Norwegain Buhunds, so you can see it is not just limited to terrier breeds, most dogs have some degree of prey drive and even the ones that don’t, can be easily trained to indicate on the rat tube with food or toys. The star of the weekend was a deaf Jack Russell rescue named Freya; it was amazing to watch this little lady work, all by hand signals. Barn Hunt UK plan on holding more training sessions and also hope to start trials later this year. I am hoping to take Mole as they are very local to us, I am also negotiating to get them into Bath Ch show to run a Have A Go Session’. Thanks Jacqui very interesting and I am sure it will become very popular.
The final results are now in from Our Dogs for the Purina Pro Plan Top Stud Dog & Brood Bitch award. This year the bitch is Ch Arnscroft Di or Comply, who is the dam of Sarah Stonton’s Ch Arnscroft In Di Ana Jack RL1Ex who was joint top dog last year and Maddy Norman and Gail Hussey’s Ch Arnscroft Delilah At Veekay.
She also has a son in the US who is full brother to Jack, Am Ch Arnscroft Be A Sailors Son Di. She was bred by Di Stirling and is by Ch Arnscroft Kimura x Ch Arnscroft Di Nah Mite who is the bred record holder. Continuing his long run as Top Stud dog is Ch /Am Ch Visions Dino of Trollheimen (Imp US )(Casper),Debbie Penniston -Fleming brought him into the UK in 2012, at that time it was only meant to be for a short time to help the gene pool and be shown. At that time he was in the ownership of the late Brenda Solomon. He quickly made his mark winning BOB at his first show SKC, under Zean Thorn Andrews. He won the Group at Driffield later that year and was BOB at Crufts in 2013,14 &15 he was only relatively lightly shown as Debbie has a small farm to run and is also in police. Brenda decided he could stay with Debbie in the UK, where he certainly helped the gene pool. Brenda died very suddenly but she was able to enjoy many of his UK successes before her death. He is the sire of Margaret Garvie’s Ch Rhialis Psyche ShCM who was joint top Buhund last year & Ch Rhialis Lucie who was made up at LKA they are both x Ailort Just Jinks. He was bred by D & J Bannon and is by Trollheimen’s Oslo x Trollheimen’s Reba Rocks.He is not shown any more but still helps Debbie around the farm.
After writing in my notes last week that I was so sorry to read that Ken Bounden had died, Roger Thomas contacted me to tell me a little more about him. He said that -: we remember Ken Bounden well, his prefix was Tolpedn and although he was better known in the Belington World, he bred and owned the Buhunds Tol-Pedn Briggson in the early 1970’s who won 2CCs, and Messrs Bounden and Fisk bred Ch Santruda Alphons and Santruda Alarik 2CCs also in the early 70’s.Our own personal records show that we obtained 3CCs, 2BOB and 2Res CCs from him in the years between 1983 and 1995, so he judged Buhunds quite extensively over the years.
Thank you very much Roger.
At Cardiff Canine Society’s 100th Anniversary Show held at the Merthyr Leisure Centre, Celia Vines evergreen Ch Ailort Highlander at Parvodene JW ShCM was BOB under Mr T Moran PG1 and RBIS under Mr E Webster and not content with this he was also won the Veteran Dog Stakes. I Think that is called a good day at the office, congratulations.
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.