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Barn Hunt

Not everyone will understand the importance of “rat catchers,” but if you live in the countryside, you sure do! “Rat catchers” rid farms of destructive vermin – and the hunting and teamwork skills required to do so are the foundation of the sport of Barn Hunt. Dogs and their handlers work as a team to locate and mark rats (which are always safely held in aerated tubes) hidden in a maze of straw or hay bales.

Some breeds are specifically created to fill this role as well as some mixed breeds being up to the task, but as long as your dog can fit through an 18″ wide by bale-height tall tunnel, he’s eligible! “Barn Hunt tests the nose, speed, agility, and surefootedness of dogs that have a history of above-ground vermin hunting,” said Robin Nuttall, founder of the Barn Hunt Association.”

Barn Hunt events include a pass/fail instinct class for owners who want to familiarize their dog with the test. Courses are made increasingly difficult by adding more obstacles, additional diversions and more rats to find. There are several types of Barn Hunt titles your dog can earn:

Novice Barn Hunt (RATN),
Open Barn Hunt (RATO),
Senior Barn Hunt (RATS),
Master Barn Hunt (RATM),
Barn Hunt Champion (RATCh),
Master Champion (RATChX),
Crazy 8s Bronze (CZ8B),
Crazy 8s Silver (CZ8S),
Crazy 8s Gold (CZ8G),
Crazy 8s Platinum (CZ8P)
The Barn Hunt Association is an independent organization where titles earned can be recognized by The American Kennel Club. Titles earned in Novice and above will be recognized by The American Kennel Club. To apply for your dog’s Barn Hunt title simply complete the application. (From AKC Site,12/30/23)

Please contact your Norfolk's breeder, if you have question about your Norfolk is good for this sport. Many Norfolk Terriers enjoyed this sports!

Check more information on BHA and AKC website.

Barn Hunt Association:

AKC Barn Hunt:

  • Who Can Enjoy Fast CAT?
    1. At least 12 months of age. 2. Have an AKC number via one of the following: AKC Registration as one of the AKC’s recognized breeds. AKC Canine Partners, which is for mixed-breed dogs and dogs ineligible for AKC registration. Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program, which is for purebred dogs that cannot be fully registered with the AKC to participate in AKC events. Foundation Stock Service®(FSS), which is for recorded breeds on the road to full AKC recognition. An inspection committee will also inspect each dog for lameness and fitness to compete. And females in season are not eligible to participate. Please check information at AKC website more detail.
  • Where can I find the schedule of event?
    Please check "Event Search" in AKC website. You can find the schedule of Fast CAT under "Performance Events". You can filter events your interested location and date. Some events will reach the limited number of entries. Please check the event page and read carefully the premium list of each event.
  • Can spayed or neutered dogs compete at Fast CAT?
    Yes!! They are welcomed in these events! An inspection committee will also inspect each dog for lameness and fitness to compete. And females in season are not eligible to participate.
  • Are Dogs with Limited or Conditional Registration eligible to participate?
    Yes. Both of registration are eligible for enjoying Fast CAT. An inspection committee will also inspect each dog for lameness and fitness to compete. And females in season are not eligible to participate.
  • My dog is mix-breed. How can I register my dog to get AKC Number?
    You and your dog can enjoy Fast CAT with AKC Canine Partners™ program. (And of course you can earn points for the title!) Please read AKC page carefully and enroll your dog's information. If you have the question about this for "day-entry", please contact to the trial secretary of host club of trials.
  • Can pure-bred dog participate Fast CAT without AKC number?
    No.... Your dog will need AKC Purebred Registry or AKC Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) for Fast CAT. Please contact your dog's breeder first to find your Norfolk's AKC registration Number. Some dogs might not be eligible for it, then your dog might be eligible to get PAL number. Please check AKC website of AKC Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) .
  • Can my dog just try it?
    Yes. Some clubs offer "Practice run" or "Fun run". Your dog will not be able to earn points but it won't need AKC number or and will be cheaper fee. Please contact to the trial secretary of the host club of each trial.
  • What is AKC Scent Work?
    AKC Scent Work trials will often have dogs lined up in the sight of each other, but dogs will work alone. Unlike NACSW, AKC Scent Work is NOT designed to accommodate dogs who are fearful or reactive to other dogs. In general, dogs must be AKC registered to compete. However, AKC has a program for registering mixed breeds and purebred dogs without registration papers. AKC Scent Work has two Divisions: The Odor Division And the AKC Handler Discrimination Division In the Odor Division, Dogs search 4 Elements: Containers Interiors Exteriors Buried Hides There is no requirement for a “pre-test” to enter a trial; All AKC trials are entered by each ”element” individually. Both the AKC and NACSW challenge dogs to detect hidden odors, but there are some key differences in the details. Please Check more information on AKC website. (
  • What is NACSW Scent Work?
    K9 Nose Work – National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) In the sport of K9 Nose Work, the dog and handler search four elements in a trial, and the team must qualify in all four elements of individual competition to title For K9 nose work, you have four elements of individual competition Interior Search Exterior Search Vehicle Search Container Search Note: for most trials, each search area's time limit is typically between two and four minutes. You will not use any boxes for the vehicle search because the vehicle itself is considered a large container. At NW1 competition, the target odor is birch. The critical point is that the source of odor is accessible to the dog at this level.NW2 and NW3 add new scents and increase the search's complexity, but the four essential search elements remain the same. Nosework Accommodation It’s no secret that NACSW is one of the most accommodating organizations when it comes to reactive dogs - let me explain. You see, it is a basic tenet in all K9 Nose Work activities that dogs are kept apart. The separation allows all dogs to enjoy the sport. Dogs are not in the search area at the same time. They do not pass through doorways at the same time. They are crated or, weather permitting, in their vehicles when waiting to work. By allowing the dog to work without other dogs present, one can develop focus and confidence. Many Nose Work classes with a local trainer follow this SAME philosophy. Unique to NACSW, an ORT (Odor Recognition Test) is required as a prerequisite for Trial. The ORT is a box drill. Your dog must indicate which box out of 12 boxes, usually in two rows of six, pending on the space, has the birch, anise, or clove odor in it. The search will be “blind,” meaning you will not know which box contains the smell, and you must be able to correctly identify when you think your dog has found the odor box. It is a 3-minute, on-leash test, with one target odor per test. Each additional odor at the test event will be a separate test. For trials held on or after April 1, 2021, one must pass all three odors at ORTs. You and your dog are then eligible to compete at a NACSW Trial at the Nose Work 1 (NW1) level. Odor Recognition Title In NACSW, the Odor Recognition Title is earned by successfully passing all three odor recognition tests (Birch, Anise, and Clove). There is no requirement to pass all three odors at the same event, but you will not earn the ORT title until you pass all three odor tests. K9 Nose Work also has “Element Trials.” And an ORT is required for these, too. An ORT Title is required for eligibility in NW1 and Level 1 Element Specialty Trials Element Specialty Trial Titles L1C (Level 1 Containers) L1E (Level 1 Exteriors) L1I (Level 1 Interiors) L1V (Level 1 Vehicles) L2C (Level 2 Containers) L2E (Level 2 Exteriors) L2I (Level 2 Interiors) L2V (Level 2 Vehicles) L3C (Level 3 Containers) L3E (Level 3 Exteriors) L3I (Level 3 Interiors) L3V (Level 3 Vehicles) For the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Element Specialty titles, the dog/handler team must qualify in all the searches at the same trial or earn a qualifying score with no more than three faults at two separate trials for the same level/element. Handlers must be members of NACSW and renew annually (Membership runs from August 1 to July 31 of each year.). Dogs are enrolled for life. Please check more information on NACSW Website. (

Norfolk Terrier– BarnHunt

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