Top dogs coming to Oak Ridge's inaugural barn hunt competition

·2 min read
A past competition at the Oak Ridge Kennel Club.
A past competition at the Oak Ridge Kennel Club.

Hundreds of dogs and their handlers will come from around the United States to put their skills to the test as Oh Rats Barn Hunt Club brings Oak Ridge’s first-ever barn hunt competition to the Oak Ridge Kennel Club Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 11 through 14. The event will be held at Oak Ridge Kennel Club’s training facility in Oak Ridge.

Registered pups will put their skills to the test by maneuvering hay bales, tracking down the scent of the rats and communicating with their handler in a barn setting, according to a news release. Barn hunts are designed to give dogs an opportunity to display and sharpen their skills.

The ring will be prepped in a barn-setting with straw and hay bale obstacles courses with rats strategically placed throughout. All rats are safe and secure in ventilated pipes and hidden in the straw. This requires dogs to sniff them out as they navigate off-leash.

Barn hunts became a national hit in 2014 and will make their debut in Oak Ridge this weekend, the release stated. The event will host dogs of all breeds that range from novice to master level skills. Each course level will get increasingly complex with trials such as the Crazy 8s, in which each dog tries to find eight rats in two minutes.

Several top dogs in the country will be in attendance. These include Brenna, a bearded collie and the No. 3 ranked dog in the country across all breeds spanning over 55,000 dogs. Brenna is the top dog registered to compete in the Crazy 8s, according to the release.

Spectators will also get a glimpse of the following dogs competing:

  • Stella, another bearded collie and the No. 12 ranked dog across all breeds in the U.S.

  • Arson and Flare, the top Dobermans in the U.S.

  • Vargas, the No. 1 ranked Welsh Terrier in the U.S.

The events will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day. Barn Hunts are a spectator sport. However, the Oak Ridge Kennel Club ring has limited capacity for attending viewers.

For more information, visit the Oak Ridge Kennel Club website at or download a program at

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Top dogs come to Oak Ridge's inaugural barn hunt competition