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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've kept rats off and on for about, ohhh . . . 12 years or so and currently have three girls I picked up from the shelter. Their names are Cornelia (champagne hooded satin rex), Gylfie (black self satin), and Luna (mink variberk dumbo). They were dropped off with 3 other girls behind a PetSmart in cardboard carriers, then taken to the shelter by the staff. The other shelter ratties were a black variberk dumbo, fawn hooded, and black self satin dumbo. Strange for such gorgeous girls to be dumped off . . . Those other three girls are currently being fostered by another person in the rescue. All but Cornelia appear to be around 3-4 months old, so I'm assuming she's the mama rat. I will be adopting mine, but it appears Cornelia may be pregnant. I'll post some questions about that once I can . . . I've experienced just about everything in rats but pregnancy as I've never bred. I once had about 21 unrelated kids from various breeders and rescues, but no longer keep more than 3-4 due to other critters.

I have a multitude of other animals as well, including an army of 11 cats (it comes from doing rescue for 10 years . . . my spouse and I no longer foster because we kept winding up "permanently fostering" special-needs kitties (epilepsy, cerebellar hypoplasia, wild hybrid, strange behavioral issues, etc)), four dogs, a fluctuating number of crested geckos depending on the time of year (I breed a small number), a R. leachianus gecko, a small colony of mourning geckos, and a California kingsnake.

Needless to say, we're always scrubbing, feeding, vacuuming, scooping cat boxes, and cleaning cages. Works well for a couple of introverted ladies who like animals better than people!

I'm very much into clicker-training and will be working with the ratties on some tricks. I am training with my Swedish Vallhund named Rolston in agility, conformation (dog shows), some obedience, and we've already competed in a little bit of barn hunt which I would LOVE to answer questions for as rats are the top priority in that sport even over the dogs! My Border Collie Willow is a barn hunting queen and has her Novice title, one leg toward Open, and 3 of her last 4 runs have been "high in class" -- meaning she had faster times than all of the other dogs competing in Novice or Open for that particular trial.
 

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Welcome to the forums! Honestly sounds like future me and my spouse. Tons of animals ahah. The rats sound gorgeous I hope to see pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are SO WIGGLY it's difficult to get pictures! I may have to set them up in my light tent I use for the cresties in order to get pics that aren't, you know, blurry as heck. Squirrely girls.
 

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Welcome!!

Man, I have been dying to get into more dog sports! My border collie did a bit of agility back in his day but I was too young and life got ahead of me... Now that I'm more stable my next dog will definitely be a sports dog! Barn hunt sounds really interesting and I would love to know more about it. Any tips of things to read to get started?
 

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Howdy!! Welcome! Nice to see another dog enthuisiast here too... I don't own any (the cats would kill me in my sleep if I brought home a dog) but I do dogsit for a Bedlington Terrier breeder. AKC shows are my "cheap" hobby now, since I don't have to pay to handle any dogs. One of her older retired girls is also a barn hunter and has her novice title... Might have her open too, not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's my BC staring at a rat tube. This wasn't at a trial, but at a sanctioned fun run last year. She will also watch the girls in their cage for hooooours. Literally hours. Her name is Willow and she's about 9 years old.
Vertebrate Mammal Canidae Dog Dog breed

And here's my 11 month old Swedish Vallhund, stacked on the table like he actually knows what he's doing . . .
Dog Mammal Vertebrate Canidae Dog breed

And lure coursing . . . no agility pics yet, though.

Dog Mammal Vertebrate Canidae Dog breed

I <3 my doggies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome!!

Man, I have been dying to get into more dog sports! My border collie did a bit of agility back in his day but I was too young and life got ahead of me... Now that I'm more stable my next dog will definitely be a sports dog! Barn hunt sounds really interesting and I would love to know more about it. Any tips of things to read to get started?
There really isn't any decent literature on barn hunt . . . I'd check out http://www.barnhunt.com and look for any seminars in your area. There's one BHA judge here in OKC that does seminars and she is AWESOME. Another facility put one on and they were terrible and said some not-so-nice things about rats. I reported them and the president of the BHA got onto them personally. They take rat care, safety, and PR VERY VERY seriously, so if something doesn't sit right with you if you go to seminar, then please report it.

It is a ton of fun, but really is an instinct sport. The best performing dogs aren't trained for it; they're naturally driven to find the rat. My BC goes nuts for anything that moves. She absolutely hated agility, though, so I'm glad I've found a sport she likes!

Canidae Working animal Textile Sporting Group Guard dog

She's kinda good at it, too! Those were from her last trial.
 

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Interested in the mention of Barn Hunt....
 
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