Got a dog that’s good at finding rats?
Then scamper on down to the Houston World Series of Dog Shows.
HOUSTON, TX – The Houston World Series of Dog Shows, happening July 17 to 21, 2019, at Houston’s NRG Center, is looking for amateur rat-finding talent. No, NRG Center is not overrun with vermin. It’s a unique dog show competition that any dog can enter. The cost is $10 per run, and registration begins Friday, July 19, at 12 p.m. in Hall A’s Barn Hunt ring.
Cats most often get the glory for their rat-hunting acumen. But dogs are great at it, too, as they are quick to prove in the simulated barn setting that forms the course for Find the Rat competitions. The hay-filled path conceals three, heavy-duty, well-ventilated PVC tubes — one with a rat inside, one with only straw and one empty. The dog has 1 minute to find the tube with the rat. Dogs that successfully complete the task receive the coveted, “We Found the Rat” ribbon.
Show chairperson Tom Pincus explains, “Find the Rat is similar to the official Barn Hunt Association trials, but dogs don’t need an official BHA registration number. Any dog can enter. And the winners are not always the breeds you would expect – the natural ratters like terriers. Purebreds and mixed breeds can be great at scenting, too.”
In traditional Barn Hunt, the challenges are more difficult than in Find the Rat. Here, highly practiced dogs win points for the number of rats they scent in the course and for overcoming obstacles such as tunnels and climbs. More than 250 barn-hunt clubs and 14,000 registered barn-hunt dogs compete in about 30 events per month.
The Houston World Series of Dog Shows offers both regular Barn Hunt and Find the Rat trials. Regular Barn Hunt trials will take place Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21. For fee information and to register for regular Barn Hunt trials, please see https://www.barnhunt.com/register/event.php?key=4617. Registration for regular Barn Hunt trials will not be available at the event. Find the Rat trials will take place Friday, July 19, from 1 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, July 20, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Photos credit: Zuzana Leckova
General show hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tickets are available at the door. Admission is free to the public on Wednesday, July 17. On Thursday, July 18, tickets are $10 for adults, and Friday through Sunday adult tickets are $15. Seniors 55 and older and active/retired military with ID pay only $10. Children 12 and younger are free with purchase of an adult ticket. Parking is $15 daily, cash only.
The Houston World Series of Dog Shows is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club and supervised by Onofrio Dog Shows. During their five-day span, the Shows typically attract more than 40,000 spectators and participants and 14,000 entries. The series’ main sponsor is Purina® Dog Food, makers of Purina® Pro Plan® dog food. Seresto®, part of Bayer Animal Health, is also a supporter. See www.houstondogshows.com for additional information.