purpose of non-competitive Earthdog tests is to offer breeders and
owners of small Terriers and Dachshunds a standardized gauge to
measure their dogs natural and trained hunting and working abilities
when exposed to a hunting situation. The non-competitive program
begins with a basic introduction to den work and quarry and progresses
through gradual steps to require the dog to demonstrate that it
is capable of being trained to follow game to ground and work its
Earthdog tests are a sport and all participants should be guided
by the principles of good sportsmanship both in and outside the
is Earthdog Work? The word Terrier comes from the
Latin "Terra", meaning earth - many terriers are bred
to go to ground and flush out the quarry from its den or earth.
Most terriers are not bred to kill the quarry.
happens? The USA developed the sport of earthdog
tests to enable dogs bred for this work, and not able to perform
in the "wild", to be assessed on their natural ability
to do the task. It is therefore an artificial situation.
To stimulate the dogs natural instinct to ‘go to ground' and flush
out quarry from the den a course is set up with a earth (den) and
pre-laid scent for the dog to follow and find the den. The dog must
pick up the pre-laid scent, arrive at the quarry, and work the quarry
for a given time. There are three levels of achievement, Novice,
Senior and Master Earth dog.
can compete? All dachshunds and the following terriers
- Australian, Bedlington, Border, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Fox Terrier
Smooth, Fox Terrier Wire, Jack Russell, Lakeland, Manchester, Norfolk,
Norwich, Parson Jack Russell, Scottish, Sealyham, Tenterfield, Welsh
and West Highland White. Dogs and handlers must be registered with
an approved canine body eg. Dogs NSW, Canine Control Council QLD
compete? The sport of Earth Dog Trials to give the
above Terriers and dachshunds the opportunity to prove their working
It is a great outlet for Terriers to release energy and gives them
a place where they can exert their natural ability, many of which
have to be controlled at home. It provides excellent mental and
physical stimulation to the dogs and they love it.
Titles are now available for earthdogs
- NE (Novice Earthdog), SE (Senior Earthdog), and ME (Master Earthdog),
and as many of us know, it is a great challenge to achieve a new
Novice dogs are required to traverse
9 inch square tunnels 30 feet long with three 90 degree turns. Den
liners are placed in the dugout tunnels and covered with soil. A
scent leading to the box containing the artificial quarry is provided
to guide the dogs. The dog is then carried into the enclosure and
released 10 feet from the entrance; the judge and timekeeper time
the dog, which must reach the artificial quarry in 30 seconds. Then
the dog must start to work the artificial quarry within 30 seconds
and continue for 45-60 seconds. "Work" means growling,
barking, scratching or digging. When time has elapsed, the dog is
removed from the den from a hatchway near the box containing the
Senior and Master Earthdog titles
require more advanced work.
to find out more details.
Sporting Terrier Club
PO Box 3402 South Brisbane 4101
Ph: (07) 5426 2605