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Activities you can to do with dogs - Earth Dog Trials

Purpose.The 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 quarry.
Earthdog tests are a sport and all participants should be guided by the principles of good sportsmanship both in and outside the test field.

What 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.

What 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.

Who 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

Why compete? The sport of Earth Dog Trials to give the above Terriers and dachshunds the opportunity to prove their working skills.
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 title.

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 artificial quarry.

Senior and Master Earthdog titles require more advanced work.

Where to find out more details.

Sporting Terrier Club of Qld
C Holman
PO Box 3402 South Brisbane 4101
Ph: (07) 5426 2605




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