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AKC: Earthdogs: Terriers & Dachshunds are Underground Hunters

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Boronia   

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/sports/intro-earthdog-terriers-dachshunds-fearless-leaders-underground-movement/?fbclid=IwAR1Hqs_qMRrN8yYsgTVDyclv5HtyPVBX6jEPQEirJXWHE48e3jGn6GY05c0

 

Earthdogs: Terriers & Dachshunds are Underground Hunters

 

By Bud Boccone Feb 25, 2019 | 2 Minutes
 
earthdogs are natural diggers

Among the marvels of human ingenuity is the way various breeds of dog were developed, mentally and physically, to tackle specific jobs. Consider the farmer’s eternal war against rodents and other burrowing mammals that devastate grain stores, raid henhouses, tear up fields, dig away riverbanks, and carry disease.

As their number-one weapon in subterranean warfare, farmers developed a variety of terrier breeds and Dachshunds. These “earthdogs” were built small and flexible enough to pursue quarry into underground lairs, but with jaws and forequarters of sufficient strength to hold and dispatch a recalcitrant woodchuck or gopher. They had to be smart, independent workers (there’s no room down a rathole for a handler), with keen eyes and a piercing, relentless bark that a handler waiting aboveground could use to mark their location.

Above all, a certain spirit was demanded, a plucky, devil-may-care fearlessness that has made the word terrier synonymous with feisty persistence.

Planet Earthdog

These days, most earthdogs are valued as house pets instead of ingeniously contrived rodent-catching machines. But an inner exterminator still lurks within these breeds, and the AKC Earthdog program was founded in 1993 to test their go-to-ground instincts.

Earthdog is a performance event for Dachshunds and 28 terrier breeds. It has an introductory class and three levels of titling competition: Junior, Senior, and Master.

In earthdog, specially constructed tunnels, or “dens,” are laid beneath the ground by the event-giving club. At each level of competition, the dens are more challenging. The dog has from 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the competitive level, to enter the narrow, turning den and find the quarry at its end. The dog then works the quarry—bark, scratch, growl, and otherwise “worry” the rat, which is always safely caged. (In fact, the quarry is often a pet of one of the participants, sometimes even a purebred show rat.) A judge times and evaluates each run.

What might be appealing to a dog-sport newbie is that earthdogs require little, if any, training. It is fairly common for one with no experience to earn a passing score. It’s all about instinct.

“It’s not unusual to see a puppy in the introductory class tentatively enter the den and, in a minute or so, hear him barking and growling at his natural prey,” says Karla Diethorn, a longtime enthusiast of the sport. “He goes down the hole a puppy, but he emerges an earthdog!”

AKC Earthdog will awaken your terrier or Dachshund’s instincts and provide an opportunity for you both to get outdoors and enjoy quality time together. It might also change the way you think of your dog.

“I think once people attend an earthdog event, they see their dogs differently,” says Jo Ann Frier-Murza, author of the book Earthdogs In and Out.

“After an introduction to earthdog tests, owners see their dogs as animals with natural instincts, not pets or toys,” she says. “Instead of just taking their dog along with them when they go places, they might actually consider what the dog would like to do. Sort of the way a parent would take a child to a soccer game or a birthday party.”

Edited by Boronia

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Tassie   

Here's the ANKC list of eligible breeds .. includes Associates of those breed types.  

1.4. Eligibility of Dogs (Amended 10/14, 6.9)
 Dogs six months of age or older and registered with the ANKC Ltd are eligible to participate in earthdog tests, as are spayed and neutered dogs with Limited Registration provided they are classified as eligible breeds. A dog of an eligible breed with an accepted foreign registration number is eligible to participate subject to Chapter 11, Section 1 of the Dog Show Rules. The following breeds are classified as eligible to participate in ANKC Ltd earthdog tests: Dachshunds, Australian Terriers, Australian Silky Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers (Smooth and Wirehaired), German Hunt Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, Tenterfield Terrier, Welsh Terriers and West Highland White Terriers. Dogs on the Associate Register that are of earthdog type are also eligible to participate. These dogs must have successfully qualified in the Earthdog Instinct Test on at least one occasion prior to being eligible to enter the Novice Earthdog Test. In as much as Dachshunds and Terriers are hunting dogs, dogs disfigured as the result of accident or injury but otherwise qualified shall be eligible provided that the disfigurement does not interfere with functional movement.

 

The regulations for Earthdog Tests in Oz are here.

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RuralPug   

Ha ha Fidget does Earthdog - because the ANKC  list of approved breeds is basically copied whole from the US Earthdog list, her breed is not an option and the officials have to list her as a Manchester Terrier!  She competes in disguise LOL!!!

The DogsVic Earthdog committee tell me they are going to petition the ANKC  about the situation and also about adding a couple of other small breeds that were originally developed as vermin hunters but missed the US list. 

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Tassie   
20 hours ago, RuralPug said:

Ha ha Fidget does Earthdog - because the ANKC  list of approved breeds is basically copied whole from the US Earthdog list, her breed is not an option and the officials have to list her as a Manchester Terrier!  She competes in disguise LOL!!!

The DogsVic Earthdog committee tell me they are going to petition the ANKC  about the situation and also about adding a couple of other small breeds that were originally developed as vermin hunters but missed the US list. 

Love it!!!!  And yes .. definitely worth getting the list reviewed I would think.

 

It must be such a fun thing to do .. I've seen the original set up at KCC Park .. and there are trials here in Tassie, but I haven't had the chance to watch one.

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