Tarlyn Earthdogs

Earthdog Trials

About Earthdog Tests  For generations small terriers and Dachshunds were

bred as hunting dogs to track game above and below ground; to bark at their

quarry in the den and to bolt or draw it for the hunter.  Barking and digging

are what they were bred for all those years, so now AKC has developed the

three levels of Earthdog tests for these game little dogs.

Introduction to Quarry The initial test is the Introduction to Quarry (IQ)

where the dog is introduced to a 10 foot tunnel with one right angle turn

and at the end is a cage of rats behind a set of bars. There is a scent
trail of rat scent leading into the tunnel and to the rats. At this level the

handler can encourage the dog into the tunnel and the judge may help

get the dog working at the rats by shaking the cage or making a noise
to incite the dog's instincts.
Junior Earthdog title (J.E.)  The first level where a title is earned is the

Junior Earthdog test where the dog may earn a Junior Earthdog title (J.E.).
The dog must travel a 30 foot den with at least three right angle turns in

30 seconds; work the rats at the end of the tunnel (in a cage behind

bars as in IQ) for 60 seconds; and then allow the handler to remove
him without injury to the dog or handler. Once the dog completes

these requirements twice under two different judges he will receive the
title of J.E. and receive a Junior Earthdog certificate from the AKC.

 Senior Earthdog title (S.E.). The second level of Earthdog test is the
Senior Earthdog test where the dog may earn a Senior Earthdog title (S.E.).
The den is 30 feet with at least three right angle turns and there are the

added distractions of a false, unscented exit and an unscented bedding

area with used rat bedding at the end. The dog has 90 seconds to travel
the tunnel length and get to the rats; must begin working the rats within

15 seconds of arriving at the end of the tunnel; and must work the rats
for 90 seconds. At the end of the 90 seconds the rats are removed and the
dog must recall from the den to the handler within 90 seconds. Once the

dog completes these requirements under two different judges at three

different tests, the dog will be designated a Senior Earthdog (S.E.).

Master Earthdog (M.E.) title The final level of the Earthdog test is

the Master Earthdog (M.E.) title. The dog must actually hunt his

way to the den with a bracemate 100 to 300 yards. On the way he must
investigate an empty, unscented den when the handler asks him to.
Then both dogs must find the entrance to the den and mark it decisively

so that there is no question the dog is indicating an active den. The den

itself is like the Senior den with the addition of two obstacles: a 6 inch

diameter PVC pipe crossways in the den to simulate a root and a narrowing

down to 6 inches for a distance of 18 inches. The Master competitor has

90 seconds to get to his quarry; must work the rats for 90 seconds and must

allow himself to be removed from the den by his handler within 15 seconds.

While one dog is working the other dog is staked out and must wait his turn

with minimum amount of noise while his bracemate works the quarry. Once a

dog successfully completes all parts of the Master test four times under

three different judges the dog shall be designated a Master Earthdog and

may continue to compete at all three levels at Earthdog tests.Few

small terriers and Dachshunds are regularly hunted to ground by their
owners in natural hunts, but the AKC Earthdog tests allow these game
little dogs an outlet for their excess energy and instincts in a way that
benefits the dogs and the owners.

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