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 aptitude and trained hunting and working behaviors when exposed to an underground 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 willing to perform the required tasks, including seeking and locating its quarry underground. Fear not, rodent lovers: The rats are safely caged and are not harmed. In fact, many participants keep rats as pets for use in earthdog trials.


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