Border Terrier Club of America

Earthdog


Border Terrier Club of America

Border Terrier Club of America Hosts Post-Montgomery Earthdog Test

On Monday, October 10, 2005 the BTCA hosted the big Earthdog test at Village Green Farm in Bordentown, NJ. After four days of mud and rain these show dogs and their owners were game for a day of true work. Bedlingtons groomed to their lamb-like perfection; Cairns and Scotties with their bright eyes and impeccably groomed coats; Mini Bull Terriers with their white gleaming. All were eager to make their way through the dens to their quarry.

An entry of 168 in the regular classes and 36 in the non-regular Introduction to Quarry class had the judges watching dogs from 9am to 3:30pm. Master judge, Blue Sandrock, with an entry of 40 worked the full stretch with nary a break. As each brace investigated the empty den on the walk up, Blue asked the owners if they would be willing to pull out the shovel and dig for an hour to their dog. Each owner replied, no. They knew their dogs were not marking an active den. As the dogs marked the entrance, Blue again asked the same question. One brace I walked with, the owners said, "Not yet", as the dogs explored for another entrance. When the dogs both went to the main entrance and began barking, the owners replied, "NOW I would dig." Blue's judging style made the owners think about the teamwork required between them and their dogs.

I think one of the most amazing things about watching the dogs is how a correct coat was barely affected by the weather and muddy terrain. The Bedlingtons had wet legs but, even after working in the den, their lamb-like trim was still in good shape. The Cairns with harsh coats still had standout coats when their work was done. And the smooth coated dogs like the mini Bulls and smooth Fox Terriers, just took a quick brushing and they were clean again. Contrary to popular belief, work in the field will not damage a coat. If anything, it simply points up the importance of a correct coat on a working Earthdog.

Test Chairman, Pam Dyer, could be seen keeping the test moving smoothly. She kept a check on stewards and judges and made sure everyone had everything they needed. Test Secretary, Jean Clark, had her table well laid out and the trophy table was arranged according to breed. Many National clubs donated awards for qualifying dogs of their breed. Chief Steward, Deb Pepe, fairly new to the Earthdog tests, did a wonderful job of keeping her rings well manned and moving along smoothly. The Border Terrier Club of America did a great job of providing an event that showcased a wide variety of Terrier breeds while also allowing dogs to show off their working ability.

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