Earthdog


Dog Training Club of Champaign Urbana - Adds Earthdog to their Resume

On the way to the DTCCU training building, the sky was overcast; the wind was gusting and the forecast had threatened snow, not typical weather for April 23/24. As I parked, I saw club member and ED judge, Russ Wischover, working in the Master den in the field. I entered the training building and watched as Test Secretary, Cheryl Dikeman , and her assistant, Mary Phillips, posted the running order and took entries. Despite the gloomy weather outside, the ED test promised to be a shining example of teamwork and camaraderie. I wasn't disappointed.

The training building was a warm haven for exhibitors and spectators to get out of the wind and have a warm cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. And there were plenty of DTCCU club members, between working as stewards and rat wranglers, were always ready to learn more about earthdogs and talk dogs in general.

The dens for the regular classes are set along the fence line of the property and visible from the front door of the building. So spectators could get a decent view of most of the Master walk up and both the Junior and Senior/Master dens. The Introduction to Quarry den was tucked around the side of the building in a quiet area that allowed the IQ dogs to explore their den undisturbed. I have to comment on the Master den layout. It is set in the side of a small knoll in the corner of the field and is one of the most natural settings I have seen. This club has done a wonderful job of laying out their dens with the help and expertise of Russ.

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Both Sat. and Sunday, there were dogs who earned legs at all levels and a few new titles earned as well. The judges, Russ Wischover and Susan Chapman, were very helpful, both in their orientations and at the den, to exhibitors who were new to the sport. They added greatly to the success of the test. They are to be commended for their work under such windy, trying conditions. And kudos to the exhibitors who were staunch enough to allow their dogs a chance to test their instincts despite the cold, windy weather. They were rewarded many times over by their dogs who consistently showed their mettle.

There were a couple dogs who were standouts even though they didn't qualify. I watched Linda Vohsen's Cairn, Spring, in the Master walk up on Sunday put on a wonderful show of just how an earthdog should be searching for the den. She covered ground nicely with her nose down searching for scent and trailing every little rodent line she found. Then there was Les Sanders' PRT, Tex, in Master who stood on his head marking the entrance to the Master den. In Introduction to Quarry, Linda Schulte's Welsh Terrier, Hogyn, streaked into the den and with some help from Linda began working the quarry loudly. I think my favorite in IQ was the 9 month old Cairn, Rebel. He showed the caution I like to see in a young dog and I think with some encouragement this little guy will easily work his way to the Master level and prove to be a thoughtful, courageous earthdog.

I am always thrilled to attend an AKC event with a club that displays the work ethics and love of ALL dogs that DTCCU exemplifies. Members with hounds and herding dogs helped at the Earthdog test. Their enthusiasm for those who qualified and enjoyment of the event was evident as they socialized with exhibitors and 'talked dogs'. DTCCU has added Earthdog to their list of Obedience, Agility, Rally, and Tracking as events they support. I highly encourage other training clubs and kennel clubs to look into holding Earthdog events. As DTCCU shows, it is a wonderful addition to your resume in the sport of dogs.