If you have a small terrier or a Dachshund, you’ve undoubtedly already discovered their penchant to dig, stick their face underground, and emerge with something in his mouth, be it a mouse, a squirrel or some other creature. After you stop screaming in fright, your first instinct might be to reprimand him for catching that poor animal but really, you should reward him! He’s simply doing what these dogs were bred to do: To hunt underground, and that’s what Earthdog tests assess.
Earthdog tests gauge how good a hunter your dog really is. They’re non-competitive and each dog is judged on his own abilities for seeking and locating rodents underground. But fear not, rodent lovers: In these tests, rats are safely caged and not harmed!
If you are brand new to the world of Earthdog and would like to get involved, you should attend a test in your area by checking out the events calendar. AKC Clubs can be a great source of education for newcomers. Check out what clubs are licensed in your area by going to our online club directory.
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 noncompetitive 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 its quarry, locating and working it underground.
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