What is Earthdogs?

  1. What is the purpose of Earthdogs?

    Many terriers and Dachshunds were bred originally to hunt, chase, go to ground and bolt quarry of one kind or another, usually fox, otter and badger. Today, the sport of Earthdog allows these dogs to use their natural instincts in a safe, simulated hunting environment. They can have lots of fun, and earn titles too.

    ANKC Rules state: 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 and trained hunting and working abilities when exposed to a hunting situation. The non-competitiveprogram begins with a basic introduction to den work and quarry and progresses through gradual steps to require the dog to demonstrate that it is capable of being trained to follow game to ground and work its quarry.

  2. What breeds can do Earthdogs?

    All Dachshunds, Australian Terriers, Australian Silky Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers (Smooth and Wirehaired), German Hunt Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, Tenterfield Terrier, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers and dogs that are of earthdog type.

  3. Where is Earthdogs held?

    All trials and training is held at the Dogs SA grounds on Cromwell Road, Kilburn.

  4. When is Earthdogs held?

    Trials and training are conducted through the cooler months of the year. Usually from May to September. Training is conducted at the conclusion of trials.

  5. How do I find out when trials & training are on?

    All trial dates will be listed on the EarthdogsSA web site. Full schedules will be posted a few weeks prior to a trial.

  6. What does the dog have to do?

    Earthdogs are tested on their ability to enter the man-made den, find their way to the quarry through a series of turns and tunnels, and work the quarry. These challenges become increasingly difficult at each stage. Dens are constructed as a series of trenches dug in the earth, into which 3-sided liners are fitted. The liners are in sections and have a wooden roof and sides, the floor is exposed dirt. This means that the tunnels are totally safe and cannot collapse, also that they can be configured in any manner. In “Introduction to Quarry” the total length of the den is only 3 metres, with one turn; but by Masters level there are over 15 metres of tunnel, with multiple turns, exits, false dens, a constriction and an obstruction! When dogs are in training and official tests, each dog is tested individually in a fully-fenced den area. In Australia the “quarry” is always “non-live” and may consist of toys, and/or pelts suitably scented.

  7. What Titles can I get with my dog?

    There are three titles available for Earthdogs; NE (Novice Earthdog), SE (Senior Earthdog), and ME (Master Earthdog). It is recommended that new and/or young dogs are started in the unofficial class "Introduction to Quarry".

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The Begining of Earthdogs

  1. Where did it all start?

    The concept of the Earthdog trial has only been around for a few decades, but the Earthdog in reality has been around for many centuries. These game hardy little dogs, known as the working terriers/dogs were used to persue it's quarry into the earth. During the 18th & 19th century in England when fox hunting was popular terriers were used extensively to go to ground  to locate their prey and bark or bolt the foxes & badgers free, to be netted or trapped or dug down to the prey. 

    The size of the working dog was very important with the chest cirumference being no more than 14inches, as to be able to fit into the burrows with room to maneuver. The terrier/dog was usually no more than 10kgs and was often outweighed by it's prey either fox or badger at 12kgs making a formidable apponent..

    An essential part of the working dog is it's gameness, tenacity, good nose & an ability to problem solve when working in the field.

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