Earth Dog Training for Terriers
If you own a terrier breed dog, then consider Earth Dog training and trials as a form of both exercise and entertainment for you and your dog. Earth dog trials are open to various breeds of terriers, as well as Dachshunds, and Miniature Schnauzers.
These Earth dog tests help to access the natural hunting abilities of these dogs. Basically, Earth Dog trials consist of burying and scenting tunnels that are specifically built for this purpose and at the end of the tunnel a caged and protected live animal is there to attract the dog to the quarry. The test is to see if the dog is willing to go into the tunnel, find the bait and then sound off to say where it is at. If a dog successfully completes a certain number of steps that show the extent of his training and abilities, then the dog can win a title.
Participating dogs must be at least six months old and registered with the AKC; however, spayed and neutered dogs are allowed to compete.
The Earth Dog trials consist of Junior Earth Dog, which is the first level of competition and the title a dog can get if he is able to complete the test twice with different judges. In this level the dog has to run through a 30 foot long tunnel that has right angles (three or more) and then he must find the rat at the end and work it for a full minute until removed by the handler.
After Junior Earth Dog, the dog can go on to earn a Senior Earth Dog and a Master Earth Dog title. There is also a special hunting certificate given by the American Working Terrier Association. In this event the dogs do above ground style hunting and must draw the quarry from the ground. These dogs must also be regular hunters for at least one year. In order to prove the latter, there must be a report signed by at least one witness that was with the dog and owner during his hunts.
These breeds of dogs were originally bred to hunt vermin and were used to specifically hunt animals such as badgers, fox, otters, and weasels and get them out of an underground den.
Most dogs that join this sport are trained from puppyhood, but a dog doesn’t have to start that young. Since hunting is inbred into these breeds, even an older dog can start this sort of activity and become an expert in a short period of time. It all depends on the dog’s instincts and the trainer.
However, if you successfully train your dog, then you are in for hours of fun, exercise and entertainment for you and your pet, so consider Earth Dog training for your terrier dog.