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Scottish Terrier in an Earthdog trial.
©American Kennel Club
West Highland White Terrier in an Earthdog trial.
Terrier in an Earthdog trial.
Welsh Terrier in an Earthdog trial.
West Highland White Terrier in an Earthdog test.

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.

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