Traditionally, Earthdogs went to ground after rats and other small rodents, as well as larger game such as fox or badger, and either faced out their prey or chased them from their lairs. Earthdog tests, open to Dachshunds and small terriers, offer simulated conditions that test the earthdog’s keenness and ability to do its job. Trenches are dug and lined with wood, and the quarry, usually a caged rat, is placed within this artificial earth, where it can be seen and smelled but not touched or harmed in any way. The dog must find its quarry and ‘work’ it, by barking, digging or scratching. Age-old instincts come to the fore, and dogs typically take to the sport with zeal and tenacity.
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