On November 2 & 3, 2019, Abilene Kennel Club Members, Ellis and Robbie Johnson, hosted an AKC Earthdog Trial at their ranch in May, Texas. An Earthdog trial is open to all terriers and dachshunds and consists of three different levels: Junior, Senior and Master. In Junior, the dog has to travel 30 feet underground through a wooden lined tunnel to reach a cage of rats contained behind wooden bars at the end of the tunnel. The dog has 45 seconds to get to the rats and has to work them for 60 seconds. Working consists of barking, scratching, digging for the entire 60 seconds. If the dog passes two times, it earns the Junior Earthdog Title. In Senior, the dog has to travel the 30 feet and passes by a false den and an exit that leads away from the rats. The dog must get to the rats in 90 seconds and work them for 90 seconds. At this point, the rats are removed from the end of the tunnel and the handler must recall his dog and the dog has 90 seconds to get back to the handler. Once the dog passes this test three times, he becomes a Senior Earthdog. In Masters, the dog is matched up with another dog and they begin hunting about 300 yards away from the tunnel. They must work well together and find the tunnel. This tunnel has a roller bar in it to simulate a tree root and the dog must squeeze over it and then has to pass through a very narrow portion of the tunnel to get to the rats. The dog must work the rats for 90 seconds and then the owner will open the lid at the end of the tunnel and remove the dog. The owner has 15 seconds to remove the dog. Once the dog passes this 4 times, it will become a Master Earthdog. Earthdog Trials have been held at the Johnsons' ranch for 16 years and many dogs have started out as beginners and completed their Master titles. It is a fun event with a barbecue lunch and lots of camaraderie and laughter at the antics of the dogs! Each dog has their own style of working and sometimes get very creative!!
An Earthdog trial is open to all terriers and dachshunds and consists of three different levels.
Rats are protected in a cage behind wooden bars at the end of the tunnel. Dogs compete at Junior, Senior, and Master levels.
Earthdog Trials have been held at the Johnsons' ranch for 16 years and many dogs have started out as beginners and completed their Master titles.