This article is from the American Kennel Club FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
The AKC approved Earth Dog Trials ("Go-To-Ground") for Terrier breeds
effective October 1, 1994. AKC registered Terriers (including
Dachshunds) six months of age or older are eligible o participate in
earth dog tests. This includes spayed or neutered dogs, dogs on
limited registration, or ILP dogs of eligible breeds. Bitches in
season may not participate.
Titles awarded in the Earthdog classes include Junior Earthdog (JE),
Senior Earthdog (SE), and Master Earthdog (ME).
A preliminary Introduction test is available. No titles are earned,
and it is not required of advanced tests. This test is designed for
young and/or inexperienced dogs and is intended to introduce the dog
to the sport as well as help evaluate the dog's enthusiasm for the
All quarry is protected from the dogs by being enclosed in cages.
Artificial quarries may also be used.
Junior Earthdog Class
This class is open to all eligible dogs. To earn the Junior Earthdog
title, the dog must qualify at two separate trials under two different
The Junior Earthdog course layout is a 9x9inch 30 foot long tunnel
with three 90 degree turns. The entry is at one end, and the quarry
area at the other end. There are no dead ends in the tunnel.
Qualifying performance: Dogs are graded on approach to the quarry and
working the quarry. At this level, the dog must reach the quarry
within 30 seconds of starting. Once the quarry is found, the dog must
bark, growl, dig or otherwise indicate interest in the quary for at
least 60 seconds.
Senior Earthdog Class
Open only to dogs that have earned the Junior Earthdog title. Three
qualifying scores under at least two different judges are required for
the Senior Earthdog title. The Senior earthdog course layout is more
complex, more closely resembling an actual den in the wild. The tunnel
in this class is again 9x9 inches, and approximately thirty freet from
entry to exit. However, in addition to three 90 turns on the main
tunnel, there is a false exit and a false den, neither of which are
visible from the main den entry.
Qualifying performance: Dogs are graded on approach to quarry, working
the quary, and leaving the den on command. The dog has 90 seconds to
find the quarry. Then it must work the quarry for 90 seconds. Finally,
the handler must be able to call the dog back to the original entry.
Master Earthdog Class
Open only to dogs that have earned the Senior Earthdog title. To earn
the Master Earthdog title, dogs must qualify four different times
under at least two different judges. Dogs with the Msater Earthdog
title may no longer enter Junior or Senior Earthdog classes. The
Master Earthdog course layout is a modified form of the Junior/Senior
course modified as follows: The entry is not readily visible, and is
marked with a scent line. A false entry, with no scent, is visible.
The tunnel contains a constriction point where it is 6 inches wide
rather than 9 inches. An obstruction consisting of a 6 inch diameter
pipe that can moved 2.5 inches either way is included. In adidtion,
dogs are worked in pairs, selected at random.
Qualifying performance: Dogs are released on the scent line
approximately 100 feet from the real entrance. The dogs must reach the
entry in about 60 seconds. Once the entrance is found, one of the dogs
must honor the other (and then switch places when the first dog has
worked the den). The working dog has 90 seconds to find the quarry and
must work it for 90 seconds. The Judge may tap on the roof of the
tunnel when it is working as a distraction. The honoring dog must
remain quiet, but may be staked during the honor.