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The 10 Best Earthdogs

Updated on March 19, 2016
Earthdog on work
Earthdog on work | Source


The earthdogs are the specialized small hunting terrier and dachshund dogs, bred to perform underground hunting and working assignments. They need to perform the task like locating underground objects and keen to perform underground assignments. Earthdogs were trained to track games above and below ground. Their primary practice was to hunt vermin and other quarry that lived in underground dens. Also, they were taught not to bark and dig unnecessarily. That makes them an active, intelligent and suitable pet for a family. Based on their working and hunting talent they are categorized into four levels.

- Introduction to Quarry
- Junior Earth Dog
- Senior earth dog
- Master earth dog

Visit the AKC Earthdog website To To know more about Earthdog trials and competitions. Find the list of dogs breeds which are allowed to participate in earthdog trails. 

Dog Breedss That Can Participate In Earthdog Trials

1: Australian Terrier
6: Dachshund
11: Miniature Bull Terrier
16: Scottish Terrier
21: Rat Terrier
2: Bedlington Terrier
7: Dandie Dinmont Terri
12: Miniature Schnauzer
17: Sealyham Terrier
22: Russell Terrier
3: Border Terrier
8: Glen of Imaal Terrier
13: Norfolk Terrier
18: Silky Terrier
23: Welsh Terrier
4: Cairn Terrier
9: Lakeland Terrier
14: Norwich Terrier
19: Skye Terrier
24: West Highland White Terrier
5: Cesky Terrier
10: Manchester Terrier
15: Parson Russell Terrier
20: Smooth Fox Terrier
25: Wire Fox Terrie

1: West Highland White Terrier

A lively, friendly, active terrier breed which was originated from Scotland, it is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers and the formal breed was introduced in 1908. This is also recognized as Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier. This dog is not well suitable to leave country side, its suitability to be inside with family and do well in an apartment. The best character of West Highland White Terrier is, it can learn commands very quickly and can be trained easily. Basically it’s a social dog that likes children of every age and usually get along easily with guests and other pets. This dog has a and extraordinary talent to work as Earthdog.

West Highland White Terrier
West Highland White Terrier | Source


COUNTRY of origin: Scotland

WEIGHT: Female: 6–7 kg, Male: 7–10 kg
HEIGHT: Female: 23–28 cm, Male: 25–30 cm

LIFE SPAN: 12 – 16 years

West Highland White Terriers

2: Russel Terrier

Russel terrier is known as an underground hunting warrior. It’s a relatively new dog breed, developed in the late 19th century to hunt fox and got recognition in 2003. Basically, this breed is a further extension of Reverend John Russell's working terrier (Jack Russel Terriers) and commonly mistaken as a jack Russel terrier. This has smaller size and less weight that Jack Russel or Parson Russel Terriers also the body length is a bit longer than them. That help them to move underground. This dog has enormous stamina, energy and sent capability that make them an excellent Earthdog.

Russell Terrier
Russell Terrier | Source


COUNTRY of origin: England, United Kingdom

WEIGHT: Average 6.5–9.5 kg
HEIGHT: 10- 12 inches

LIFE SPAN: Approx 12 – 15 years

3: Parson Russell Terrier

This dog was known as Jack Russel Terrier, now it got its name after its originator the Reverend John "Jack" Russell. This is small sized, sturdy, athletic, very energetic, determined and fearless dog that do well as Earthdog. Parson Russels was developed in year 1800, to hunt fox, rabbit and small prey also in a group they can hunt a wild boar. This one feet tall tiny dog can easily jump over a five foot high fence and it has a tendency to bark, dig and feel the pack leader. Hence it need early training and a firm owner. When it comes to work, Parson Jack Russell Terriers have unmatched stamina talent. They make a great companion, protection and family dog and has excellent Earthdog capabilities.

Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier | Source


COUNTRY of origin: England, United States of America, United Kingdom

WEIGHT: 5.9–7.7 kg, Female: 5.9–7.7 kg
HEIGHT: 8 - 11 inches (20 - 27cm)

LIFE SPAN: 13 – 15 years

4: Dachshund

Dachshunds are an old and exceptional hunting and earthdogs. They were developed in the early 1600s in Germany to hunt small game such as badger and rabbit. They have unique physical traits, the Dachshund has shortened legs and longer spine. Short legs help them to hunt and follow the animals to ground inside the burrows where they could fight the prey to the death.

They got their name Dachshund, based on their character- It’s Dachshunds (pronounced DAKS Hund — never dash-hound). They are available in three categories Standard Dachshund, Miniature Dachshund, Toy Dachshund and also known by other names such Kaninchen, Doxie, Wiener Dog, Little Hot Dog, Hot Dog Dog, Sausage Dog, Long Dog etc. Their natural hunting bent, Brave and courageous nature and sturdy built makes them the most preferred earth dog.



COUNTRY of origin: Germany

WEIGHT: 7.3 – 15 kg (Standard Size)
HEIGHT: 8 - 11 inches (20 - 27cm)

LIFE SPAN: 14 – 17 years

5: The Scottish Terrier or Aberdeen Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is an old breed of terrier family, it was created in 1700s in Scotland. This breed was arrived in USA in late 1800. The AKC recognised them since 1885. This dog has very similar traits and characteristics like Cocker Spaniel but smaller in size. By the nature Scottish Terriers are hardy, happy, lively, protective, alert and energetic dogs that love to be around family member.
But this breed was created to hunt den animals, such as rabbit, otter, fox and badger and has excellent hunting excellence. Also, it has a tendency to be dominant and wilful hence need early training, socialization and a firm owner. It make a good family pet and watch dog and also do well as an earthdog.



COUNTRY of origin: Scotland.

WEIGHT: 18 to 22 pounds
HEIGHT: Up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder

LIFE SPAN: 11 to 13 years

6: The Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smoothy fox Terriers are the naturally healthy, intelligent self-learning and agile dog breed. It was originated from England, the basic purpose to create this breed was develop a small sized terrier dog to help hunters in guarding, flushing and hunting small prey. Smoothy fox Terriers are intelligent, sturdy, athletic and healthy dogs that make a good companion and do well in agility. This is good family and companion dog that do well as earth dog.



COUNTRY of origin: England.

WEIGHT: Average 15 to 19 pounds
HEIGHT: 10 - 12 inches (25 - 30 cm)

LIFE SPAN: 12 – 15 years

7: Manchester Terrier

The Manchester terriers are an active, alert, intelligent and affectionate dogs. At first look it looks like a miniature version of a Doberman or a large Miniature Pinscher. But they have their own breed characteristics and do not reflect any genetic link up with them. Manchester terriers are also known as English Toy Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier, Black and Tan Manchester.

This dog was bred to hunt rabbit, help the hunters in birding and chasing small prey. The Manchester terriers are an intelligent, alert watchdog that has a loud bark. This dog is very loyal and affectionate to his owner and family and good with children that make them a perfect family pet. Also, they do as an Earthdog.



COUNTRY of origin: Manchester, England.

WEIGHT: Males 18 pounds (8 kg) Females 17 pounds (7.7 kg)
HEIGHT: 10 - 12 inches (25 - 30 cm)

LIFE SPAN: 14 – 16 years

8: Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier is one among oldest terrier dog breeds, originated from the lake district in England. Lakelands are created from various terrier breeds, like Old English Black and Tan Terrier (now extinct), Dandie Dinmont, Bedlington Terriers and the Border Terrier.
The first dog was presented in 1921, to the Lakeland Terrier Association in England. The first was exhibited under a variety of names, including the Fell and Patterdale Terrier. The Lakeland Terriers were used for hunting rabbit, vermin and fox. Also, they do well as an earthdog. They look like a miniature Welsh terrier.



COUNTRY of origin: Lake District in England.

WEIGHT: 7 – 8 kg (Adult)
HEIGHT: 33 – 38 cm (Adult, At the withers)

LIFE SPAN: 12 – 16 years

9: Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is a cross breed dog developed in 1910-20 between Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester terrier, and Old English White Terrier and some others. The purpose to create this breed was to hunt rabbit, rodent and farm rats. Latter rat terrier was crossed with Whippets and Italian Greyhounds to improve their stamina and athletic ability. That produces a more active and athletic dog breed. Rat terriers are an intelligent and active dog. And well appreciated as a family pet, because of their humble and caring conduct with kids. But they are stubborn, aggressive and aloof towards strangers and other pets.



COUNTRY of origin: America

WEIGHT: 4.5 – 11 kg (Adult)
HEIGHT: 25 – 46 cm (Adult)

LIFE SPAN: 15 -18 years

10: The Bull Terrier (Miniature)

Bull Terriers are the cross breed between bull and terriers and English White Terriers. The James Hinks was the breeder who started breeding, he developed three distinct breeds, which are known as bulldog, terriers, and Dalmatians. Initially Bull Terriers were popular because of their unusual egg type of shape, powerful muzzle and brave and courageous nature. These dogs are much stronger and athletic than many other earthdogs but compared to other dogs they lack underground hunting talent they are more preferred as excellent companion and family pet.



COUNTRY of origin: England, United Kingdom
PRESENCE since: 1920

WEIGHT:Male 22–38 kg (50–85 lbs)
HEIGHT:Male 45–55 cm (18–22 in)

LIFE SPAN: 10-15 years

© 2016 ARADHYA


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