An earthdog trial tests the working ability and instinct of the small, often short-legged terriers or Dachshunds. These dogs were bred to hunt vermin and other quarry which lived in underground dens. Earthdog den trials involve man-made underground tunnels that the dogs must negotiate, while scenting a rat, "the quarry." The dog must follow the scent to the quarry and then "work" the quarry. "Working” can mean barking, scratching, staring, pawing, digging; any active behavior. The quarry is protected at all times by wooden bars across the end of the tunnel. The hunting encounter is controlled, and neither the dog nor the quarry (usually two rats) are endangered by the activity.
To find out more visit: http://classic.akc.org/events/earthdog/getting_started.cfm
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Lure coursing is a sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanically-operated lure. It tests the dog's basic coursing instinct or hunting-by-sight ability. The AKC offers lure coursing titles for all breeds through the Coursing Ability Test (CAT). This event is pass or fail. To pass, the dog must complete a 300-yard or 600-yard course (determined by breed/height) with enthusiasm and within the maximum amount of time: 600 yards - 2 minutes; 300 yards - 1 1⁄2 minutes.
To find out more, visit: http://www.akc.org/events/coursing-ability-test/
Rally, also referred to as Rally Obedience, has been an AKC sanctioned event for about 10 years. It grew out of handlers practicing or “doodling” with obedience exercises. Rally can be a good introduction to Obedience. In Rally, the emphasis is on teamwork between dog and handler and unlimited verbal and/or visual communication is encouraged. Like Obedience, teams can earn titles in Novice, Advanced and Excellent with a combined title - Rally Advanced Excellent or RAE.
Rally is performed on a course of 13 to 17 signs. The course is determined by the judge and the signs are in a sequence that each team must follow. Each sign tells the handler what exercise to perform and there is a specific way of performing the exercise.
The judge tells the team to start, but does not give any further directions. Scoring is based on 100 with a minimum score of 70 needed to qualify. Heel position is more generous in Rally than Obedience. Scoring is not as precise as in Obedience, and handlers may repeat a command more than once. There are “do overs” allowed in Rally, with the team receiving a point deduction rather than an “NQ”. Each team’s run is timed for use in breaking any tie scores.
To find out more, visit http://www.akc.org/events/rally/getting-started/