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Amber and the zoo
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Since I am pretty new to cairns, the Earth dog/Agility competitions are also new to me. I have really been interested in getting involved or atleast attending some of these events. How do we start? Is there a certain age? We want to get Ellie out and let her show her true Cairn self. Besides, I am jealous of all the Earthdog champs around here!!! :) I have done 'similar' competitions, more tracking than anything, with our labs and german shepherd.

Thanks!

Amber

Almost forgot...We are in Iowa :)

Edited by Amber and the zoo

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We're the Cairns of America

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Start by reading the rules (PDF). Then locate earthdog tests within whatever distance you're willing to drive. The AKC has a terrific event search tool. Then get yourself (and your dog) to a test and sign up for Introduction to Quarry. Spend the day and watch all the tests. People at ED tests are almost without exception friendly and helpful. Intro to Quarry is pretty much exactly what the name implies and doesn't require advance training or preparation other than reading the rules (so you know what to expect). Once you see how a dog reacts to a den situation and the quarry, then you can decide what to do next - move on to try Junior or start to work on 'troubleshooting'.

ED is a blast IMO. And IMDO (In My Dogs' Opinion) :P

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So then I shouldn't be upset if Ellie runs around like a crazy woman or will not do the tests.

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Nah, a lot of dogs (puppies especially) spend their first experience doing things like kissing the judge and visiting spectators. Most Intro judges will make sure the experience is a positive one and includes at least a little learning. It is still a test so they can't spend a long time, but I've never met one yet who wasn't both encouraging and helpful.

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We're going to try to get Packy to an Earthdog test this year. Purina Farms isn't too far from St. Louis, so when we're in town we'll try to get out there. I think there's an All Terrier Fun Day, sponsored by the Missouri Earthdog Club, on March 11th that we'll try to make.

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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We had Turner in our sights, but the wather was just tooooooo ugly to make that 4 hour trip. I see 3 weekends in May between Whidbey and Turner. Can't wait to get the cairns underground.

Greg and Val Perry

Home of Kula RN CGC, Am. Can. Int'l. CH Cairngorm Coffee Tea or Me RA ME EE2/Can. SE NAJ NAS CGC (Kona), CH Clanmarr's Steele Princess (Hattie) and CH Scotchbroom Thistle The Patriot SE (Sully) Visit: CroftersDream.com

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  • 7 months later...

I'm new to this forum (and already hooked!) I hope this isn't a stupid question, but gotta ask it anyway. Does the dog need to be registered to participate in these types of events? We rescued our Cairn from a shelter, and although I have been told she is purebred there is no way for us to know.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi and welcome, omahamom. Yes the dogs have to be registered to participate in AKC earthdog. Fortunately, the AKC has a program called ILP (Indefinite Listing Privilege) that is made for your situation. From the AKC site:

If you have a purebred dog that cannot be registered with the AKC and have a desire to see what your dog can do in real competition, an ILP number is your ticket to the world of AKC events and clubs!

Essentially, it's a process to establish that an unregistered dog is believed to be purebred. You end up with a number you can use while registering for AKC companion and performance events.

The American Working Terrier Association has a very similar program (actually, the AKC program was based in part ON the AWTA program). I'm not sure what their entry requirements are, but I believe they do not require any particular registration other than your dog can fit in a 9-inch hole. Perhaps someone more closely connected with AWTA can fill in some detail.

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