by Karla Deithorn, Executive Field Representative
Jim Miller Park in Marietta, GA was the site of the Atlanta Terrier Club Earthdog
tests on February 12 and 13. The park was overflowing with terriers and Dachshunds
as exhibitors took advantage of the club’s gracious hospitality.
The Master/Senior den was set along the edge of the woods at the bottom of a slope so the dogs were not able to see the den as they were on the walk up. The woods gave the dogs the opportunity to show off their hunting ability by offering likely cover to investigate. The judges both days used the new rule allowing them to lay random scent lines and some dogs recognized the scents. There were a wide variety of terriers and Dachshunds entered both days. In Master on Sat. the Border Terrier, Gordy, owned by Norma and Moon Mullins earned her first leg on her ME title. Other breeds represented in the Master class were the Australian Terrier, Parson Russell, and Dachshunds.
In the Senior class the variety of breeds expanded with the Smooth Fox Terrier, and Lakeland. In the Junior class the Cairn, and Manchester terriers also competed. And in Introduction to Quarry, there were also West Highland White Terriers, and a wire Fox Terrier. It is always nice to watch the variety of styles exhibited by all the terrier breeds and Dachshunds.
The judges for the various classes were extremely helpful to those exhibitors whose dogs did not pass and offered them excellent advice on training their dogs. Judges Kim Markle and Bob LaBerge were outstanding in the Introduction to Quarry classes on Sat. and Sunday. Master/Senior judges, Ron Sebastian and Camilla Moon, were clear in what they expected of the exhibitors in the two classes and drew on their vast hunting experience to evaluate the Master dogs on the walk up. They too assisted the handlers after the class with excellent advice on ways to improve the dogs’ performances.
The Junior class can be frustrating for handlers but judges, Camilla Moon and Ron Sebastian, again utilized their vast field experience to explain to handlers exactly what their dogs were doing and how to solve any problems.
Over the two days many dogs earned legs and titles; novice dogs gained experience and everyone gained knowledge thanks to the outstanding judges. The Atlanta Terrier Club not only made a wise choice in judges but the site was lovely with the potential to be outstanding. And to top it off, the ATC offered a hot lunch with a choice of chili, soup and sandwiches, and a variety of drinks. The club members kept the trial moving along and both days finished in the late afternoon, luckily missing the rain on Sunday. I can highly recommend the ATC Earthdog tests to any exhibitor, novice or experienced, as a place to have a good time with your dog and to meet some lovely terrier people.
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