Thursday, May 21, 2009
Danish Earthdog Setup
The above picture is of a Danish den dog trial set up. Similar setups are done in Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, Finland, and several other countries, but with somewhat different designs from location to location.
In this design, there is an incline in one section in the middle and a spot where the dog is in a pit below the quarry. To get to the quarry at that location, the dog has to leap up 60 cm on to the ledge next to the drum or "kessel" (pot). This section can be closed off for a simple trial.
The drum on the far right is rotated so that the "quarry" (a live fox or badger) can escape out a side door and run from down the tunnel to another drum (not shown) which is then rotated half way to put bars between the dog and the game.
The fox and badger are very relaxed about the whole thing (they've been doing it their whole lives and are lept as pets) and the dogs get to run around a bit and see if they have voice and whether they will stick to the job even in in non-contact situation. There is no digging and no actual contact between the dog and the fox or badger.
The den pipes are generally too big with these things to suit my taste (9" by 9" is common) and so bigger dogs are able to act as if they have the stuff even when some of them could not get down a real pipe.
That said, this is fun sport for folks without the desire or without the physical ability to take their dogs into the field to do real hunting.