The American Kennel Club provides a history of Earthdog on their website (https://www.akc.org/sports/earthdog/history/). The roots of the program go back to the beginnings of small game hunting. “Farmers and hunters used the small terriers and Dachshunds to pursue vermin to its lair and then to follow the game into the ground. These dogs had to possess not only the physical attributes that would allow them to descend into the animal’s den and to battle, the animal on its own terms, but they needed the courage and mental abilities to accept the challenge of subterranean pursuit.”
The September 1993 task force that finalized the AKC Earthdog program included Linda Sutton and Jim Tebbets, representing Welsh Terriers. Sutton and Tebbets, along with their colleagues representing Dachshunds, West Highland White Terriers, and Border and Bedlington terriers established the Earthdog program adopted by the AKC’s Board of Directors for effect on October 1, 1994. Today 29 breeds are eligible to compete. Welsh Terriers are ideally suited to the rigorous, now three-level, hunting test.
Jim Tebbet’s Ch. Calawyn’s Gala Serrana, “Serra” was the first Welsh Terrier to earn a Master Earthdog title.