American Working Terrier Association
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The American Working Terrier Association (AWTA) was founded in 1971 by Patricia Adams Lent to encourage and promote the ownership and working of earthworking terriers of correct size, conformation and character to be usable for their intended purpose. The organization currently includes about two hundred members. The group sanctions terrier den trials put on by local groups across the US. The AWTA is unusual in that since its inception, it does not require that dogs be purebred, it welcomes all breeds of small working terriers as well as dachshunds and it has no headquarters or employees.
Patricia Adams Lent has owned and raised Lakeland and Cairn terriers as well as Border terriers. She worried that the small Kennel Club terriers would lose their desire to work and become mere companion animals. She stated, "The main objective of the AWTA is to encourage owners of the "working terrier" breeds into the field with their dogs."
The AWTA is important organization in the history of working terriers, not only because it was the first American group dedicated entirely to the working terrier, but also because Ms. Lent developed den trials their rules. The AWTA den trial has been the foundation for all such activities in the US. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America go to grounds, begun in 1976 and later the American Kennel Club earthdog trials in 1994, both use the same type of equipment and rules begun by Pat Lent. All three use buried wooden lined tunnels with right angled turns and caged lab rats at the end for the terriers to work. The rats and terriers are separated by a barrier of wooden dowels or bars, the terriers can smell the rats, but not reach them.
The AWTA was from the beginning inclusive of all small earthworking terrier breeds. In 1972 dachshunds were allowed to participate as well. The terriers need not have a pedigree, or indeed even be purebred. The trials are not a competition, they are an activity with a qualifying or non-qualifying scoring system. Their purpose is to allow the terrier and owner to have fun, while encouraging them towards the ultimate goal of getting the terrier into the field.
The American Working Terrier Association issues Certificates of Gameness to dogs qualifying at their den trials. Working Certificates are awarded to dogs that work quarry in a natural den, when witnessed by another AWTA member and approved by the AWTA Trustees. AWTA also issues a Hunting Certificate to a dog that hunts above ground quarry regularly over a period of a year. 
- Lent, Patrica Adams". Sport with Terriers".Arner Publications,1973 p.79.