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NW TEAM Rules

Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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Definitions for all levels

Please see video examples, especially where equipment and props are used, for the clearest examples of what is required for each level.

Accessible Hide – A hide that the dog can reach and is able to put his nose on or on highest concentration.

Alert Call- A verbal or raised hand indicating that the dog has located the hide.

Change of Behavior – Behavior by the dog that makes it clear to the judge that the dog has encountered odor.

Cold Tin– A tin (scent vessel) that has never had odor or been exposed to odor by storing with odor or hot tins.

Contamination – Disruption of the search area or odor in the search area due to contact transfer.

Cue – A word or hand signal that serves as a signal to the dog to begin a task.

Eliminates – Dog urinates, defecates, or vomits in the search area due to contact transfer.

Exterior – Outside location; can be covered such as a pavilion that has open air sides; area can have no more than 2 walls. The area should be a natural exterior environment and not staged in an artificial way.

Finish – The handler call that stops the time. The handler is required to call finish to stop the time on blank or unknown number of hides.

Food Distraction – Any human or dog food that is not dangerous to the dog and must be contained so the dog cannot access during the search.

Hide – The target odor (tin, shrink wrap tube, straw, etc.)

Inaccessible Hide- A hide that no dog can put its nose on whether deep, high or contained.

Incorrect Call – Any other word (yes, yip, good) versus “Alert” or raised hand.

Indication – The behavior of the dog communicating that it has found the hide.

Interior – An enclosed environment that has at least 3 walls and a ceiling and can be considered an indoor location by the general public. If there are only 3 walls then the open wall cannot be wider than any of the other 3 walls. For example, a shed or garage with an open door.

Non-food Distraction – Anything exciting to dogs that is not food; another dog’s collar, dog hair, animal scent, painter’s tape, toys.

Passenger Vehicle – Car, truck, van, farm equipment, trailer; this excludes lawn mowers, bicycles, or motorcycles.

Quake Hold (aka museum putty)-  Used to adhere hides under tables, chairs, etc. Similiar to Silly Putty, however, much stronger hold.

Reward (Food/Treat)- A food reward is a piece of food. We do not define size, type, value, etc.

Reward (Toy) – A toy is any object that your dog might enjoy as reinforcement. A ball, tug toy, or stuffed toy are all examples of toys that may be used for reward.

Scent Aid – The odor scented Q-tip/cotton ball/tea bag, etc., that is placed in the scent vessel to create a hide.

Scent Vessel – What the scented aid is placed in to hide for the dog; tin, straw, shrink wrap tube, etc. (can not be made of glass)

Start Line – The marked boundary where the dog/handler starts the search. It can be the door jamb, cones, tape, flags, etc. If physical markers are used (e.g., cones), two points make a line and require two markers to denote the start line. It must be fully visible to the judge and the dog and/or handler must cross the start line.

Target Odor – The specific scent or odor that the dog is searching; can be essential oils, tea bags, scat, etc.

Threshold – The entry to an area or transition from one area to another.

Toy Distraction – Any type of toy, ball, stuffy, etc., placed in the search area as a distractor. Toy distractions are not always contained.

Unproductive Indication – False alert by the dog.