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Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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.