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NW TEAM Rules

Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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Exercise 1-3: Distance Search

Dog demonstrates independent searching to show they can search away from the handler.  Handler to provide visible boundary line in an interior or exterior search area and the hide placed a minimum of 6’ from the boundary line.  Handler must show the hide to the camera after dog is rewarded.

Purpose: Demonstrates independent searching and shows dog can search away from handler

Age of Hide:  Recommend 10 minutes minimum

Number of Hides: 1

Search Area: Any suitable location. Location must be a unique area that is not used in another Level 1 search submission.  Containers cannot be used for the distance search.

Search area must be a minimum of 6 feet x 12 feet’, where the boundary line must be a minimum of 12 feet long with no bends or corners (line runs indefinitely). The hide must be placed a minimum of 6 feet from the boundary line.

To set up your boundary line, flagging tape, tape on ground, string, cones can all be used to denote search area where handler cannot step over or go around a corner of the line.

The start line must be along the boundary line and be clearly identified with 2 start line markers that are not directly in front of the hide. Please see video examples.

Hide Placement: Handlers Choice, hide must be placed a minimum of 6 feet from the boundary line. Hide must not be in a container.

On/Off Leash: On Leash

Required Calls: Handler must say “Alert” or raise hand when their dog has communicated they have found target odor. The Alert call must come before rewarding your dog and should be the handler’s first confirmation of their dog finding the hide.”

Exercise set-up: A search area boundary line is set up that indicates the plane that the handler cannot cross over. The boundary must be set up so that judges can see that you do not step over the line. There must be a specific start line that is along the boundary line and clearly identified with 2 start line markers. (Please see video examples). The start line must not be directly in front of the hide. The hide must be placed a minimum of 6 feet from the boundary line, per hide placement guidelines.  Search begins when the handler cues the dog to search. Dog must cross the start line. Search ends when the handler signals an “Alert” call. Handler can cross the boundary line to reward the dog. The handler must show the hide to the camera before turning the camera off per one of the options outlined in the overview.

Scoring: Pass/Not yet

Non-qualifiers: Handler crosses boundary line; odor paired with food; handler points to hide; dog does not show change in behavior at source; dog exhibits an unproductive indication; dog retrieves hide, scent aids fall out from hide placement, exposed scent aids (not in vessel) placed in search area; dog eliminates during search; search parameters not met; incorrectly placed hide; incorrect call; dog is rewarded before handler makes an alert call; Start line is directly in front of the hide; Scent vessel not hidden and visible to dog or the human eye; handler is out of view a majority of the search time. Dog dislodges hide during search.

Tips: Suggest to use a natural or man-made barrier (wall, bushes) as the back of your search area.

Video example:

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Additional Samples of Level 1 Exercise 3

Sample Videos: