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Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

Exercise 4-3: Containers in x formation

This exercise requires that the dog search for 2 hides among 13 boxes set in a X formation. The hides will be placed in a way that requires the handler to think about the pattern of the containers during handling. This is a common pattern seen in some Nosework organizations.

Purpose: Demonstrates that the dog can find containers on the ends of lines and navigate complicated container patterns. This search also showcases a handler’s approach to searching a pattern without a clear and obvious strategy for handling.

Age of Hide:  Recommend 10 minutes minimum

Number of Hides: 2

Search Area: Any suitable location

Hide Placement: The 2 hot containers are placed on the farthest two ends of the X formation.

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 be the handler’s first confirmation of their dog finding the hide. The Alert call must also come before rewarding your dog. “Finish” must be called to end the search.

Exercise set-up: Use 13 containers of any type (must be enclosed on all sides that has a cover, lid, or fold flap). The containers can be a mix of different types as long as the hot container is not the only different one. The containers are set in a X formation with 2 hot containers placed per hide placement guidelines. The start line must be at the bottom of the X opposite the hot containers. Search begins when the handler cues the the dog to search. Dog and/or handler must cross the start line. Search ends when the handler calls “Finish.”

Scoring: Pass/Not yet

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


Video example:

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