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NW TEAM Rules

Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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HONORS TITLES 1-3

HONORS TITLES 1-3

The Fenzi TEAM program was designed to provide goals for handlers to achieve excellence in training. We believe that once skills have been developed (original levels) that it is important to generalize those skills by training in other locations (plus levels) as well as demonstrate the ability to work unknown hides (honors levels).

The Honors title series requires the skills of the original Levels 1-3 to be completed when the handler is encountering blind hides. Any search location can be used including those used in prior passing video submissions as long as each of the 6 areas within a level are in a different location or different area within the same space. The Honors track will require a knowledgeable helper to place appropriate hide placements and be proficient in the base rules. The Handler is ultimately responsible to review the search videos and ensure all requirements are met before submitting.

Teams may complete each Honors level in conjunction with the original level or may choose to complete them after successfully finishing Levels 1-3, or Levels 1+-3+. Teams may opt to go directly to the Honors level instead of the Plus level if they choose.

Once completed, the “TEAMh” title may be added after your dog’s name at the appropriate level.

Details for the original Levels 1-3 are located on the individual level pages. To enable a true “blind” hide experience for the handler, some minor changes are required for certain exercises.

Multiple dog/team policies: Multiple teams can run the same setups as long as the handler is not running multiple dogs. For a handler with multiple dogs, the same search setups can not be reused. If an area is going to be reused, we recommended waiting 3 days to rerun the search. Hides can not be placed in the same location that your previous dog ran.

Below are the changes for Honors using the base level exercises:

All Levels:

  • Any search location can be used including those used in prior passing video submissions as long as each of the 6 areas within a level are in a different location or different area within the same space.
  • The helper should make an effort to place hides such that the hide won’t be exposed by the dog.
  • Handlers must say “Alert” or raise their hand when the dog has communicated they have found the target odor. The Alert call must be the handler’s first confirmation of their dog finding the hide.
  • The helper must confirm the handler’s “alert” call and must be clearly audible on the video.
  • The handler must wait for the helper to confirm their “Alert” call before rewarding or calling finish.
  • All hides must be shown at the conclusion of the search by the helper while the camera is still running. The hide can be shown by either removing it and showing the hide to the camera or bringing the camera to the area to show the hide location. The handler and dog do not have to stay in view when the hide is being shown but the video must show that the camera was continually running from the time the hide was found and until the hide was shown.

Level 1:

  • Exercise 1-1 Interior Threshold Hide: The hide can be on any object or in the environment as long as it’s within the first third of the room. The hide cannot be right in front of the start line and cannot be the only obvious object in the search area. Hide objects cannot be containers.
  • Exercise 1-2 Interior Hide with Channeling: Hide object can be a bin or other object that causes channeling of odor requiring a higher level of sourcing skills. The hide object can be anywhere in the search area and naturally placed so that it’s not the only obvious item in the search area nor obvious to the handler. For example, multiple bins in the search area.
  • Exercises 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, and 1-6 setup are unchanged for Honors.
  • Maximum video length: 9 minutes for all 6 searches merged into one video submission. Additional time is included to account for the helper showing all the hides. Any time over this limit will result in an NY.

NW-TEAM1 Honors video example: 

Level 2:

  • Exercise 2-1 Interior with Food Distraction: The distractor must not be visible to the handler, yet accessible to the dog.
  • Exercise 2-2 setup is unchanged for Honors
  • Exercise 2-3 Container Corner Hide: The container setup should be a square with the hide placed in one of the corners. The hot container must not be the first container naturally encountered in the setup. The search must contain at least 18 containers.
  • Exercise 2-4 Interior Multiple Hides: Hides can be placed anywhere in the search area. There is no maximum distance.
  • Exercises 2-5 and 2-6 setup are unchanged for Honors.
  • Maximum video length: 10 minutes for all 6 searches merged into one video submission. Additional time is included to account for the helper showing all the hides. Any time over this limit will result in an NY.

NW-TEAM2 Honors video example:

Level 3:

  • Exercise 3-1 Containers with Food Distractions: A dairy food distractor is placed in containers that do not have odor directly BEFORE and AFTER the hide to ensure the dog encounters a distractor before finding odor.
  • Exercise 3-2 Interior Hide in Corner: The hide must be placed in the corner of the search area however the location of the hide should not be obvious to the handler.
  • Exercise 3-3 Blank (Area): This exercise is still testing the team’s ability to search in a blank area, however a food distraction will be hidden in the search area. An interior or Exterior area can be used. The food distraction must be placed in the blank area in any location not visible to the handler yet accessible to the dog. The food must be bread or yeast product and be placed in an enclosed but vented container where the food odor would be accessible by the dog (i.e., not in a drawer or cabinet). While the camera is still running, the helper must show the food distractor.
  • Exercise 3-4 Deep Accessible: Multiple areas must be set up in the search area where a hide might be placed where the dog has to push into a deep space to locate a hide. For example, bleachers or an area with a table and another tight space with obstacles so that the hide location is not obvious. Reminder: The dog is required to reach at least 1 length of the dog to get to the hide.
  • Exercise 3-5 Exterior Multiple Hides: Hides can be placed anywhere in the search area. There is no maximum distance.
  • Exercise 3-6 Multiple Vehicle Search: The hide can be placed on either vehicle in one of the following locations: wheel spoke/hubcap, wheel well, license plate, or hitch. Reminder: The start line must be upwind of the hide (wind at handler’s back). The handler or helper can show the wind direction before or after the search while the camera is still running.
  • Maximum video length: 11 minutes for all 6 searches merged into one video submission. Additional time is included to account for the helper showing all the hides. Any time over this limit will result in an NY.

NW-TEAM3 Honors video example: