ASDR Scentwork

What is Scentwork?

Scentwork is rapidly growing sport that allows dogs to use their natural scenting abilities to locate target odors.  Scentwork is a great way to build your dog’s confidence and allows the handler to build a stronger partnership with their dog.

General Overview

This section covers eligibility rules, equipment, and general competition rules

Dogs must be at least 6 months of age to compete.

Handlers are not allowed to watch other competitors run their dogs.

Handlers are not to discuss the results of a search until all competitors have completed that element. The proper response to a question of how your dog did is a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. Discussing search results may result in disqualification from the event.

Approved equipment includes flat buckle collars or harnesses.

Choke collars, prong or pinch collars, and head collars are not allowed in ASDR Scentwork.

Handlers can a max of 3 dogs per level and element at each scentwork competition. 

When outside of a search area, dogs need to be kept on a 6-foot leash. (It is fine to have the dog on a longer leash, but the leash must be held with a 6-foot maximum from handlers’ hand to dog’s collar.)

Dogs that appear to be injured or ill will be eliminated. Examples of such injury include but are not limited to open wounds, bandages, limping, etc.

Dogs need to be crated or in their handlers’ vehicles while waiting to run. Only the dog that is currently running and the dog that is up next should be out.

 Eliminating in a search area will result in a disqualification.

 

 

Faults

Faults may be assessed by the judge.  Faults will not eliminate you from the competition, but may affect your placement for the element or overall competition

Faults include, but are not limited to:

  • Damage to the search area. (e.g., excessive pawing or damage to containers or vehicles.)
  • Handling errors (e.g.: pulling a dog off odor, intentionally blocking an odor, calling alert on a hide that has already been found)
  • Food dropped in a search area

Odors used

Three target odors are used by ASDR.  Odors are similar or identical to what is used for other popular scent sport organizations and should be easy to obtain online. 

Birch (Betula lenta)

 Anise (Pimpinella anisum)

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata)

General Searching Rules

A general briefing will be held before the competition starts.  Judges will review the search areas, and if possible, a walk-through of the search areas will be conducted. No dogs are allowed during the walk-through of the search area.

Each search is timed. Time starts when the dog’s nose crosses the start line.  Timing ends when the handler calls Alert for Level 1 and Finish for any levels that may contain an unknow number hides. Please refer to the Elements section for details on allowed time for each search.  Search times will be set by the judge and communicated to the competitors at the general briefing. Exceeding the allowed search time will result in a non-qualifying score

Once a dog has found the hide, the handler will call alert, if correct the judge will say yes, at this time the handler is allowed to reward (treat with food or toy) their dog beside a container, or close to a hide.

Once a handler has called alert, the judge may ask “where”? the handler will have 5 seconds to specifically point to where their dog was alerting.  It is at the judge’s discretion to determine if the dog alerted in the correct location.

 

Unknow number of Hides- Finish Call

For areas with unknown number hides, the handler must call Finish to stop the time. A Finish call is required for Gold Elite and Grand Elite. Forgetting to call Finish will result in an NQ.

Levels and Titles

To assure that your dog is ready to trial, each dog must complete an Odor Recognition Certification (ORC) for each of the target odors.  The OCR search will consistent on 10 identical closed cardboard boxes

Odor Recognition Certification

  • Number of boxes: 10
  • Number of hides: 1
  • Search Time: 3 minutes
  • Number of faults allowed: 2
  • Distance between boxes: 4 feet

ORC for Birch, Anise, and Clove are designated as follows: ORC-B, ORC-A, and ORC-C.

Incorrectly identifying the odor box will result in a non-qualifying run.

Dogs may only have one attempt per 48-hour period.

NACSW ORT tests will be accepted in place of any ORC.

 

Scentwork titles
Element Titles

Titles can be earned for individual elements for each Level.  Two qualifying runs per element will earn an element award at that level. 

For example, 2 Q’s in Level I Containers earns a Level I Container title. To earn an upper level element title, the previous lower level element title must have been previously earned. For example, if a dog has not earned a level 1 containers element title, and receives 2 Q’ s in Level 2 containers a level 2 containers title will not be awarded until the level 1 containers titles has been earned.

Level Titles

Dogs must achieve 1 qualifying runs for all elements at a particular level to earn the Level Title.

Dogs must achieve 2 qualifying runs for all elements at a particular level to earn and Excellent Level Title.

For example, if your dog completes each Element title at the Level I level, the dog earns the Level I Scentwork Excellent title.

Dogs can move up to the next level in an element once they have achieved one qualifying runs at the previous level.

 

Level I

Birch will be the only scent used for level I. Each dog must pass the Birch ORC before competing at Level I.

Level I consist of 4 elements, Containers, Interiors, Exteriors and Vehicles.

Level I Containers

Number of containers: 10

Containers can be set in 1 single row of 10, or 2 parallel rows of 5 containers.  Containers must be placed at least 4 feet apart from adjacent containers

Number of hides: 1 Search Time: 3 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.

Number of faults: 2

 

 

 

Level I Interiors

The search area will consist of one room or one interior area.  Boundaries may be defined by cones or flags.

  • Number of hides: 1
  • Search Time determined by the judge, and will depend on search area available at the trial venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 2 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 60-1200 square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.

Level I Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 1
  • Search Time determined by the judge
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 2 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 60-1200 square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.

Level I Vehicles

  • Number of hides: 1
  • The search area will consist of 1.
  • Search Time: 3 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults 2
  • Hides may be set on 1 or 2 vehicles
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 2 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.

Level II

Birch or anise can be used in level II.  You may have 1 birch hide and 1 anise hide in the same search area.

Must have passed Birch ORC, Anise ORC, and Level I.

Level II Containers

  • Number of containers: 15 set at least 4 feet apart.
  • Containers may be cardboard boxes, tins, plastic totes, etc. Hide placement can be 1 parallel row, 3 rows of 5 containers, a circle or U shape, depending on space available at the search venue and judge’s discretion.
  • Number of hides: 2
  • Search Time: 3:30 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Level II Interiors

The search area will consist of one room or one interior area.  Boundaries may be defined by cones or flags.

  • Number of hides: 2
  • Search Time will depend on search area
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 3 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 60-6000 square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.
  •  

Level II Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 2
  • Search Time will depend on search area available at the trial venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 2 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 60-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.
  •  

Level II Vehicles

  • Number of vehicles: 1 or 2
  • Number of hides: 2
  • Search Time: 3 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults:
  • Hides may be set on 1 or 2 vehicles
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 2 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.

Level II Buried

  • Number of containers: 8
  • No specified arrangement of containers. 1 row, multiple rows, circle, U or L shape are all acceptable, as are other arrangements at the judge’s discretion and space allowed at the search venue Number of hides: 1
  • Search Time: 3 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Hide will be set in sand at an approximate depth of 2 inches

Due to the possibility of contamination of the search area, no faults are allowed in the buried element.  Disturbing the search area by allowing your dog to tip over a box, spill dirt, or dropped food in the search area will result in a dismissal and non-qualifying run.

 

Elite

Birch or Anise can be used in Elite, using only one scent or a combination of two.

Must pass Birch and Anise ORC, Level I, and Level II.

Elite Containers

  • Number of containers: 20
  • Containers may be cardboard boxes, tins, plastic totes, etc. Hide placement can be 1 parallel row, 2 rows of 10 containers, 4 rows of 5 containers, a circle, U or L shape, depending on space available at the search venue and judge’s discretion
  • Number of hides: 3
  • Search Time: 4 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

 

 

Elite Interiors

The search area will consist of one room or one interior area.  Boundaries may be defined by cones or flags.

  • Number of hides: 3
  • Search Time will depend on search area
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 4 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 60-3000 square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.
  •  

Elite Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 3
  • Search Time will depend on search area available at the trial venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 4 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.
  •  

Elite Vehicles

  • Number of hides: 3
  • Number of vehicles: 1-3
  • Search Time: 4: 30 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 4 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Number of faults: 2

Elite Buried 

  • Number of containers: 10-14
  • No specified arrangement of containers. 1 row, multiple rows, circle, U or L shape are all acceptable, as are other arrangements at the judge’s discretion and space allowed at the search venue.
  • Number of hides: 3
  • Search Time: 4 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion
  • Hide will be set in sand at an approximate depth of 2 inches.
  • Due to the possibility of contamination of the search area, no faults are allowed in the buried element. Disturbing the search area by allowing your dog to tip over a box, spill dirt, or dropped food in the search area will result in a dismissal and non-qualifying run.

Silver Elite

Birch, Anise, and Clove can be use in Sliver Elite, using only one scent or a combination of all three.

Dog must have passed Birch, Anise, and Clove ORC and Level I, Level II, and Elite titles.

Silver Elite Containers

  • Number of containers: 24-28
  • No specified arrangement of containers. 1 row, multiple rows, circle, U or L shape are all acceptable, as are other arrangements at the judge’s discretion and space allowed at the search venue.
  • Number of hides: 4
  • Search Time: 4:30 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Silver Elite Interiors

The search area will consist of one or two room or one interior area.  Boundaries may be defined by cones or flags.

  • Number of hides: 4
  • Search Time will depend on search area
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 5 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate

Silver Elite Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 4
  • Search Time will depend on search area available at the trial venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 5 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate

Silver Elite Vehicles

  • Number of hides: 4
  • Number of vehicles: up to 5
  • Search Time: 5 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Silver Elite Buried

  • Number of containers: 12-20
  • No specified arrangement of containers. 1 row, multiple rows, circle, U or L shape are all acceptable, as are other arrangements at the judge’s discretion and space allowed at the search venue.
  • Number of hides: 4
  • Search Time: 4 minutes, may be longer at judge’s discretion.
  • Hide will be set in sand at an approximate depth of 4 inches.
  • Due to the possibility of contamination of the search area, no faults are allowed in the buried element. Disturbing the search area by allowing your dog to tip over a box, spill dirt, or dropped food in the search area will result in a dismissal and non-qualifying run.

Gold Elite

Birch, Anise, and Clove can be use in Gold Elite, using only one scent or a combination of all three.

Must have passes Birch, Anise, and Clove ORC and Level I, Level II, Elite, and Silver Elite titles.

Gold Elite Containers

  • Number of containers: 25-30
  • Containers may be cardboard boxes, tins, plastic totes, etc. Hide placement can be 1 parallel row, 2 rows of 10 containers, 4 rows of 5 containers, a circle, U or L shape, depending on space available at the search venue and judge’s discretion
  • Number of hides: 1-3
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Gold Elite Interior

Number of Search Areas- At least 2.  You must correctly complete each search area in order to progress to the next search area

Boundaries may be defined by cones or flags.

  • Number of hides: 1-3
  • Search Time will depend on search area
  • Number of faults:
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 5 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate

 

Gold Elite Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 1-3
  • Search Time will depend on search area available at the trail venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 5 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate
  •  

Gold Elite Vehicles

  • Number of hides: 1-3
  • Number of vehicles: up to 5
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Gold Elite Buried

  • Number of containers: 12-20
  • Number of hides: 1-3
  • Hide will be set in sand at an approximate depth of 6 inches.
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Due to the possibility of contamination of the search area, no faults are allowed in the buried element. Disturbing the search area by allowing your dog to tip over a box, spill dirt, or dropped food in the search area will result in a dismissal and non-qualifying run.

Grand Elite

Birch, Anise, and Clove can be use in Gold Elite, using only one scent or a combination of all three.

Must have passes Birch, Anise, and Clove ORC and Level I, Level II, Elite, Silver Elite, and Gold Elite titles.

Grand Elite Containers

  • Number of containers: 25-30
  • Containers may be cardboard boxes, tins, plastic totes, etc. Hide placement can be 1 parallel row, 2 rows of 10 containers, 4 rows of 5 containers, a circle, U or L shape, depending on space available at the search venue and judge’s discretion
  • Number of hides: 0-5
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2

Grand Elite Interiors

Number of Search Areas- At least 3.  One search areas may be blank (not have any odor). You must correctly complete each search area in order to progress to the next search area. Finish call is required after completing each search area.

  • Number of hides: 0-5
  • Number of Search Areas- At least 3. Multiple search areas may be blank (not have any odor). You must correctly complete each search area to progress to the next search area
  • Search Time will depend on search areas
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 6 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate
  •  

Grand Elite Exteriors

The search area will consist of one exterior space.  The boundaries may be defined by cones or flags or may be communicated to the competitors during the general briefing.

  • Number of hides: 0-5
  • Search Time will depend on search area available at the trial venue.
  • Number of faults: 2
  • Height- hide will not be set higher than approximately 6 feet. Hide height is not measured and is approximate.
  • Search area size depends on areas available at the search venue. Search areas sizes can range from 600-undetermined square feet.  Areas are not measured and will be approximate.

 

  • Grand Elite Vehicles
  • Number of hides: 0-5
  • Number of vehicles: up to 6
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Number of faults: 2
  •  

Grand Elite Buried

  • Number of containers: 12-20
  • Arrangement of containers- Any arrangement is possible, at judge’s discretion
  • Number of hides: 0-5
  • Hide will be set in sand at an approximate depth of 6 inches.
  • Search Time: judge’s discretion.
  • Due to the possibility of contamination of the search area, no faults are allowed in the buried element. Disturbing the search area by allowing your dog to tip over a box, spill dirt, or dropped food in the search area will result in a dismissal and non-qualifying run.

 

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