Trial Rule Book

This is the current official rule book for the NACSW. To see prior versions of the rule book, go to the rule book archives page.

NACSW Trial Rule Book - 2014

NACSW K9 Nose Work Rule Book Version 9.1, July 3, 2017

NACSW™ K9 Nose Work® Rule Book - Version 9.1, July 3, 2017

Summary of changes:

  1. Effective October 1, 2017: NW2 may now have up to 3 hides in a single search.
  2. Effective October 1, 2017: At Elite Division Trials there will only be 30 second warnings for searches 3 minutes or longer.
  3. Container searches at Elite may contain novel (non-food/non-toy distractors)
  4. Effective October 1, 2017 teams must earn a minimum score of 43 points at an Elite Division Trial for the points to be included in a competitor’s accumulation of points towards their Elite Title.
  5. Effective October 1, 2017 there are changes to the types of containers that will be used at NW2/NW3/Elite trials. 
  • NW1 – No change (boxes only, 1 hide). 
  • NW2 – Distractors present, known number of hides (1, 2 or 3), boxes, add additional container types – needs to be new and non-fabric (plastic bins, metal tins, paint cans, etc).
  • NW3 – Distractors may be present, unknown number of hides (1, 2, or 3), same container options as NW2. 
  • Elite – Add used and fabric containers like backpacks and luggage.
  1. Other minor phrasing updates and clarifications


NACSW™ K9 Nose Work® Rule Book - Version 9.0, November 22, 2016

Summary of changes:
1.  Change to allow for completion of required ORTs and titles up to 3 days prior to the event (previously 14 days).  14 days prior to the trial opening for entry is still required to be considered in the primary draw.  
2.  Update that if you are dismissed you are ineligible to participate in remaining trials for that event.
3.  Removal of the restriction for judges judging their own students.
NACSW™ K9 Nose Work® Rule Book - Version 8.9 September 10, 2016
Summary of changes:
1.  Minor phrasing updates and clarifications including disciplinary action process, hosts will be directly hiring COs after April 1, and fix to incorrect phrasing on how scores are calculated. 

NACSW™ K9 Nose Work® Rule Book - Version 8.8 July 1, 2016

Summary of changes:
1. Updated phrasing relating to time at the start line
2. Added ELT3 and ELT-CH titles
3. Lactating bitches are not permitted to participate in events
4. Updated trial eligibility relating to listed judges.  Effective January 1, 2017, Trial Judges will be listed on the entry premium. As of January 1, 2017, Competitors are not eligible to participate in a NACSW™ event if they are a student, immediate family member, or member of the household of a listed judge or if the dog belongs to an immediate family member or lives in the household of a listed judge. A competitor is considered a student if they have received instruction from the judge as part of a “working team” spot in a class or workshop with any dog more than twice in the ninety days prior to the trial date. Immediate family member is defined as spouse, partner, child, grandchild, or in-laws.
In the event that there is a judge replacement after the trial entry open date, then the above eligibility requirements are waived for the replacement judge. 
5. Other minor phrasing updates and clarifications

The numbering system for identifying the edition of the NACSW rule book is as follows:
  • If there are significant changes to trial structure, scoring, or title definitions, then a new numbered edition of the rulebook will be issued (i.e. 5.0, 6.0, 7.0).
  • If there are only small language changes, typos, changes to the guidelines, wording clarifications, or other changes that do not affect titling or training the version number will be added under the existing version (i.e. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3).
  • Major revisions to the rule book especially those that affect training will be announced with consideration for the time allotment for training adjustments.  Other revisions will be published no later than the trial entry open date.

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