This is an informational page, please refer to the most current rule book to ensure that you have the most up to date information.
The activity and sport of K9 Nose Work is designed to let dogs engage their natural scenting abilities in a fun and rewarding search endeavor, inclusive to the highly motivated working dog, as well as the beloved family pet. K9 Nose Work can be done anywhere you can go with your dog. With the right foundation and continued training, any dog can do K9 Nose Work!
Before you can compete in an NACSW Trial, you will need to take an Odor Recognition Test (ORT). To enter an ORT you must be a member of the NACSW, and your dog must be registered with the NACSW. At an ORT, you and your dog will have to search 12 identical boxes with one of the boxes containing odor (birch, anise, and clove). The search will be “blind,” meaning you will not know which box contains the odor, and you must be able to correctly identify when you think your dog has found the odor box.
After passing all 3 odors at ORT’s, you and your dog are eligible to compete at an NACSW Trial at the Nose Work 1 (NW1) level. Please note that an NW1 trial is much more complex than an ORT. If you are going to enter a trial, it is essential that you know and understand the rules of the sport, and that you take the time to become “trial ready.” At an NW1 trial, your dog must now have to cope with distractions, environmental stressors, larger search areas, and all four elements of competition. In addition, your dog may have to go from crate to work several times during the course of the day.
Remember, K9 Nose Work is designed to provide a safe and fun activity for all dogs, including dogs that are reactive, shy, fearful, or unable to participate in other dog activities or sports (to an extent). Many of these dogs excel in classes, and some gain the confidence to be able to compete at NACSW Trials. Regardless of your goals in K9 Nose Work, the activity provides a lifetime of fun for your dog.