NACSW Trial Judge Pilot Program for NACSW members

We are excited to offer a Judge Training Pilot Program to offer more individuals the opportunity to become Trial Judges for NACSW. This program will accept applications through February 21, 2022. We will select up to 10 applicants into the program. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application by March 21, 2022. 

Listed below are the selection criteria and the process for applying to our Judge Program. Individuals selected will go through a required training program before being approved as an NACSW Judge. 

Selection Criteria:

1. Minimum of 2000 hours of search observation of dogs working scent in a variety of conditions such as:  

Day and night
Heat (80+ degrees)
Cold (20 degrees or lower)
Wind 2-40 mph

2. Minimum of 1000 hrs of experience of setting/judging hides. 

We require experience setting NACSW odor for all levels of teams. 

3. Ability to explain odor problems including, but not limited to: 

Converging odor
Trapping odor
Pooling odor
Inaccessible (contained vs open)
Effect of corners
Effect of surface changes
Effect of thresholds
Effect of temperature changes
Effect of differing environmental conditions
Effect of changing wind on a hide

4. Five years of handling scent detection dogs, preferably in competition, but if your dog is unable to compete due to behavioral or health conditions, minimally, in classes, seminars, etc. 

Additional considerations: 

1. Geographic location. We want to ensure we have the appropriate number of  judges in every region

2. Commitment to NACSW. This is determined through the number of volunteer hours, hosting ORTs/Trials, working on committees, etc.

3. Current teaching status. Active teaching a plus, CNWI status a plus.

4. Competition success in NACSW. An ELT 2 title is preferred but not required. 

5. References from instructor, student and peer (3 total) with optional 4th reference from an NACSW Certifying Official or Judge 

6. Some applicants may be asked to submit videos or additional information.

Requirements for those selected into the NACSW Judging Program: 

1. Pay $75 fee (to cover cost of online class)

2. Participate in an online training class (required) - there will be video to review prior to attending the online training session from 4:30-6pm Pacific time on April 21, 2022.

3. Shadow an NACSW supervising judge (3 trials days with 3 different judges at differing competition levels) 

4. Supervised Judging – this initial approval to judge will be provisional – CO’s will evaluate performance and these reviews will be used to finalize approval

Any questions should be sent to

We will be accepting applications through February 21, 2022.

Click here for the application