Our newest titling event, the Element Specialty Trial, is designed to offer a variety of challenges in a specific element of competition - Containers, Exteriors, Interiors, or Vehicles - depending on the event location and environmental conditions for that day. Imagine doing 4-5 container searches at one event, with the possibility of unusual search areas like a cluttered room or a grassy field, new container types like empty pizza boxes, the potential to search off-leash, and more.
Element Specialty Trials will have many benefits for dog & handler teams beyond being another titling opportunity. For dogs & handlers new to trialing, Element Specialty Trials make it easier to experience the sport of K9 Nose Work with just a half-day competition, easier to focus on a specific element, and easier to volunteer after finishing the competition, as the second half of the day would be a new Element Specialty Trial. Seasoned competitors will have the opportunity to strengthen their performance in a specific element, and to challenge themselves and their dogs with new and exciting variations on the elements of competition.
Element Specialty Trials will have a separate titling structure from our current Nose Work (NW) 1,2, 3, and Elite titles earned at the standard four-element trial. Specific titling options will be announced in advance of official titling opportunities for Element Specialty Trials.
Element Specialty Trials became a titling option as of April 1, 2014
Following are some of the details regarding how the functioning of the Element Specialty trials may vary from our NW1/NW2/NW3 trials.
Element Specialty Trials will be structured as half day events. Each half day may offer a different option for the level and element being tested. This will be approved based on the options available at a particular location and the demand in the area. For example, a
host may offer Level 1 Vehicles on Saturday morning, Level 1 Interiors on Saturday afternoon, Level 2 Containers on Sunday morning, and Level 1 Containers on Sunday afternoon. Competitors will still not be able to volunteer or spectate in a trial that they are entered in. However, they will be able to volunteer in the other half of the day if they are not entered.
The Element Specialty Trials will have a separate titling structure from our current NW1/NW2/NW3 titles.
If you successfully find all the hides for that trial, you will earn your title for that level/element in a single day. If you earn a score of 75, then you will earn one leg towards a title. Two passing scores (or legs) will earn you a title. The NW1/NW2/NW3 titles will continue to be fully supported at separate events. There will be opportunities to earn Element Specialty Trial titles in each of the four elements (container, interior, exterior, and vehicle). There will be 3 levels of Element Specialty Trials that correspond to the NW1/NW2/NW3 titling and beyond with similar challenges at each level. We also hope to add in a fourth level once we have enough dogs at the NW3 Elite level. The Birch, Anise, Clove ORT requirements will be the same for the Element Specialty Trials levels as they are for the current titles.
There will be no awards ceremony at the end of the trial. Instead, participants will know if they titled or not as they complete their searches and would be able to pick up their title ribbon prior to leaving. There will be no placement ribbons, but placements will be posted on the NACSW website after the event.
Walk-throughs may or may not be done at each event. They may be provided only if logistics make it easier to do a walk-through in advance (rather than having to explain the search area to each participant as they approach).
Score sheets will be significantly simplified and will not have judges’ comments or be returned to the competitor at the end of the trial. This is to simplify things for the score room and allow us to streamline the trial day to allow for more entries.
Participants may opt to start out at Level 1 regardless of their current NW title status. Participants may also opt to enter at higher levels based on their NW1/NW2/NW3 titles. For example, if your dog has earned an NW2 title, you could opt to enter Level 1, 2 or 3. If your dog has earned an NW1 title, you could opt to enter only Level 1 or 2.
You may opt into different levels by element. So, you could start at Level 1 for Interiors and Level 2 for Vehicles if you had an NW1 title. Once titling options are available, you will lock into a level for an element once you have earned a passing score or a title at a given element and level.