When searching for odor, your dog always has the solution, but for those questions a sniffer can't answer, this is the place. Browse the complete list of frequently asked questions or click on a category heading below. For questions not answered here, Contact Us and we will do our best to help. 

 

If you have questions about finding a Certified Nose Work Instructor, becoming a CNWI, classes, or workshops, please visit the website for our Education Division at: http://www.k9nosework.com

FAQ Categories

NACSW Membership Questions

Odor Recognition Test Questions

Trial and Competition Questions

Return and Refund Policies

 
 

Q: How do I become an NACSW member?

A: You can register for membership here.

 

Q: How do I register my dog with the NACSW?

A: You can register your dog with the NACSW here.
 

Q: When do I have to renew my membership?

A: Membership is annual and runs August 1 to July  31 of each year. Currently, there are no prorated rates for membership, however, there may be discounted rates for early renewal and/or for new member sign up late in the membership year.

 

Q: How do I update my address or email address associated with my membership or dog registration?

A: You can change your account info by logging in, going to My Account, and update your information.

 

Q: How do I update my name on my membership or my dog's call name?

A: Please email membership@nacsw.net

 

Q: How do I get a replacement membership card?

A: We do not require that membership cards be shown to participate in an event at this time.  If you do wish to obtain a replacement membership card, please log in to your account.  There is an option to order a replacement card for $2 under the "My Account" section of the site.  Please allow 7-10 days for a replacement card to be emailed to you.

 

Q: What if I enter an NACSW sanctioned ORT or trial before receiving my membership number and/or dog's registration number? 

A: When you register with the NACSW as a member and/or register your dog and pay by credit card, you will be assigned your membership number and/or your dog's registration number immediately upon completion of your order (please allow 6-8 weeks if you opt to pay by check).  If you are not sure what your numbers are, you can log into your account to access your membership and dog registration number(s).   Your membership number will start with an "M" and your dog's registration number will start with a "K".  If you participate in an ORT or trial without a current membership or with a dog that has not been registered, then the results of your performance will be invalid.  If you have any questions, please email membership@nacsw.net

 

Q: How do I join the NACSW Google groups?

A: The NACSW Membership Google group is open to members only.  All members who want to receive emails for upcoming Trials and ORTs can request to join the Membership Google group by following the below steps:

1) visit: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/nacswmembership 
2) When you click on the link, it will ask you to sign in to your Google account if you are not already signed in. If you do not have a Google account, you will need to create one.
3) Once signed in, you can click to “Apply for membership”
4) Please make sure to select the appropriate “Email delivery preference” to ensure you receive the posts to the group. You will also need to include your name and NACSW Member Number to have your request to join approved.  If you have any questions about joining the Google group, please email membership@nacsw.net.

 

We also have an NACSW Facebook page that you can follow for updates, information, etc. - https://www.facebook.com/NACSW

 

 

Odor Recognition Test Questions:

return to top

 

Q: What is required to enter an Odor Recognition Test (ORT)?

A: Any dog participating in an ORT must be registered with the NACSW prior to entering the event and must be at least 6 months of age. Any person handling a dog in an ORT must be a current member of the NACSW and must be at least 13 years old. Click here to register with the NACSW.
 

Q: Who is eligible to handle my dog in an ORT or trial?

A: Any current NACSW member may handle any NACSW registered dog in an ORT or trial (the handler must not be officiating the event and the dog may not reside in the same household as either official).
 

Q: How do I get more information about an upcoming trial or ORT?

A: You can find dates and location information for upcoming events by visiting the ORT Calendar or Trial Calendar pages. For all events you must contact the host directly for more information.
 

Q: How do I enter an ORT or a trial?

A: You can find information on upcoming ORTs and NACSW Trials on the ORT Calendar or Trial Calendar pages, including instructions for entering events.

 

Q: What if I enter an NACSW sanctioned ORT or trial before receiving my membership number and/or dog's registration number?

A: When you register with the NACSW as a member and/or register your dog and pay by credit card, you will be assigned your membership number and/or your dog's registration number immediately upon completion of your order (please allow 6-8 weeks if you opt to pay by check).  If you are not sure what your numbers are, you can log into your account to access your membership and dog registration number(s).   Your membership number will start with an "M" and your dog's registration number will start with a "K".  If you participate in an ORT or trial without a current membership or with a dog that has not been registered, then the results of your performance will be invalid.  If you have any questions, please email membership@nacsw.net

 

Q: Can anyone host an NACSW Odor Recognition Test (ORT)?

A: We welcome all potential hosts for ORTs. Visit Hosting an ORT for more information and to submit a request to host an ORT.

 
 

 

Q: What is required to enter a trial?

A: All dogs must have earned an ORT title (passed all three odors at ORTs) to be eligible for all trial levels. In addition, any dog participating in an NACSW Trial must be registered with the NACSW prior to entering the event. Any person handling a dog in an official trial must be a current member of the NACSW. More detailed information can be found by visiting the Trial Requirements & Eligibility page. It is strongly recommended that dogs and handlers participating in an NACSW Trial prepare for the challenges of a real-world competition experience. Visit the How do I Know if I am Ready to Trial page for more information.

 

Q: How do I enter an ORT or a trial?

A: You can find information on upcoming ORTs and trials on the ORT Calendar or Trial Calendar pages, including instructions for entering events. Events are added to the calendar on an ongoing basis.

 

Q: How do I receive my title certificate(s)?

A: Title certificates are available through your account page for download/printing as soon as the results are loaded in our system. This is within 14 days for ORTs and trials, however trial results are frequently loaded within 72 hours. For NW3, you will receive a certificate the first time you earn the NW3 title and then you will be sent a separate NW3-Elite certificate when you achieve that title.

Through Jan 1, 2022, you may opt in to receive paper certificates through the mail. Go to your account settings to opt in. These will be mailed monthly.

 

Q: How do I get a replacement title certificate?

A: Replacement title certificates can be ordered online for $10 by logging in to your account.  Under the "My Account" section, please select "My Dogs" and then click on "Titles".  There will be an option to order a replacement title certificate on that page.  Please note that if you had a typo in your dog's name, you will need to edit your dog's information to correct the name prior to submitting the request for the replacement title certificate.

 

Q: Can anyone host an NACSW trial?

A: We welcome all potential hosts for official trials. Visit How to Host a Trial for more information and to submit a request to host a trial.

 

Q: Can I or my family/friends take video or photos of my dog searching at an NACSW trial?

A:

  • Videos and photos of trial competition searches are only allowed by photographers/videographers who have been contracted by the Trial Host and by competitors wearing visible head or chest mount cameras.
  • Video/Photography may not be allowed based on facility restrictions.
  • Any competitor video should not delay the start of the search.
  • Please have your camera ready prior to approaching the search area.
  • Videos of searches may not be shared until the completion of the trial day.
  • Spectators and volunteers may not video trial searches at this time.
  • Videos and photos taken by contracted video services/photographers will be made available to the competitors to purchase, per the NACSW photographer and video service guidelines.
  • Competitors, spectators, and volunteers may not video or photograph the CO briefing.

 

Q: Under what circumstances can I request to have my trial video or trial score reviewed?

A: We will ONLY provide a review in situations where it will affect a qualifying score, a title, Elite Division points, or move a team into the top 3 placements.  
 

We will offer review of scoring in the case of the score card not matching the score that is showing in the official results.  We will also offer review of trial video ONLY in the case of a score card inaccuracy.  That is when the judge's responses during the search are not reflected on the score card.  We will only be able to review the video in the situation where we actually have official NACSW video that clearly confirms the inaccuracy or you are able to provide a video from a video service or handler worn camera.  We frequently do not have video or the video is not clear due to a variety of circumstances.

 

To submit a request for review, please visit: https://nacsw.net/trial-score-card-inaccuracy-request-review. You will be required to provide the handler's name/member number, dog's name/K9 ID, dog's breed, date, location and level of the trial, the element in question, and a scanned or photographed image of the score card in question. This request must be submitted within 21 days of the trial date. We will respond to the request within 30 days of the submission of the request. Trial results will be updated at that time if applicable.

 

Q: How does the random draw for trial entry work?

A: We know that as more people are entering trials, more people are ending up on wait lists for these trials. We would love to have more trials on the calendar to help address the demand, so if you are interested in hosting and have a potential location, please let us know.

 

We have been getting a lot of questions lately regarding how the random draws are performed and we wanted to take the time to give you the inside scoop on the process.

 

All entries come in through the NACSW trial entry tool. An NACSW staff member then extracts all the entries for a given trial into an Excel file. Then we add a column and use the Excel random number generator to assign a random number to each entrant. Then the staff member sorts by the assigned random number and that is the resulting draw order. The draw results are then sent from the NACSW to the trial host so that they can send out the entry confirmations and wait list emails.

 

Very rarely, a priority entry may be given to a person for significant contributions to the trial process. These are few and far between. Anyone who hosts a trial and opts to not enter their trial gets a priority entry to be used at a future trial, but they only get one priority entry per year regardless of how many trials they host. Trial hosts receive "double draws" for each additional trial weekend hosted in that year - a double draw gives them two chances in the draw. There are also a few people (less than 10 nationwide) who contribute significant hours to the behind the scenes work for the NACSW that may be given a priority entry (but again no more than one per year per person). Lastly, occasionally there is a unique situation that results in someone else getting a trial opportunity because of one person's sacrifice that might earn a priority (again only one per year) - for instance we once had a judge who had an entry in a trial with their own dog, who agreed to sacrifice their trial opportunity to judge so that everyone else could trial.

 

We understand the frustration with the wait lists, but rest assured the draw is random. We have investigated many possible options for all the people who deserve entries (those who volunteer a lot, those who have been wait listed many times, those with older dogs, those who cannot travel, etc.) and the unfortunate situation at this time is that many people deserve entries and there is not an easy way to address the situation given our current resources.  The most fair solution is a random draw.

 

We encourage all of you to get involved in some capacity to help us make more trials happen so that we can help alleviate the long wait list issues in some parts of the country.

Visit our Random Draw page for additional information on how random draws work.

 

Q: How far in advance of a trial must my dog have passed an Odor Recognition Test?

A: Trial entry requires that you have earned your ORT Title and any applicable titles required for entry at least 14 days prior to the trial entry open date to be considered for the primary draw.

 

Q: How do I know if my dog and I have a spot in the trial I entered?

A: For every trial entry, you will get an email either way (if you got in or not) by the date specified in the premium. A lack of an email does not mean you did not get in and you should check with the host to verify (after the date specified).

 

Q: What is the role of a trial judge?

A: The Judge is responsible for determining if a dog/handler team has correctly identified the hide location. They are also responsible for issuing any faults that may be incurred by the team. Most of our judges come from a professional detection background. Many of them are current or retired law enforcement or military detection dog handlers. The judges have thousands of hours of experience watching dogs work scent, often in situations that are dangerous or even life threatening. Their ability to read a dog working scent in a real life working scenario makes them uniquely qualified to judge our trials. We have been very lucky that so many professional handlers have been willing to give us their time.

 

Q: What is the role of a trial Certifying Official (CO)?

A: The Certifying Official (CO) is responsible for selecting the hide locations, setting the search area parameters and ensuring that the trial is run to our standards and rules. Our COs have been through extensive training regarding our standards of hide placements for each of our trial levels. Their training also covers all aspects of a trial in a variety of regions. This helps us to maintain a standard at each level at trials throughout the country. All of our COs attend continuing education meetings and volunteer at other trials to continue their education. We appreciate the time and effort these people have put in to learn the necessary skill sets to help set great hides and provide new challenges at all of our trials.

 

Q: My dog is “dog reactive”. Can we still play?

A: It has become apparent that there are some misunderstandings regarding our rules regarding reactivity at official events. The activity of K9 Nose Work is something that almost all dogs can enjoy and we have found that the activity has helped many dogs with sensitivities improve tremendously - sometimes to the point where they can safely navigate a trial environment.  However, NACSW Trials and ORTs will not be something that are appropriate for all dogs, as these are real life environments.  We cannot control these environments as much as class environments can be controlled and surprises do frequently happen.  Our primary goal is to keep your dog comfortable and safe - no dog enjoys being put in a situation where they feel it necessary to react - and for some dogs, this may mean that the trial environment is not right for them.  Dogs with human aggression issues or extreme environmental sensitivities may want to enjoy the activity privately. Questions or concerns can be sent to trial@nacsw.net.

 

Q: What are your Return/Refund Policies

A: Memberships and dog registrations may be canceled for a full refund within 30 days of payment. All custom products (replacement membership card, replacement dog registration card, and replacement title certificates) are non- refundable. The Trial Basics Video Series is non-refundable. Old Trial Video series are non-refundable once your order is fulfilled.