Version 11.0 of the rule book is now available. Please note that this version includes the rules for the new Skills Achievement Challenge. We anticipate that the first Skills Achievement Challenge will be offered in Q1 2022

NACSW Rule Book Version 11.2 January 10, 2022

Additional information on expectations for dogs with sensitivities

We are now providing details about the types of containers you are likely to encounter at NACSW trials:

For trials prior to October 1, 2022 - NACSW Trial Container Guidelines for Members

For trials on or after October 1, 2022 - October 1, 2022 NACSW Trial Container Guidelines for Members

NACSW™ Rule Book - Version 11.2, January 10, 2022 - Summary of changes:

  1. Added section with information on our target odors
  2. Updated to clarify that: “No electronic or remote training devices may be worn or used at any time while on trial grounds.”
  3. When participating as an FEO entry the handler may ask the search judge to provide verbal information regarding the number and general location of the hide(s) in a search. This information sharing should not delay the start of the search.  
  4. Clarified: “The time starts when the dog’s nose crosses the plane of the start line or threshold. Handlers may have a moment at the start line to acclimate and collect themselves. You may be prompted by the judge to begin if the time is excessive. If the dog does not enter the search area by crossing the start line, the team may receive a fault.
  5. Minor phrasing and formatting improvements, updates, and clarifications.


For future consideration:


As NACSW continues to grow, we continue to work to broaden the parameters for appropriate trial locations.  One challenge with some locations is the proximity of search areas to the parking area or bathrooms and the audibility concerns this presents.  Especially at NW3 or Elite where the number of hides is unknown and hearing competitors call Alerts may give other competitors inadvertent information.  Additionally, the possibility of a judge asking ‘where’ can cause audibility concerns as well.  There are some teams competing whose trained alert behavior is a bark.  This alert behavior may limit the trial locations we can approve moving forward.  We have no intention of penalizing those teams already competing with this behavior, however as we look to the future we will be looking closely at adding a rule to discourage trained audible alerts.  We wanted to make our participants aware so that those starting with new dogs may take this into account when making training decisions about trained alert behaviors.  We do want to emphasize that we are not concerned about dogs that bark in excitement during a search, just those that have a specific trained alert behavior of a bark.