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 11.1 October 2, 2021


NACSW™ Rule Book - Version 11.1, October 2, 2021 - Summary of changes:

  • Updated language allowing handlers to wear visible head/chest mount cameras during trial searches.
  • Minor phrasing and formatting improvements, updates, and clarifications.

NACSW™ Rule Book - Version 11.0, July 19, 2021 - Summary of changes:

  • Minor phrasing and formatting improvements, updates, and clarifications.
  • Added Skills Achievement Challenge rules. We anticipate that the first challenge will be available in the first quarter of 2022.
  • Added information about For Exhibition Only (FEO)
  • Updated the walkthrough information to reflect the new Virtual Walkthrough process.


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

NACSW Trial Container Guidelines for Members

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.