TRIAL ELEMENTS for the Elite Division:


Elite Division Trials will not be broken out by element. Trials may contain any combination of interior, exterior, vehicle, and/or container searches. For example, a trial may have an exterior search area that also includes vehicles, or it might consist of all interior searches.


At an Elite Division Trial, there will typically be 3-5 searches for each trial. This number may vary however to allow for more locations to be obtained for trials. Difficulty will be adjusted by the Certifying Official through selection of areas, hide placement, etc. Search areas will tend to be varied in environment for each trial. At each trial, there will be a maximum time limit set for each search. The location of all hides will remain in the same spot for all competitors.


Elite Division Title Requirements:


Each title is based on earning the total required points for the given title level at Elite Division Trials. The points earned at a trial are the total score earned for the trial. Note: Effective October 1, 2017, Teams must score a minimum of 43 points at an Elite Division Trial to accumulate points for that trial.

See the scoring section for details on how the score is calculated. The ELT1 title will be earned when a dog has earned 150 points at Elite Division Trials. The ELT2 title will be earned when a dog has earned 400 points at Elite Division Trials. The ELT3 title is earned by accumulating 650 total points at Elite Division Trials. The ELT-CH title is earned by accumulating 1000 total points at Elite Division Trials. For example, if a dog competes at one Elite Division Trial and earns a score of 80 points and then competes at a second Elite Division Trial and earns a score of 70 points, then the dog will have earned the ELT1 title.


Elite Division Requirements & Parameters:


• Each search area may contain odor #1 (Birch) and/or odor #2 (Anise) and/or odor #3 (Clove) or a combination odor of any of the three odors or multiples of the same odor.


• Teams must have earned their NW3 Elite title to be eligible to compete in an Elite Division Trial.


• Each search area will be clearly defined, and a time limit will be given for the area. Timers will make their best effort to give a 30 second warning unless otherwise defined prior to the search.


• Searches may have unknown or known number of hides for the area. This will be information given to the handler prior to starting the search. For an unknown number, you may be given a range – for example: 0 to 5 hides. If no range is given and it is an unknown number, then there may be any number of hides (or zero hides) in the area.


• The team will accrue points for each hide found (or call made in the case of an area with no hides). The total possible points will be 100. The points for each hide/call will be equal to 100 divided by the total number of hides/calls. For example, if there are 10 total hides/calls then each hide will be worth 10 points. If there are 14 total hides/calls, then each hide will be worth 7.14 points. In the case of a search with no hides, a correct “Finish” call is worth 2 hides. Points will be deducted for each False Alert call and also for each timed out (failure to call ‘Finish’ prior to time elapsing). There will also be a 1 point deduction for each fault.



• A Blank Area at Elite trials will be scored as 2 hides worth of points. Scoring will be as follows:

▪ Finish correctly called = 2 hides.

▪ Finish called after calling 1 false alert = 1.5 hides.

▪ Finish called after calling 2 false alerts = 1 hide.

▪ Three false alerts = 0 points.

▪ Timing out (i.e., failure to call “Finish” prior to time expiring) will result in a half a hide penalty.


• The score for an individual search may be negative. However, the minimum overall score for the trial will be zero and will not be negative.


• Time will stop when the handler says “Finish”.This is the case even if there are a known number of hides in the search area. If the handler does not say “Finish” prior to the time limit for the search, the team will be given the full time limit for the search area and be given a deduction of half of a hide


• If the handler calls a False Alert during the search, the team will be allowed to continue searching however there will be a point deduction of half a hide for each False Alert. For example, if there are a total of 10 hides and no Blank Areas at that trial, each hide is worth 10 points. The team would lose 5 points from its score for each False Alert call. See below in the scoring section for details. There will be a limit of 3 False Alert calls in each search area. If you call a third False Alert in a single search, the search will end at that time and you will receive full time for that search.


• For each fault that is assessed, there will be a 1 point deduction from the score for that search.


• NW1, NW2, and NW3 hide parameters do not apply. Anywhere in the search area is fair game for hide locations. Hides will not be in the search boundary markers (i.e., boundary cones, flags or tape) and hides will not be outside of search boundaries.


• Alerts – Handler must call “Alert” when the dog has communicated that he has found a hide. The dog is not required to exhibit any specific alert behavior for the alert to be valid. The judge however will be looking for a change of behavior in the dog.