Qualifications & Rules

Scentwork UK levels of progression

Scentwork UK offers 8 Levels of progression. Progression is by passing the individual levels at any trial organized by scentwork UK against a consistent national standard.

Everyone starts at Level 1 and progression is by passing that individual level. You can stay at a Level as long as you want gaining points towards an ‘Excellent Title’ or if you think your dog needs more experience at that particular level.

Although the objectives of each level are slightly different, the main aim of trials progression is to motivate participants, help them focus on their training by achieving small steps in their dog training journey.

Level 1

Objectives :

The dog to recognise one odour in three of the four search areas.

Handlers to be able to read their dog’s body language.

3 minutes per search area

Notes :
  • Any odour can be used at a trial.
  • The judge must be satisfied that the dog recognises the odour with the handler calling the correct ‘Alert/Find’.
  • There are 4 parts, known as search areas, to the trial, ‘Container’, ‘Tables & chairs’, Exterior’ and ‘Vehicle’.
  • The dog & handler team need to be successful in 3 out of the 4 search areas.
  • If the handler calls an incorrect alert, they will not be allowed to carry on and it will be ‘fail’ for this team in this particular search area.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 1 Trials.

Level 2

Objectives:

For the dog and handler team, to find two scented articles, of the same odour.

To conduct a perimeter search and items brought by the judge in the exterior search.

5 minutes per search area.

Notes:
  • Any odour can be used at a trial.
  • The two scented articles should be hidden in two separate areas within the four search areas.
  • When the dog  successfully finds the first scented article the clock ‘will’ be stopped and the dog & handler can leave the search area to reward their dog. The clock will start again when both the handler & Judge are ready to resume the search again.
  • During the ‘container’ search one of the scented articles should been hidden amongst a piece of luggage and the other in a cardboard box/container.
  • In the table, chairs and perimeter search one scented article should be hidden either under a chair and the other around the perimeter.
  • The dog and handler teams need to find 6 out of the 8 scented articles. If the team only finds one scented article in one of the search areas it will still be a pass providing they find another 5 scented articles in the other search areas. If the dog and handler do not find any scented articles in one of the areas they will still pass if they find 6 scented articles in the other 3 search areas.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 2 Trials.

Level 3

Objectives:

For the dog and handler team, to find two scented articles, of a different odour.

5 minutes per search area.

Notes:
  • Any odours can be used at a trial although it would be preferred if the competitor uses cloves & gun oil .

The two scented articles should be hidden in two separate areas within the four search areas and shall be left in situ whilst the dog searches for the second. Marks will be lost for the dog continuing to return to the first scent.

  • During the ‘container’ search, the two scented articles can be hidden in either ‘two boxes’, ‘two items of luggage’, or one piece of luggage and one box but not both in the same one.
  • In the table, chairs and perimeter search one scented article should be hidden either on or chair and the other around the perimeter and preferably behind a closed door or within a filing cabinet or cupboard.
  • The dog and handler teams need to find 6 out of the 8 scented articles. If the team only finds one scented article in one of the search areas it will still be a pass providing they find another 5 scented articles in the other search areas. If the dog and handler do not find any scented articles in one of the areas they will still pass if they find 6 scented articles in the other 3 search areas.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 3 Trials.

Level 4

Objectives:

For the dog and handler team to find two scented articles of a different odour.

Each search area will contain at least 2 distractions scents .

5 minutes per search area.

Notes:
  • Any odours can be used at a trial although it would be preferred if competitor uses cloves & gun oil.

The two scented articles should be hidden in two separate areas within the four search areas and shall be left in situ whilst the dog searches for the second. The dog can be worked on or off lead and to be decided by the handler. Marks will be lost for the dog continuing to return to the first scent.

  • During the ‘container’ search the scented articles must be hidden in two separate items and not in an item that contains a ‘distraction scent’.
  • In the tables/ chairs and perimeter search both scented articles may be hidden on the tables/chairs, both  may be hidden on the perimeter  or one may be hidden on the table & chairs area with the other on the perimeter. The two scented articles must be hidden on two separate items and not in an item that contains a ‘Distraction scent’
  • In the vehicle search at least one of the vehicles must be parked near a grass verge or on a grassy area. The two scents can be hidden either on different vehicles or on the ‘same one’.
  • The exterior search can contain items which contain, pet bedding, rope, hessian packaging as distractions. The two scented articles must not be placed among items that contain a distraction scent.
  • The dog and handler teams need to find 6 out of the 8 scented articles. If the team only finds one scented article in one of the search areas it will still be a pass providing they find another 5 scented articles in the other search areas. If the dog and handler do not find any scented articles in one of the areas they will still pass if they find 6 scented articles in the other 3 search areas.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 4 Trials.

Level 5

Objectives

For the dog and handler team to find 9 out of a possible 12 scented articles within 3 search areas two of which will be interior and one exterior.

The judge will decide how many scented articles are hidden in each search area and the time will be set based on how many scented articles are hidden.

An extra 10 ‘Bonus’ points per search will be awarded to those teams who find all the scented articles within time.

Target odours will be ‘Cloves’ and ‘Gun Oil’.

Notes

At the start of each search the judge will tell the competitor how many scented articles are hidden in the particular search area and how much time they have.

5 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Fouling in any of the search areas and 5 points for each fouling offence
  • Feeding and rewarding in the search area, verbal rewards are acceptable

2 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Minor trashing of the items
  • Moving or touching items without permission

Disqualifications

  • Disqualification for more than 3 false alerts throughout the 3 search areas.

The competitor can leave the search area to reward their dog as many times as they wish but the clock will not be stopped.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 5 Trials.

Level 6

Objectives

For the dog and handler team to find 9 out of a possible 12 scented articles within 3 search areas two of which will be interior and one exterior.

Articles to be scented will consist of any material which has been shown to be absorbent to the scent and small enough to be concealed from the handler. (see Judges Guidelines)

The judge will decide how many scented articles are hidden in each search area and the time will be set based on how many scented articles are hidden.

An extra 10 ‘Bonus’ points per search will be awarded to those teams who find all the scented articles within time.

Target odours will be ‘Cloves’, ‘Gun Oil’ and ‘Truffle Oil’.

Notes

At the start of each search the judge will tell the competitor how many scented articles are hidden in the particular search area and how much time they have.

5 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Fouling in any of the search areas and 5 points for each fouling offence
  • Feeding and rewarding in the search area, verbal rewards are acceptable

2 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Minor trashing of the items
  • Moving or touching items without permission

Disqualifications

  • Disqualification for more than 3 false alerts throughout the 3 search areas.

The competitor can leave the search area to reward their dog as many times as they wish but the clock will not be stopped.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 6 Trials.

Level 7

Objectives

For the dog and handler team to find 9 out of a possible 12 scented articles within 3 search areas two of which will be interior and one exterior.

Articles to be scented will consist of any material which has been shown to be absorbent to the scent and small enough to be concealed from the handler. (see Judges Guidelines)

The judge will decide how many scented articles are hidden in each search area and the time will be set based on how many scented articles are hidden.

The competitor ‘will not’ be told how much time they have and how many are hidden.

An extra 10 ‘Bonus’ points per search will be awarded to those teams who finds and declares that all the scented articles have been found before the allocated time has been reached. 

Target odours will be ‘Cloves’, ‘Gun Oil’ and ‘Truffle Oil’.

Notes

Each search area will contain at least 2 ‘unscented’ decoy articles. (See Judges Guidelines)

5 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Fouling in any of the search areas and 5 points for each fouling offence
  • Feeding and rewarding in the search area, verbal rewards are acceptable

2 Marks will be deducted for:

  • Minor trashing of the items
  • Moving or touching items without permission

Disqualifications

  • Disqualification for more than 3 false alerts throughout the 3 search areas.

The competitor can leave the search area to reward their dog as many times as they wish but the clock will not be stopped.

See full version – Guidelines for Level 7 Trials.