What I didn't mention earlier is that the Sniff 'N Go was run under United Kennel Club (UKC) rules. I didn't even know UKC did nose work trials! I thought the National Association of Canine Nose Work (NACSW) was the only game in town. And since I'm almost as nosy as Jedi, I had to check it out! Here's what I've gathered so far:
- Each organization requires you to be a member before you can participate in their trials. (No biggie. AKC does the same thing.) NACSW charges a one time $30 registration fee for a dog. The owner/handler must also be a NASCW member. The fee for that is $30 a year. UKC charges a one time $35 registration fee for a dog, and it looks like there's no fee for the owner/handler.
- Both organizations require dogs to pass an odor test before they can start competing. NACSW calls that test an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) and I've mentioned that before here. UKC calls it Pre-Trial (PT). UKC will recognize NACSW ORTs and not make a dog retake an odor test. I don't know if the NACSW will recognize UKC PTs.
- NACSW uses three different target scents: sweet birch, anise and clove. UKC uses these same scents plus two more: myrrh and vetiver.
- Both NACSW and UKC start off using birch at the beginner level.
- Both organizations have the same four search elements as well: containers, interior, exterior and vehicle searches. One big difference is that UKC only hides the scent on the front of a vehicle whereas NACSW will hide it anywhere on the exterior of the vehicle.
- Since I'm not competing yet, I'm not quite sure what titling entails. It appears that both organizations add scents and the hides get more challenging as a dog progresses.
- Finally, it looks like there are more opportunities to compete in my geographic location with NACSW. However, the programs look similar enough that a dog and handler team can compete in both NACSW and UKC simultaneously without confusing the dog. (No guarantees for the human though.)
So my question for you: do you compete in canine nose work? And if so, which organization are you a member of? Anyway, it looks like I've got a lot to think about! I'll let you know what happens. -- K