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The Rules

Handlers must let the judge know how they will call a find before the start of the test.

Dogs may be rewarded in the area and the time will stop between finds, time will re start as soon as the dog is re tasked.

Food may be used but must be of a non-crumbly texture and fed from the hand, not the floor, taking care not to contaminate the search area, points may be deducted for dropping food. Soiling in the area will result in elimination.

Handlers and spectators may not divulge any information about the search, location of the hide or their performance until all teams have run for their class. At the discretion of the event committee, any person, handler or spectator, may be excused from the trial and asked to leave the trial grounds for discussing searches or hide placements with competitors whilst the class is still running.


Level Rules

  • You may start at any level but you cannot move down a level unless entering the Diamond League, which must have a valid reason and will be a permanent  move.

  • You may compete at two consecutive levels at once but may not move down a level to do so.

  • The objectives for each level are aimed to be progressive with focused training goals.

  • Dogs and handlers may run NFC at up to 2 levels above or below their current competitive level.

  • You may stay at any level as long as you wish, gaining league points and specialist certificates or giving dog/handler more experience.

  • Each level will have a set time and handlers can request a time check.


League Rules

  • Summer league is 1st March-31 August 2024. Winter League is 1st September 2024-28th February 2025

  • The Diamond league caters for veteran dogs, physically impaired, youth teams and special combinations.

  • Points are earned by receiving placings - placings are 1st to 6th at each trial.

  • League points are relevant to the current working level. If a team moves up, the points at the previous level remain. Points will then accumulate at the new level.

  • Dogs moving from Champion league to Diamond league cannot carry points over.

  • Levels 1 (Club) is not included in the Champion League.

  • League winners-Bronze winner must move up to Silver level, Silver and Gold winners are no longer eligible for the level below their win.

  • Veteran dogs may downgrade at any time from their 9th year and compete at ANY level in the Diamond League.

Common Questions

What odour can I compete on?

Any legal odours are acceptable. There may be some exceptions at specific venues or due to the availability of the odour but all our hosts will work with you to cater for your needs. The dog may also not search for their reward item.

How old does my dog need to be to compete?

We have a minimum age limit of 8 months.

What venues can we expect to compete at?

Hosts use a variety of venues, village halls can be used for Club and Bronze level, but after that expect 'real life' venues such as stadiums, farms, offices etc.

Do I have to start at Club Level?

No, it is recommended all new comers start at club level, you may however enter at any level, however you may not down grade a level unless moving to the Diamond league, if you are not sure what level to enter please contact us.

Complete Competitor Rules

Good to Know

Judging Criteria

What you are scored on

What to expect at a trial

Important Info

2024 Updates
Full rules can be downloaded from the rules page

League Updates

We will now run a summer and winter league.

Summer runs from 1st March-31st August.

Winter runs from 1st September 2024-28th Feb 2025

Championship League Winners for 2024-Bronze level winners are no longer eligible to compete at that level the following year.

Silver and Gold Winners are no longer eligible to compete at the level below their winning level.

General Rule Updates

A win at CLUB or Bronze makes that team no longer eligible for CLUB only.

The judged indication is the indication the handler calls the alert on and the handler must be able to identify the area of the hide from the dogs indication, the judge may ask for conformation from the handler.

Excellence and Skills Certificates

From March 2023 it is the competitors responsibility to apply for your certificates-please use the form below. Any queries on how many current qualifying scores you have on how to apply please contact us.

If you would like a free record book please pop us an email or collect from a trial.

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