Competitor Information

Competing in an ORT

The purpose of the ORT is to verify that the dog knows the target odour (scent) used in competition. Successful completion of an ORT requires a dog to identify the location of the target odour and the handler to correctly call an ‘alert’  within a three-minute time period.

Please note the  pre-requisites below before entering trials:-

NW1 Trial (birch only) – dog must have passed an official ACSW birch ORT

NW2 Trial (birch & anise) – dog must have passed a NW1 trial and an official ACSW anise ORT

NW3 Trial (birch, anise & clove) – dog must have passed a NW2 trial and an official ACSW clove ORT

Very important points to note:-

  • All handlers entering an ORT must be current ACSW members.
  • All dogs entered in an ORT must be registered with the ACSW and have an ACSW Registration ID.
  • Host clubs holding ORTs must have spots available to the general public (not just students or members of a club or training facility).  Any exceptions to this must receive approval from the ACSW and are generally only granted in situations like a camp or regional workshop weekend.
  • The ACSW will select a number of locations regionally per year for ORTs. The ACSW will review the requests and select the locations that can best accommodate regional tests.

All enquiries please contact

The ORT must be judged by an ACSW sanctioned certifying official, who could be an approved K9 detection handler, a CNWI and/or other qualified person at the discretion of the ACSW. A Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) may also judge an ORT at the discretion of the ACSW.

For more information on ORT rules, see the ACSW  trial rule book

Important Note re Equipment for Dogs and Handlers at ORTs and Trials

  • Handlers: Handlers should wear comfortable clothing with safety in mind, which includes rubber-soled, closed-toe shoes unless they obtain a waiver in advance that special clothing is required for medical reasons. Handlers may also wear special training clothing and equipment, i.e. vests, hats, bait bags, etc.
  • Dogs: Flat collars, martingale collars, limited slip, harnesses and leashes (any length as well as Flexi) are the only permitted equipment during the search. No electronic or remote training devices may be used at any time. Dogs may not wear cameras during ORT or trial searches.Accessories for dogs are allowed if they are deemed to be for the wellbeing, comfort, or safety of the dog – for example boots, jackets, sweaters, hair pins. If the Certifying Official or Judge deems that the equipment interferes with the search, is a safety concern, or exhibits inappropriate advertising, you may be asked to remove the accessory from the dog before the search begins. Accessories that emit an odor (for example DAP collars) are not permitted in the search area. Muzzles are not permitted to be worn on trial grounds. Calming caps and other accessories that block the dog’s vision are not permitted outside of the vehicle or crate. If you have a specific concern or question about a particular piece of equipment, email at least 14 days prior to the trial date.

Competitor Trial Notes – More information for ORT and Trial competitors here