When searching at the Master level, the:

  • team is looking for one to four hides
  • scent is Birch and/or Anise and/or Clove and/or Cypress
  • official time shall start when the dog’s nose crosses the start line, or when any part of the handler’s body crosses the start line, whichever is first
  • dog indicates the finds and the handler calls “Alert”. Official time shall stop when the handler believes all hides have been located and calls “Finish”
Sixteen tote boxes will be placed in the search area, in any arrangement. Eight of these boxes must contain sand, and eight must contain water, filled equally with enough material that the scent vessel is covered with four inches of material. The boxes containing water will each have a scent vessel affixed to the bottom, which may or may not conceal one of the target odors. There are an unknown number of hides at this level; one, two, three, or four of the boxes will contain a scent aid scented with Birch, Anise, Clove, or Cypress. There are three distractions, which may be non-food, food, auditory, visual, human, or mimic. Distractions are not buried or submerged. The dog has five minutes to locate the target scent(s) and communicate the find(s) to its handler. The handler must call “Alert” when the dog indicates the find. When the handler believes that all hides have been located he/she must call “Finish” to stop the time. The timer will not give a 30-second warning at this level (but handlers are allowed to self-time, if they wish). The Buried Master Class is open to dogs who have acquired the Buried Excellent (SBE) title.
Twenty containers of various size and type are laid out on the floor of the search area. The containers may be arranged in four rows of five containers, in a circle, or in a “U” formation. The handler will not know the exact number of hides at this level: one, two, three, or four. There will be three distractions at this level, and these may be non-food, food, auditory, visual, human, or mimic. The target odor(s) at this level will be Birch and/or Anise and/or Clove and/or Cypress. The dog has four minutes to locate the container(s) with the target scent and communicate the find(s) to its handler. The handler must call “Alert” when the dog indicates each find. When the handler believes all hides have been located he/she must call “Finish.” The timer will not give a 30-second warning at this level (but handlers can self-time, if they wish). The Container Master Class is open to dogs who have acquired the Container Excellent (SCE) title.
The target odor(s) of Birch and/or Anise and/ or Clove and/or Cypress are hidden in an outdoor area. There are one, two, three, or four hides at this level, all of which may be inaccessible, none of which may be located higher than 60 inches (5 feet) above the ground. The exact number of hides is not known to the handler. There are three distractions, which may be non-food, food, auditory, visual, human, or mimic. The handler must call “Alert” when the dog indicates the finds. When the handler believes that all hides have been located he/she must call “Finish” to stop the time. The time limit is set by the judge and must be between 3 and 5 minutes. The timer will not give a 30-second warning at this level (but handlers can self-time, if they wish). The Exterior Master Class is open to dogs who have acquired the Exterior Excellent (SEE) title.
The target odor(s) of Birch and/or Clove and/or Anise and/or Cypress are hidden in three distinct search areas in one or more rooms, or part of a room. Each search area will be worked independently, with a separate time limit. There are an unknown number of hides per area: either zero, one, two, or three (with a maximum of six hides for the entire class). Any or all hides may be inaccessible, but none may be located higher than 60 inches (5 feet) off the floor. One of the search areas may be “blank” (with no hide) if the judge chooses. There are three distractions, which may be non-food, food, auditory, visual, human, or mimic. The dog must find the target scent(s) and communicate the find(s) to its handler. The handler must call “Alert” when the dog indicates each find. When the handler believes that all hides have been found in the search area, then he/she must call “Finish” to stop the time. The time limit is set by the judge and must be between 1 and 3 minutes per search area. The timer will not give a 30-second warning at this level (but handlers can self-time, if they wish). The Interior Master Class is open to dogs who have acquired the Interior Excellent (SIE) title.
This is a combined search. At this level the search area presents the team with two or more elements (container, interior, or exterior) within one search. For example, the search area may span indoors and outdoors, may be an indoor search that includes containers, or any other combination. The handler scent may not be buried. Three handler-scented articles are hidden in two distinct search areas. Each search area will be worked independently, with a separate time limit. None of the search areas may be blank. None of the hides may be inaccessible, and none may be located higher than 24 inches above the ground. Also hidden on the course are two additional scent aids, one scented by the judge, and one scented by a steward. There are one or two distractions at this level, which may be non-food, food, visual, auditory, human, or mimic. The dog must find the handler scents and communicate the finds to its handler. The handler must call “Alert” when the dog indicates each find. In each search area, the handler must call “Finish” to indicate that all hides have been found and to stop the time. The time limit is set by the judge and must be between 2 and 3 minutes for each search area. The timer will not give a 30-second warning at this level (but handlers can self-time, if they wish). The Handler Discrimination Master Class is open to dogs who have earned the Handler Discrimination Excellent (SHDE) title.
ElementBURIEDCONTAINEREXTERIORINTERIOR
ScentBirch &/or Anise &/or Clove &/or Cypress
# Hides1-4 unknown1-3 unknown1-4 unknown0-3 per area with max of 6; one area may be blank (unknown)
# Containers1620n/an/a
ArrangementAny4 rows of 5, circle, or “U” formationn/an/a
container typeTote boxes with metal grid on topVarious sizes and typesn/an/a
Time Limit*4 min3 min1-3 min / area3-5 min
Distractions3 non-food, food, auditory, visual, human or mimic
Required CallAlert calls & one finish call
Max. Height of Hidesn/an/a60"60"
*If there is a time limit range, it will be set by the judge prior to your search.