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Element Specialty Trials

  • Buck Hill 15400 Buck Hill Rd Burnsville, MN, 55306 United States (map)

Official NACSW™
K9 Nose Work® Element Specialty Trials
Saturday, October 31, 2015

~ The listed trial start & end times are estimated. The actual start time will be emailed to competitors closer to the trial date.

Buck Hill Ski Resort
15400 Buck Hill Road
Burnsville, MN 55306

Please Note:  It is not appropriate to visit the trial location prior to the trial date, nor should training take place on trial grounds once an event is approved/announced. Our locations are real life search environments where people work, go to school, etc. Pre-trial visits risk the host losing the opportunity to use the location again in the future.

Trial Hosts: Jeff McMahon & The K9 Nose

Saturday AM: Level 1 Interiors |  Click here to Register | Click for Wait List
Saturday PM: Level 1 Containers |  Click here to Register | Click for Wait List

Certifying Official: Michele Ellertson
Entry Cost: $60 per dog and handler team for each Element Trial.
Payable to The K9 Nose™

Number of Entries:
30 Entries, one dog per handler per Level/Element.

Please note that competitors may not volunteer in a trial they are competing in, however, they may volunteer for the Element Specialty Trial in the other half of the same day. We would love to have you volunteer for any of the 3 trials or if you know of someone who would like to volunteer, please fill out our Volunteer Form. And if you have any questions about volunteering, please email and Jan or Heidi will get back to you. Your time and effort will be GREATLY appreciated!

Registration Entry and Closing:

  • Trial entry will open on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM Central Time (CT).  Entries will be awarded by random draw of all entries received between 11:00 AM (CT), Sept. 18, 2015 and 11:00 AM (CST), Sept. 20, 2015.
  • Trial entry will close when entries fill after the draw period OR 11:00 AM (CT) on October 16, 2015.
  • NACSW reserves the right to cancel a trial if minimum entry numbers are not met
  • The trial host of an event has the right to refuse entry of any competitor or dog for just cause as approved by the National Trial Committee.  Just cause includes lack of adherence to NACSW rules and guidelines and the policies outlined in each event entry premium.
  • Note:  We will not be taking payment until you are given a space in the trial.  If you are given a space in the trial, you will receive information on how to submit payment.  You will then have 48 hours to complete your payment to confirm your space in the trial.

Registration Method:
All registration will be on-line via the link provided to the NACSW™ trial registration form. Paper and phone entries will not be accepted. Completing the form is not a guarantee of entry. You will receive an auto-response email confirming that we received your trial entry after registration - this email does not confirm your space in the trial. There will be a separate confirmation from to let you know if your entry has been given a space in the trial.

Entry Method:
Trial spaces will be awarded in the following manner:

  • Spaces will be awarded by a random draw of all Qualified Entries (see below) received between 11:00 AM Central Time, Sept. 18, 2015 and 11:00 AM Central Time, Sept. 20, 2015.  
  • In the event that you are having technical difficulties with the entry system, please email prior to the end of the draw period.
  • If a trial level is not full after the draw of Qualified Entries, then there will be a Secondary Draw of any entries received that did not meet the ORT or title requirements. These entries will be accepted pending completion of the requirements.  

Note: If you are entered in another trial before this one and earn the title for the level you are entering at this trial, you will forfeit your space in this trial. You may request that the host add you to the list of those wishing to run their dog For Exhibition Only (FEO), in which case you may be given a space in the trial if space remains after all Qualified Entries are accommodated. If you earn the title level after the refund period has ended then you must contact the trial host at: (insert host's email address) within 48 hours of earning your title to let them know you are no longer eligible. If you contact the host within 48 hours and (1) they are unable to fill your space then you won't be given a refund but will be allowed to keep your space in the trial and run your dog FEO or (2) they are able to fill your space then a refund will be issued minus the processing fee listed in the cancellation policy. If you fail to contact the host within 48 hours of earning your title then you will forfeit your space and no refund will be issued.

  • After all entries received during the draw period are processed, if the trial level is still not full, entries will continue to be accepted in the order they are received through the closing date or when entries fill.
  • You may enter multiple dogs for entry in the draw.  However, only one dog/handler per level/element will be accepted into the trial.  Entry will go to the dog selected in the draw – you may not swap to an alternate dog.   In the event that multiple dogs are selected in the draw, you may select which dog you wish to enter.  Once a dog has been entered as a second dog/handler entry, you may not swap handlers after the draw to change the entry to a first dog/handler unless the trial is not full.    
  • Dogs may be given a space in multiple trials of different level/elements during a trial weekend.  No dog may enter the same element at two different levels on the same trial weekend.
  • Some trial entries may be given priority entry based on contributions to the organization and the trial process.
  • If space remains after all qualified entries are accommodated on Sept. 22, 2015, then we may accept entries for those who have earned the current title level – and wish to retest at the same level. Entrants retesting at the same level will be For Exhibition Only (FEO) and will not be eligible to receive title or placement ribbons. FEO results will not be included in the posted trial results.  

A Qualified Entry is one that meets all of the following criteria

  • Complete the on-line trial entry between 11:00 AM Central Time, Sept. 18, 2015 and 11:00 AM Central Time, Sept. 20, 2015.
  • The Handler is a NACSW™ member for the 2015-2016 membership year (8/1/15 - 7/ 31/16).
  • The Dog is registered with the NACSW™
  • The Dog has passed the appropriate ORT for the level entered at least 14 days before the trial opens for entries.
  • The Dog has earned the prior title level at least 14 days prior to the trial date.
  • Qualified entry for Level 1 – Dog has not earned the Level 1 title for the Element.
  • Qualified entry for Level 2 – Dog has earned the Level 1 title for the Element, but has not yet earned the Level 2 title for the Element
  • Qualified entry for Level 3 – Dog has earned the Level 2 title for the Element, but has not yet earned the Level 3 title for the Element

You will be notified via e-mail of the results of the random draw by 10:00PM (standardtime) September 30, 2015.  If you are given a space in the trial, you will receive information on how to submit payment.  You will then have 48 hours to complete your payment to confirm your space in the trial.

A waiting list for alternates will be started as soon as entries fill. Alternates will be contacted when a space opens.  Note: Depending on last minute trial logistics, we may opt to not fill all canceled spaces.

Be sure you read and understand the guidelines for this trial before entering. By submitting a registration for this NACSW™ Trial, you acknowledge that you have read, understand, and accept the policies and liability information of NACSW™.

Cancellation& Refund Policy
The following cancellation policy applies:

  • For cancellation of entries on or before 7pm central time October 15, 2015 – Full refund minus $10 processing fee.
  • For cancellation of entries after 7pm central time October 15, 2015 – no refunds will be issued.
  • All cancellations must be emailed to
  • Entry fees shall not be refunded in the event that a dog is absent, disqualified, or excused by the NACSW™ official or judge.
  • This cancellation and refund policy applies to competitors that must withdraw for any reason including but not limited to injury, illness, emergency, and personal or work-related reasons.
  • No part of the fee will be refunded if the trial cannot take place or be completed by reason of fire, civil disturbances, an Act of God, public emergency, or any other cause beyond the control of the trial organizers.

Trial Conditions:
At an Element Specialty Trial, there will typically be 3-5 searches for each trial.  This number may vary to allow for more locations to be obtained for trials.  Difficulty will be adjusted by the Certifying Official through selection of areas, hide placement, etc.  Search areas will tend to be varied in environment for each trial.  For example, for a Level 1 Container search you might have container searches in large spaces, small spaces, inside, outside, with elevation, etc. Modeled after real-life detection work, K9 Nose Work® trials are held in many different locations, with a variety of terrain, under varying weather conditions. Dogs and handlers need to be able to safely negotiate a variety of surfaces, including, but not limited to, tile, linoleum, carpeting, gravel, asphalt, uneven surfaces, and slippery footing. Handlers should be prepared to deal with a variety of weather conditions, including heat, cold, rain and snow. Trials frequently require covering extensive distances to get to and from the parking area to each of the search areas and generally require that this be done across natural, uneven surfaces. Handlers should be prepared for the physical demands and must be able to navigate the terrain with their dog accordingly. Participants should expect to spend most of the day outside or in their vehicles as there are rarely indoor crating options at trials. Please be prepared for you and your canine partner to deal with all of these varying environmental challenges. Handlers agree that they are entering this trial at their own risk.

By registering for the trial, the competitor hereby assumes all risks of, and responsibility for, accidents and/or damage to her/himself or to her/his property or to others, resulting from the actions of her/his dog. The competitor expressly agree that the NACSW™, Jeff McMahon, and The K9 Nose, and its assignees or any other person, or persons, of said groups, shall not be held liable personally, or collectively, under any circumstances, for injury, and/or damage to her/himself, for loss or injury to property, whether due to uncontrolled dogs or negligence of any member of said groups, or any other cause, or causes.  The competitor also agrees to assume all financial liability that may be incurred by the NACSW™ due to the actions of themselves or their dogs regardless of the cause.
Dog Policies:

  • All dogs must be on a 6’ leash at all times when not being tested. NO flexi-leashes while not participating in a competition search.
  • Reactive and/or spatially challenged dogs should wear a red bandana (to be provided by the dog’s handler) to help signal others that the dog needs extra space.
  • Dogs will be toileted in designated areas and handlers must pick-up and dispose of waste.
  • Dogs and handlers must stay in designated areas to avoid contaminating testing space, interrupting a test, or from viewing any part of the testing.
  • Please leave unentered dogs at home.
  • Competitors should expect to keep their dogs confined in a crate or vehicle when not competing.  The logistics of a trial typically do not allow for dogs to hang out on leash in between searches.  Competitors should plan to provide their own shade using canopies or shade cloths.  

Females in Season:
Will be allowed to run wearing “pants” at the very end of the running orders after all other dogs have been judged. Females in season will be parked and pottied in areas separate from the other dogs while at the trial if the location logistics permit. Handlers must contact so plans can be made for the dog.

Complete rules are available at  It is the responsibility of each competitor to read and understand the current NACSW™ Rule book prior to participating in a NACSW™ event.  

RV Parking:
There will be designated spaces available for RVs at this trial site, to reserve a space you will need to contact the host after you receive a confirmation that you have received a space in the trial. No overnight parking.

All competitors/handlers and spectators are expected to follow the rules of the NACSW™ and demonstrate good sportsmanship. This includes making sure the hide placements are unknown to the handler prior to testing and kept secret from other competitors. Please do not discuss hide placement or any details of a dog's performance that may provide information or clues to other handlers or may be overheard.

NACSW™ Scorebook and Ribbons:
Competitors will need to bring their NACSW™ Scorebook to the registration table at the end of the element specialty trial if they wish to have their results officially recorded by the score room workers. Scorebooks will not be collected at the beginning of the day. If competitors wish to know the reason for any faults received they will need to stay until final results are ready at the end of the element specialty trial to get that information from the score room workers. Results posted online and written in scorebooks will list the number of faults received but will not explain the reason(s) for the fault(s). Title ribbons can be picked up as soon as a competitor finishes their runs. It is not the responsibility of the host or NACSW™ to mail ribbons that aren’t picked up at the trial.


Family members and friends are welcome to watch certain elements if there is appropriate viewing space for a gallery that will not interfere with the dog working or the judging. Limits may be put on the number of spectators depending on the turn out. Children under 18 must be directly supervised at all times. Spectators MUST check-in at registration, sign a waiver, and get a name badge. No dogs will be allowed in the spectator area. No unentered dogs are allowed at the trial. Spectators are reminded that the hide placements must not be discussed nor should they speak with any competitors about what they saw until after the trial is complete. Competitors are not allowed to watch the trial at anytime.

Video Taping and Photography:
Videos and photos of the competition or competition areas are not allowed at this time, except by NACSW™ approved photographers/videographers.  No portion of any event may be videotaped or photographed for commercial or other purposes without written authorization from NACSW™.  All photographs, video broadcast, and telecast rights for NACSW™ events are the exclusive property of NACSW™.

As a condition of your entry, you agree to allow NACSW™, or their agents, to video you and your dog, during the entirety of the NACSW™ event.  These videos are the property of NACSW™.  All competitors, through entry at any NACSW™ event, waive any and all rights relative to video broadcast or photography of such event.  

Hotels & Motels:
Please check on dog acceptance policies and pricing before making reservations as policies do change.
AmericInn Burnsville, 14331 Nicollet Court, Burnsville, MN55306,  (952) 435-2100
Best Western Nicollet Inn,  14201 Nicollet Ave South Burnsville, MN 55337, (800) 634-3444
Motel 6 Mall of America, 7640 Cedar Ave S, Richfield, MN, US 55423, (612) 861-4491
La Quinta MSP Airport, 7815 Nicollet Ave S, Bloomington, MN, US 55420, (952) 881-7311
Super 8 Airport, 7800 2nd Ave S, Bloomington, MN, US 55420, (952) 888-8800
Extended Stay America Eagan, 3384 Norwest Court, Eagan,  MN55121, (651) 681-9991

For all trial related questions, please contact Yas at

Later Event: November 1
NW2 Trial