Container Searches

As noted in the Rules and Regulations, Cyber Scent Work has the following requirements for container searches: 

  • Search areas may be inside or outside.

  • Containers must be a minimum of 24” apart from one another and any rows must be a minimum of 36” apart.

  • Odor hides must be placed within an odor vessel (e.g. plastic tube or straw) and placed close to a seam of said container to allow odor to escape.

  • If elevated (on top of something, such as a chair seat or attached to a wall or lattice or suspended), containers may not be any higher than 2’ off the ground.


Containers are considered any item used to hold other items such as:

  • boxes, toolboxes, lunch boxes, totes, buckets, bins, luggage, etc.

Considerations and Tips

  • For food and paired odor searches, all containers must be open to allow the dog to self-reward.

  • All odor containers should be "aged" for 15-20 minutes before running the dog. This means placing the odor vessel inside the container and closing it to allow the container to fill with the odor.

  • For odor searches, place the odor vessel near the seam of the container to allow the dog to properly source the hide.

  • Use care when using insulated lunch bags as they can prevent odor to properly escape.

  • For containers such as buckets, flower pots, baskets, etc., fill them with crinkle paper or crumpled up newspaper.

  • For containers such as tote bags, fill them with crumpled newspaper instead of having them completely flat.

Search Options

While handlers and assistants are urged to be creative with the orientation of their containers, Cyber Scent Work does outline orientation options for each level of competition.


These may include the following:

  • straight row of containers

  • two straight rows of containers

  • three straight rows of containers

  • two staggered rows of containers

  • three staggered rows of containers

  • scattered containers

  • clusters of containers

  • creating shapes with the containers (circle, square, U, Z, S, etc.)

  • elevated containers (affixed to a wall or lattice)


NOTE: The total number of containers to be used within each search area is outlined within the Rules and Regulations and is level-dependent.

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