As noted in the Rules and Regulations, Cyber Scent Work has the following requirements for interior search areas:
Search area should have a minimum of 4 walls and a roof.
Space must be free of any safety hazards (e.g. broken glass, garbage, sharp objects, exposed wires, etc.).
Size of the search area will depend upon the level of competition:
Beginner: 100-200 sq ft
Novice: 100-300 sq ft
Intermediate: 100-500 sq ft
Advanced: 100-800 sq ft
Master: 100-1000 sq ft
Expert: 100-1500 sq ft
Considerations and Tips
For food and paired odor searches, all hides must be accessible to the dog so they may self-reward. This means NO inaccessible hides and any hides elevated above the dog’s head must have a way for the dog to reach the hide itself (e.g. a hide placed on a bookshelf, the dog can climb on top of the couch next to the bookshelf to reach the hide).
For odor searches, ensure odor can escape the odor vessel (e.g. use metal tins with holes on top as opposed to solid tins with no holes) and think about where the odor will travel. Ask yourself, “Can the dog follow the odor trail back to source?”.
For levels where inaccessible hides are permitted (and you are NOT using food or paired odor hides), ensure the odor vessel is placed toward the seam or opening to allow as much odor to escape as possible (e.g. if placing a hide inside a closet closet, place the hide near the door hinge).
Practice is the key to success, so handlers and assistants are urged to have previously designed and run searches playing with various elements and factors typical of interior searches. These include, but are not limited to, slick flooring where odor will skid across, rugs and similar flooring where odor will collect and pool, variances with HVAC (heating on/off, A/C on/off, fans on/off, windows open/closed, etc.) and so on.
Handlers and assistants are urged to be creative with the location and composition of their interior search. The overall size of the search area is set by the level (please refer to the Rules and Regulations).
Some potential hide placements you may choose for your interior search include, but are not limited to:
Hide placed near the threshold of the search area.
Hides placed around the perimeter of an area.
Hides placed in the center of an area.
Hides placed underneath furniture or other objects.
Hides placed underneath area rugs.
Hides placed underneath doors or in door jams.
Hides placed near windows or window sills.
Hides placed in corners (busy or bare).