AKC Points By Year

2007Ch Arco du Chateau RocherKarla Davis109
2008Ch Arco du Chateau RocherKarla Davis140
2009Ch Arco du Chateau RocherKarla Davis95
2010GCh Ch Dillinger du Chateau RocherKarla Davis152
2011GCh Ch Dillinger du Chateau RocherKarla Davis172
2012GCh Ch Flame Noir du Chateau RocherD. Michael Bitz101
2013GCh Ch De Joie du Chateau RocherMarlene Palmer250
2014GCh Ch De Joie du Chateau RocherMarlene Palmer218
2015GCh Ch De Joie du Chateau RocherMarlene Palmer190
2016GChG Ch De Joie du Chateau RocherMarlene Palmer199
2017GChB Ch Maitrise du Chateau RocherKaren Muller220
2018GChS Ch Maitrise du Chateau RocherKaren Muller274
2019GChG Ch Maitrise du Chateau RocherKaren Muller365
2020GChS Ch Lord Lekor du Chateau RocherSusan Almatrood192

American Beauceron Club National Specialty Winners

Based on information in past newsletters and AKC past show results, the winners of the ABC’s National Specialty (NS) have been compiled. However, this list is somewhat incomplete as the ABC held events prior to the 2010 NS. If you have information from 2006-2009 (or earlier), please email the Archives & History Committee (archives@beauce.org). If you have photos from any of these past events we would love to have them, we would also love to be able to post photographs of past winners.

The results are broken down by year, location (state), judge of the NS, with entries/competitors, followed by the winner, dog/bitch, owner and breeder, and then any additional information about the event itself.

Judge D. Thompson (13/13)
Solitaire Bleue du Chateau Rocher (B)
Karla Davis/Karla Davis
*NABC Rarities Specialty





Judge Jan de Gids (32/29)
Ch Signet Mes Yeux Vigilants (D)
Susan Bass & Adrienne Scott/Susan Bass
*First National Specialty

Judge E. McDowell (38/29)
Ch Falcon Blue du Chateau Rocher (D)
Karla Davis/Karla Davis

Judge C. A. Herbel (23/?)
GCh Bijou Noir du Chateau Rocher (B)
Jean Tournquist/Karla Davis

2013–New York
Judge P. Beisel-McIlwaine (20/?)
GChS Ch De Joie du Chateau du Rocher (D)
Marlene Palmer/Karla Davis

Judge R. H. Slay (26/?)
GChS Ch De Joie du Chateau du Rocher (D)
Marlene Palmer/Karla Davis
*Also went Group 1 and BIS

Judge L. Adams (31/?)
GChS Ch De Joie du Chateau du Rocher (D)
Marlene Palmer/Karla Davis
*Also went Group 1 and RBIS

Judge L. Scanlon (38/?)
GChS Ch De Joie du Chateau du Rocher (D)
Marlene Palmer/Karla Davis
*Also went Group 2

Judge S. A. Redmer (33/?)
Ch Jaguar Noir des Mont du Lac (B)
Joanne Boudreault/Joanne Boudreault & Eric Vavassori

Judge M. Purkhiser (36/?)
GChS Ch Maitrise du Chateau Rocher (B)
Karen Muller/Karla Davis
*Also Owner/Handler Group 3

Judge J. A. Vanek (26/21)
GChG Ch Maitrise du Chateau Rocher (B)
Karen Muller/Karla Davis

2020–Postponed due to COVID


AKC CHF Genetics Resources

Sarah E. Price

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) publishes and updates a document on the state of genetic research (July 28, 2020). If you are interested in how genetic research can be used in the study of illness, breed-specific issues, and breeding, this is an excellent resource. It also provides a very clear explanation of how genetics work in general.

If you are interested in seeing the publicly available genetic testing results for the largest group of Beaucerons (through Embark) they have been compiled in a Google sheet that is available to everyone, and anyone can add their dog’s results.

If you have not browsed through the CHF website, there are also some really excellent studies and resources on illnesses that affect all of our dogs, particularly tick-borne diseases and hemangiosarcoma.

Remember, for those of you who participate in the Purina Pro Club, you are generating funds for not only the ABC, but for research conducted by the CHF.


New AKC Titles in 2020

Sarah E. Price

I think we can all appreciate how difficult 2020 has been, and particularly so for competing in sports! This is all the more reason to be impressed by the 322 new titles earned by Beaucerons this year. With the addition of virtual competitions in Trick Dog (81 new titles) and Rally (38 new titles) (and in 2021 Virtual Obedience) many of you seized these new opportunities to train and title your dogs despite the pandemic. Congratulations to all the dogs and their owners for accomplishing so much, despite 2020!


2020 AKC Agility Invitational

Sarah E. Price

Paige Johnson and Harbin were the only Beauceron team out of three invited to compete in the 2020 AKC Agility Invitational.

In Round 1 JWW they had a clean run with a score of 100 and time of 40.531. In Round 2 Standard, they had a cumulative score of 185. In Round 3 (Hybrid), Paige and Harbin cleared the course with a score of 100 in 46.551 seconds and left the agility ring in 37th place in the 24 in. jump division! The duo then filmed some agility shots for a commercial (to air on ABC on January 17th), then to the conformation ring, and a mad dash back to agility. Round 4, back to JWW, and Paige and Harbin scored a perfect 100 again with a clean run in 42.493 seconds. An eight year old veteran, Harbin was also Select Dog during Breed competition. Congratulations to GCHB CH Harbin L’Amour de ma Vie RN, MXP, MJP, CA, DS, CGC, TKP and Paige Johnson for clean runs and representing the breed in both the agility AND conformation rings!

2020 AKC National Championship

Congratulations to all of the Beaucerons who competed in the
2020 AKC National Championship!

Best of Breed
GCH CH Odds Maker Of Prairie Crest
Bred by Karla Davis, Adrienne Scott, and Tara Richardson
Owned by Adrienne Scott

Best of Opposite Sex
GCHG CH Maitrise Du Chateau Rocher RN CA RATN CGCA CGCU TKA
Bred by Karla Davis
Owned by Karen Muller

Select Dog
Bred by Cindy Hartwell and Michael Greenburg
Owned by Paige Johnson and Cindy Hartwell

Select Bitch
GCH CH Noelle Du Chateau Rocher CA BCAT CGCA CGCU TKN
Bred by Karla Davis
Owned by Regina Fasold

Best Bred By in Breed/Variety
CH Svajone’s Pour La Reine RI FDC CGC
Bred by Kayla Phillips and Sherri Phillips
Owned by Carly Fryer and Kayla Phillips

Best of Winners
Praetoria Noire De Roi Givre
Bred by Pamela A. Frost
Owned by Scott A. Godwin and Pamela A. Frost

Winners Dog
Pavo Platoon Des Monts Du Lac
Bred by Eric Vavassori, Joanne Prager, and Joanne Broudreault
Owned by Adam Borman and Erica Igelsias Borman

Winners Bitch
Praetoria Noire De Roi Givre
Bred by Pamela A. Frost
Owned by Scott A. Godwin and Pamela A. Frost

1st Award of Excellence
GCH CH Kafziel Von Der Funkhalde RN CGCA CGCU TKN
Bred by Karl Villiger
Owned by Ashley De Noma and Jill Rose

2nd Award of Excellence
CH Svajone’s Pour La Reine RI FDC CGC
Bred by Kayla Phillips and Sherri Phillips
Owned by Carly Fryer and Kayla Phillips

Sports et Loisirs: Agilite


While we certainly recognize that there are many other venues for competitive agility (UKC, CKC, NADAC) creating a cheat sheet for all of them was too expansive of a project.

  FEO (For Exhibition Only) Can use toy in the ring and touch obstacles, including resetting jump bars Exhibitors can change a FAST or T2B to FEO entry
Test Levels ACT I (Agility Course Test), also virtual until 12/31/20 2 Qs: score 85 pts or more on 10 obstacles, no weave poles ACT 1 can be skipped
ACT II (Agility Course Test), also virtual until 12/31/20 2Qs: score 85 pts or more on 10 obstacles, 6 weave poles  
Trial Levels Novice (A/B) 14-16 obstacles 6 weave poles
Open 16-18 obstacles 9-12 weave poles
Excellent 18-20 obstacles 9-12 weave poles
Masters 18-20 obstacles  
Classes Standard
Contact obstacles (yellow sections), pause table
Jumpers with Weaves (JWW)
No contact obstacles or pause table
Reduced jump height (good for young dogs and seniors) and longer course time
Fifteen and Send Time (FAST)
15 pt valued obstacles/combos and a send bonus for a distance element
Time 2 Beat (T2B)
Not separated by levels but dogs of same height compete and course time is set by fastest dog
No dog walk, chute, pause table or broad jumps. Up to 2 tries to finish an obstacle
19-21 Obstacles generally same course as Master with emphasis on handling complicated sequences
No pause table
Obstacles A-Frame Contact on descent Required
Dog Walk Contact of descent Required
Seesaw or Teeter Contact on ascent and descent Required
Pause Table 5 second stop with all 4 paws on table Required
Open Tunnel   Required (Max 3)
Weave Poles 3 attempts allowed Required
Bar Jumps Jump over top bar without displacing or knocking it  
Panel Jump    
  Double Bar Jump    
  Triple Bar Jump    
  Broad Jump    
  Jump Wings    
  Ascending Double Bar Jump    
  Wall Jump    
  Tire Jump Cannot break tire segments apart or knock the frame over  
Qualifying 3 qualifying scores at each level under 2 judges    
Divisions All Beaucerons would be entered in the 24 in. division (22 in. or over at the withers)    
Faults Refusal/Run Out, Wrong Course, Pause Table Fault, Failure to Perform, Elimination, Excusal    
(Level) (Class) + Preferred if applicable
N (Novice) A (Agility) or J (Jumpers) and P (Preferred, if applicable). For example, NA = novice agility; NAJ novice jumpers with weaves; NAP = novice agility preferred
Notes A-Frame, Dog Walk, and Seesaw will never be set in sequence, or the first or last obstacles on a course    
  • Arc’s Bete Du Bayou NA OAJ OF RATN CGC (Denise DiLosa)
  • GCH CH Harbin L’Amour De Ma Vie AXP MJP CA DS CGC (Paige Johnson and Cindy Hartwell)
  • CH Image Du Murier De Sordeille NA NAJ OA OAJ NF (Elaine Giannelli)
  • Cupidon De Trappist VCD1 OA OAJ (Michele Godemann)
  • Disney Du Bois Du Nord MX MXB MXJ MJB XF T2B CA
  • Emperor Woodrow Mes Yeux Vigilants AX MXJ XF (Sharon Schultz)
  • Endless Waltz De Nanrox RN NAP NJP CGC TKI (Jill Ford)
  • Enori Du Chateau Rocher-Nori MX MXJ MJB (Daria Tsoupikova-Preuss)
  • Fabuleux Viper Du Chateau Rocher CD RE OA NAJ CGCA (Pamela Woodes)
  • GCH CH Fredericka Du Chateau Rocher CD BN RA OA NAJ OJP CGCA (Deborah Baker and Karla Davis)
  • GCH CH Isis Isis Baby Du Chateau Rocher CDX BN RAE MX MXB MXJ MJB XF CA CGCA (Janice Bourell-Casey)
  • GCH CH Loki Du Chateau Rocher BN HSAs NA CGCA CGCU (Cynthia Burgess and Amelia Foreman)
  • Hogan De La Noe D’Orient HSAs AX AXJ CGC (Christine Emery)
  • Isla Mystique Du Chateau Rocher BN RN FDC NAJ NJP CAA BCAT ACT1 CGCA TKN (Kathy Kimmeth)
  • MACH3 PACH2 Demi Du Bois Du Nord CD BN RE MXB2 MJS2 MXP5 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX2 MFB TQX T2B CA CGC (Maureen McClatchy)
  • PACH Maya Du Coeur De Soleil BN RN MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB PAX MFP CAA BCAT DJ AJ TKI (Maureen McClatchy and Elaine Giannelli)
  • Rebelle Avec Une Cause Du Chateau Rocher RA AX MXJ CA CGC TKI (Cara Dixon)
  • Tequila De L’ Etoile Du Nord OA AXJ NJP (Marion Karhatsu)

2020 AKC NOHS Final Rankings

The rankings and points were final as of October 7, 2020. Forty-two Beaucerons are included in the final tally, which is impressive given that COVID-19 brought a halt to trialing for most of this year. Congratulations to all the Owner-Handlers of 2020!

Rank Dog Name Owner NamePoints
No. 1GCH CH Kafziel Von Der Funkhalde RN CGCA CGCU TKNAshley De Noma/Jill Rose355  
No. 2CH Outwit Des Gardiens D’ApollinaireDawn Johnson/Angie Robertson/Greg Johnson245  
No. 3CH Chronos Xerxes Z Babanovho Vrska DSCasey Nowtash/Daniel Nowtash175  
No. 4CH Quoiceneck Bleu De Montclea BCATLinda Buffa/Cindy Hartwell145  
No. 5CH Olympia Bleue Du Chateau Rocher RN FDC CA DCAT CGC TKA ATTMrs. Jasmine C Sanders55  
No. 6GCH CH N’vy des Gardiens D’ApollinaireAngie Robertson/Dawn Johnson50  
 CH Outclass Des Gardiens D’ApollinaireDawn Johnson/Greg Johnson/Angie Robertson50  
No. 8GCH CH La Belle Fleur Sauvage Des Siskiyous FDC BCATMrs. Jalien Watson35  
 GCH CH Mystique De Soleil Minuit FDC CA CGC TKNDerylee Hecimovich/Lan Hecimovich35  
 CH Princess Yue Du Chateau Rocher RN ATTYvette Ornelas35  
No. 11CH P’ Sirius Black De La Bergerie D’ ElanSierra Esparza30  
No. 12CH Octavia Bleue Gardein Des ChutesJoanna M Law/Carol A Cossey25  
 Protege D’Andromeda Du Joie De Vie Adventure TKN ATTDiane Yoha/Mark Ricciardella25  
No. 14Ame Magnanime Hughes RebellSheila Mills20  
 Proper Gent Du Chateau Rocher RN HT CGC TKAStephanie Lynn Smith20  
No. 16Pick Your Poison Du La Cour Des Reves RI CGC TKE ATTMrs. Alissa A Felix/Ms. Kayla Raquel Phillips15  
No. 17Armored Rose Defying Gravity CGCA TKNMarissa Ho/Jill Rose10  
 Birdwing Peace Of My Heart RN CGCA CGCU TKNSusan Griffin/Jack Carney10  
 GCH CH Ja’Ciara Le Coeur Pur CGCMarc Dicino/Terri Dicino/Angie Robertson10  
 CH Laisser Le Cote Sombre Dans De La Valle Katahdin RE FDC NJP CGCA CGCU TKEMrs. Stacy Crivello10  
 CH Northern Star Of Blue Kisses Gardien Des Chutes BN RN CAA BCAT CGCAMs. Susan J Walls10  
 Oh For Flock’s Sake De Haute Crete CGCA CGCU TKNAshtyn Chamberlain/Amelia Foreman/Alex Zeilmann/Angela Chamberlain10  
 CH Onassis Gardien Des Chutes RN CGC TKNMrs. Trina Marie Bastion10  
 GCH CH Ozella Du Joie De Vie Adventure BN CGCBetty Johnson/Bruce Johnson/Angie Robertson10  
 Pavo Platoon Des Monts Du LacAdam Borman/Erica Iglesias Borman10  
No. 26GCH CH Birdwing Nietzsche RI PT FDC CA CGCA CGCU TKN ATTSusan Griffin/Jack Carney5  
 CH Birdwing Oberklasse-Dieb RA PT CA DJ CGCA CGCU TKA ATTMrs. Shelby B Vannarsdall/Susan Griffin5  
 CH Birdwing Odin War Lord At Defisja RNPatrick F Cagney/Diana L Cagney/Susan Griffin5  
 CH Demro Heart Boyard FDC BCAT CGCA CGCU TKIRachael Lincoln/Bright Kailee5  
 Dhalia Black Heart Boyard BCAT CGCA CGCU TKI ATTKailee Bright/Lenore Hedemark/Rachael Lincoln5  
 GCH CH Matcho D Irko Des Monts Du LacKarla Davis5  
 Medicine Man Du Coeur De Soleil CGCLindsey Winslow/Tyler Winslow/Elaine Giannelli5  
 GCH CH Monet Happy Des Monts Du Lac CGCA CGCU TKNAngie Robertson/Dawn Johnson5  
 CH Moulin Vert No Higher Love FDC BCATCarolyn Mills5  
 GCH CH Nostradamus Des Gardiens D’Apollinaire HSAs FDC ATTJon Hicks5  
 Odaiourazi De L’Ombre Rouge De Phrygie CGCA CGCU TKN ATTSusan Griffin/Jack Carney5  
 Offender Du Joie De Vie AdventureRachel Rogers/Angie Robertson5  
 Orabelle Bleue Du Chateau Rocher TKIBrittany Rickard5  
 Patriot Fire Mes Yeux VigilantsSusan D. Bass/Heidi L Sparks5  
 Petra Tempete De Hope Of Prairie CrestBruce Johnson/Adrienne Scott/Betty Johnson5  
 Svajone’s Paint Your Pallet Blue And Grey CGCMaryAnn Sullivan/Ms. Kayla Raquel Phillips5  
 Svajone’s Prince SidonMaile Hirano/Ms. Kayla Raquel Phillips5  

AKC 2020 Rally National Championship

As with so many other things this year, the 2020 AKC Rally National Championship which was to be held in June this year had to be postponed until December. Although they will not be competing this month, we should congratulate those Beaucerons and their dedicated, hard-working handlers who were invited to compete:

  • Grizzbee de la Pilgrimage CD, RN, SWN, CGC (Sue and Douglas Lewis)
  • Ch Olympia Bleue Chateau Rocher RN, FDC, CGC, TKN (Jasmine Sanders)
  • Niko des Barons Noirs Della Foppa CD, RI, CGC (Roxann Nydell)
  • River Rim’s Out in the Moonlight BN, RI, CGCA (Gabriella Z. Murdock and Sidney J. Wilcox)
  • L’Mystere Noir du Chateau Rocher RM2, RAE2, FDC, RATS, CGCA, CGCU, TKP (Robin J. and Ralph L. Gowen)

Odor Dialogue: Learning to Listen Through Scentwork

Syndi Keats and Sarah Price


Odor indication as a sport is relatively new, although dogs have been “finding” things for us– drugs, bombs, contraband, animals, and lost people–for a long time. AKC scentwork (est. 2017) and the National Association of Canine Scentwork (NACSW) (est. 2009) are the two primary bodies that organize and trial for the sport, although UKC does as well as several other smaller venues. Like most canine sports, this means that there are slightly different rules, regulations, and requirements for trialing, although the basic concepts and training are similar. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in the Beauceron community in scentwork so we (Syndi Keats [Mesa] and Sarah Price [Rose]) are going to try and explain some of the ins-and-outs for newcomers.

Nosework, regardless of application or venue, is the act of teaching a dog to find specific odor(s) and teaching yourself to listen to, and trust, your dog when they tell you they have found it. It is one of the only dog sports where the handler is not in complete control and you are completely reliant upon the relationship you have built-in training to “win.” You do not know where the hide is located in a trial, and at the more advanced levels you do not even know how many hides there are, you are blind and completely reliant upon your dog’s nose.

I (Syndi) decided to get into canine nosework/scentwork after watching how much fun Mesa had with “find it” games. Luckily, my puppy class instructor decided to do an introduction to nosework class where she hid food in boxes and had the dogs search. Mesa loved it and I was hooked. Surprisingly, in Reno (Nevada), there are at least two places that teach nosework. I found an instructor that I really like who has weekly classes in and around the city, so the searches vary from week to week. To date, Mesa has achieved her AKC SWN, SIA, SEA SCA (more on these abbreviations in a bit and here), and NACSW ORT.

Mesa indicating a hide during training at a pet store (interior).

Rose is trained to do IGP tracking but tracking trials in the lower Southeast are few and far in between, and on the rare occasion one pops up it usually fills within a day. I (Sarah) decided to give scentwork a try and found it to be a much easier activity to train and trial for. No matter the weather, setting, time of day, or conditions you can train scentwork. This is particularly appealing when you live somewhere that the weather turns on a dime or things like fire ants eat your tracking treats! Unfortunately, there are no classes or trainers near me, so we are self-taught. I rely on YouTube videos, online webinars and courses, and trials to learn. Rose has earned her AKC SNI, SNE, and SCN titles to date.

Getting Started

Nosework is a great activity to do whether you plan to trial or not. I (Sarah) do it with all three dogs in our house, and the 12-year-old Dachshund loves it as much as the two Beaucerons. You should decide if you want to trial or not, and then determine what venues offer trials in a radius you are willing to travel. This will also help you find a potential trainer in your area. NACSW has a list of certified instructors searchable by location. You should ask what type of trialing the instructor has done and make sure it fits with your goals. Syndi keeps tabs on AKC and NACSW trials within 250 miles of home. NACSW is not an option for me (Sarah) and neither is UKC, so AKC trialing is our venue and I generally try to stay within five hours of home for trials.

Whether you go to a class, do an online course, or just start playing around, teaching nosework is somewhat the same regardless of venue. You are pairing specific odors with a reward—toy or food—whatever works best for your dog. Dogs naturally use their noses and like to “hunt,” so we are teaching them to hunt something specific and to tell us when they find the strongest source. In a trial, you are relying on your dog’s ability to find those odors’ sources and to trust that your dog is telling you the truth. 

To get started, you will need at least the Birch odor, but make sure to buy the oils that are used by the trialing organization of your choice. You will need small containers (scent vessels) to hold the odor (e.g., straws, metal tins with holes, empty chapstick tubes, metal tubes, etc.); these vessels are the things that will hold the odor to make a “hide.” You can buy odor kits that provide the essentials, and beyond, for training. Good sources for obtaining nosework supplies include K9 Nosework Source, The K9 Nose, and Paws 4 Fun. Both of us have ordered from all three sites and found them to be good sources. You will also need containers, and for the NACSW ORT or AKC Novice level these are a specific size and type of cardboard boxes, as well as everyday items.

There are so many ways to pair odor with behavior, and the internet or a trainer can provide great examples. Some methods start with searching for treats, some with an odor wall or box, you might have to do a little research to figure out what is feasible and fits with your current training methods. I (Sarah) started by placing the vessel (containing a scented q-tip) in a bowl and when Rose showed interest I marked with a “yes” and rewarded. Then we moved to a Tupperware container with holes poked in the lid. Only after she understood that the smell was the goal in order to earn a treat or her ball did I start to hide the odor, starting with very easy hides and working up to more complex hides. Probably one of the most under-emphasized parts of training nosework is to reward, reward, reward. Pay a few more treats (plus a few more for good measure), tug a little longer, throw the ball one more time.

Once your dog understands the game, you can start to practice in novel environments, run blind hides (primarily to test your ability to read your dog if you do not have a trained final response), and really start to generalize the search to any setting, place, time of day, adding multiple hides, and distractions. Syndi said that she generally practices one day a week at home in addition to her class. She sets up containers and buried hides in her driveway and uses her house and other dog-friendly locations to set up interior and exterior searches. She generally runs two to five searches during a training session. I (Sarah) work Rose every other day for short sessions—about 3 to 5 hides. Once we began training for Advanced I started setting a hide on the way to work in the morning and then on the way home we stop and train. Or, placing a hide when I left work or home and then searching the next day. This allows me to age hides for much longer as well as work in novel places. I corral friends who do SAR to set hides (if you are going to run blind hides, make sure they understand the rules and how to set hides for whatever you are training) for me so we can practice blind in new settings. I rarely train at home anymore, which is unfortunate as it was one of the more pleasant things about nosework in the beginning.

Your job as the handler is to watch your dog and understand the body language she is giving you when she finds odor. Tells vary by dog, but it could be a stare, paw, sit, lie down, look at the handler, but their body language will change when they get into an odor cone and certainly will change when they have found the source. You can teach a TFR, there are pros and cons to it, and it is something that you will probably need to determine for your specific dog (These articles provide some information on TFRs: https://scentsabilitiesnw.com/blog/the-art-of-timing-the-verbal-mark-in-nosework/http://k9noseworkblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/alert-final-response.html). In the upper levels of UKC, the dog’s alert must be listed on both entry forms and at the trial.

Syndi trained for about six months before entering her first AKC trial at the novice level and then got her ORT with NACSW a few months later. She says that entering her NW1 trial before finishing the AKC novice title was a mistake, that it was more difficult than she expected, and she feels better prepared for NW1 now that she has trialed in AKC advanced. Sarah entered Rose in her first AKC trial two months after starting training, and her second trial a month later to complete the novice titles and will hopefully get into a trial with advanced runs at some point in 2020. Beyond the introduction and novice levels, scentwork training becomes ever more complex and requires more of both the dog and handler. 

General Rules and Titles

As previously mentioned, there are two main organizations to trial in, NACSW and AKC. Syndi provides some of the ins and outs of NACSW and in comparison with AKC since she has trialed in both. Both venues utilize the same set of odors, birch, anise, clove, and in AKC cypress is used at the highest level. AKC also has a handler discrimination element that is separate from the others where your dog finds an item that is scented with your smell. Each venue has elements, in AKC they are interior, exterior, container, and buried; in NACSW they are interior, exterior, container, and vehicles. Getting into trials can be difficult. NACSW trials tend to fill quickly. Entries are based on a lottery system which is generally only open for 48 hours. Depending on the location of an AKC trial, they can run up to 250 entries per day and most are first received. I (Sarah) have noticed that some of the larger clubs in the Southeast are starting to do random drawings for entries which means you may or may not get into a trial.

AKC Scentwork

The first level of AKC is Novice, and you can trial in any or all of the four elements across the level. You need three qualifying runs in each element to earn a title.  In AKC there is no pretrial so when you are ready to trial you just jump in. AKC scentwork is divided into Novice, Advanced, Excellent, and Master; beyond Master, there is the Detective level. The four elements of each level are interiors, exteriors, containers, and buried (hides are in sand-filled boxes in Novice, in containers of water in Advanced, and water and/or sand in Excellent). There is no vehicle search in AKC, although vehicles can be part of an exterior search.

For example, Rose has SCN, SEN, and SIN titles, which simply translates to Scentwork (Container, Exterior, and Interior) Novice. She earned her exterior title at one trial and her container title at another and the interior runs were spread out over two trials. Once you have three Qs in all four elements at the same level you earn an encompassing title for the level. Mesa has all four elements at the Novice level, so she has her SWN (Scentwork Novice) title. In AKC you can trial within each element at your own pace. You do not have to complete each element at a level before moving to the next level. So, you could have completed novice interiors and begin trialing advanced interiors while you are still trialing novice buried. Mesa has her advanced titles in containers, interiors and, exteriors so she also has SCA, SIA, and SEA, and when she finishes the buried element, she will earn the SWA. That being said, in AKC to be eligible for High in Trial (if offered) you must compete and Q in all four elements at the same level at a trial.

As you move up the levels in both organizations the search areas not only become more complex, but the dog and handler are expected to be much more precise in their alerts. This ratchets up the difficulty as well. Search areas become larger and more complex with inaccessible hides, distractions (objects, sounds, food, toys), and an unknown number of hides. I (Syndi) would say that in terms of difficulty the NW1 = AKC Advanced, NW2 = AKC Excellent, and NW3 = AKC Master.


NACSW first requires a dog to pass an ORT, Odor Recognition Test, before being allowed to trial. This is a pretrial of sorts where the dog has to recognize and alert on all three odors. Each odor is hidden in a box (“containers”) and run separately from one another. It used to be that as long as the dog passed birch she could compete at the NW1 level. This changed in 2020 when a dog must pass all three odors to compete at any level although she does not have to pass them all in one test. 

The first NACSW competition level is NW1 which requires four searches over the course of a trial: interiors (in a room of some sort), exteriors (outside in a defined space), containers (boxes for NW1) and vehicles (the exterior of cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.). In order to get the title all elements much be passed in a single trial. Any of the three odors may be used in a NW1 trial as of January 2020.

NW2 is similar in that all elements must be passed in one trial in order to title, but the search areas are bigger and there may be up to three hides per area but no blank areas. The handler will know how many hides there are in the trial area. NW3 does have a provision for carrying Qs over to another trial. You can get a title by passing all four elements in one trial or having 2 qualifying legs at two trials. 

In NW3 there are up to three hides per search area and there may be blank areas. The handler does not know how many hides there are. Above NW3 you enter into the rarified air of the Elite and Summit divisions. NACSW also has Element Specialty trials where there are multiple searches for just one element (interiors for example). Any Qs in these trials carry over from one trial to the next. They go from L1-3 and increase in difficulty like the NW trials. 


As in any sport, the saying train how you trial also applies to scentwork. A trainer can provide a lot of information prior to your first trial so you have a good idea of what to expect. Fenzi offers some good seminars on trial preparation. Read the appropriate rule book and read it again for good measure! I (Sarah) took a lot of notes prior to my first trial, particularly the faults and DQ/NQs. I did not have the advantage of being able to attend a trial to spectate so I had no idea what it would be like but at least I had a good grasp on the rules. Obviously if you can watch a trial that is ideal, or at least talk to some folks who have trialed. 

In AKC, judges are required to have a pre-trial meeting where they tell you what order the elements will be run in, if there are multiple trials if they will run concurrently or be split into morning and afternoon. Then, for each element at each level each judge must do a walk through of their search area. The judge will indicate the start line, boundaries of the search area, and items that are “in play” or not (e.g., walls, furniture, etc. that may lie along the boundary of the search), the time limit for the search, and ask if anyone has any questions. There should be a “warm-up box” for the appropriate level available for dogs to be shown, usually in the crating area or near the trial secretary. I (Sarah) personally do not use the warm-up box.

Final Thoughts

Scentwork is a super fun game or sport, depending on your level of commitment, to learn with your Beauceron. Once you teach the basics of the game, there are no limits to what you can train them to find. It may seem simple on the outside, however nosework is not simple. You are inside the dog’s world as much as that is possible. You are, for all intents and purposes, blind and relying on their incredible sense of smell to lead you to success, as a team. To be a successful team you must have trust, which is built through practice. You as the handler must have an ability to understand your dog, which is built through practice. Being free as a handler to spend so much time observing your dog will lead you to a deeper understanding your dog and their behavior, even outside of nosework. 

If you are interested in learning more about scentwork feel free to contact Syndi Keats (or message her at Sanda Kat on Facebook) or Lori Youngs (message on Facebook or email) who have both volunteered as virtual mentors!