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AKC Scent Work: Judges’ Resources

AKC Scent Work: Judges’ Resources

For Licensed AKC Scent Work Judges

Forms you may need for trials:

Using the AKC Scent Work Logo

For Individuals Interested in Becoming AKC Scent Work Judges


Active in Scent Work for a minimum of 3 years, either as a sport participant or as a working detection dog handler (volunteer or professional).

No candidate will be approved to be a judge without this minimum, but experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Three years of competing in the sport, without additional enriching experience, may be deemed to be insufficient. If you are concerned that you may not meet the eligibility criteria, please e-mail before beginning work on the additional requirements.



  • Apprenticeship under an authorized “Expert Judge”*†
    • Must shadow an expert judge for at least 1 class in each element
    • Must shadow an expert judge for at least 1 class in each difficulty level (unless not applying for those levels).
  • Online Scent Work Judge’s Education Course
  • Scent Work Judge’s Quiz (online)
  • $35 Processing Fee (collected via the cost of the online Scent Work Judge’s Quiz)
  • 10 additional Education Points
*contact for a list of authorized Expert Judges
†for all apprenticeships you must receive the consent of the club hosting the trial


Education Points:

  • 8 Points- Attending an AKC-Sanctioned Scent Work Judges seminar
  • 5 Points- Mentorship under an authorized “Expert Judge” (judge candidate may have multiple mentors if desired, but only 1 mentorship can count toward the education points)
  • 4 Points- Titling a dog to an AKC Scent Work Master title (maximum of 4 points can be earned by titling dogs- multiple titled dogs do not earn additional education points)
  • 2 Points- Working as a Hide Steward at a licensed trial (judge candidate may earn up to 6 points from Hide Stewarding, however, each Hide Steward assignment must be under a different judge to earn education points).



Once the above requirements have been satisfied, a completed packet with all required forms must be sent to:

AKC Performance Events- Scent Work Judging
8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC  27617-3390

Application packets that are found to be deficient will be returned to the judge candidate. Once the deficiency is corrected, the entire packet must be resubmitted.

Once the application packet is processed and approved, the judge candidate will be an AKC Scent Work Provisional Judge. Provisional Judges may accept assignments for any level for which they have been granted provisional status.

After multiple positive reviews from Trial Chairs and/or observation by AKC Scent Work staff, provisional judges may be elevated to Approved status.