COVID-19 Special Message from the Sporting Detection Dogs Association
The board has been monitoring the progression of the COVID-19 virus and felt it timely to send out an announcement.
First and foremost, we rely on our hosts to be responsible and determine whether they should continue with an event. They must take into consideration local guidelines from their health officials since we are a vast country with varying degrees of infection.
We would like to recommend to our hosts that they offer their event registrants the ability to cancel their entries and provide either a refund or a credit toward a future event. This is only a suggestion, since we cannot dictate to our hosts how to handle this situation.
Should a host decide to cancel an event due to COVID-19, the SDDA will offer a credit for your application fees to go against a future trial. No refunds will be offered at this time.
Also due to this extreme circumstance, we would like to encourage you to hire a judge locally where possible and not ask a judge to fly. Judges will also be less likely to accept new assignments where travel is involved. Important to note as well – Judges are permitted to cancel their judging assignment due to concern over COVID-19. A cancellation may not be directly about getting the virus, but could be related to bans on travel made by their employers. No one can afford a 14 day quarantine. Unfortunately given the circumstances, at this time the SDDA cannot assist with getting another judge, at our expense, for your event and if you cannot find a local judge then you will have to consider canceling or postponing the event.
There are many notices out there about what you should and should not do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some of those are:
Do not ask anyone to hold your dog, leash or collar.
Do not ask anyone who does not live with you to record your run with your phone.
If you feel unwell, don’t attend! I know it can be quite the investment to attend a trial but potentially getting others, possibly vulnerable people, sick should be the first priority.
Keep your distance from others where possible.
Minimize the number of people in the trial areas.
Have lots of paper towels, soap and hand sanitizer available in the washrooms and around the event.
The message from our health officials is to try and slow the spread of this virus. Our healthcare systems can only handle so much and an extreme number of sick people all at once will overwhelm the system. Of course, remember it can and has been deadly for the elderly and vulnerable so be kind and thoughtful in all you do with the dog events.
The Sport of Scent Detection
Sporting Detection is the fun and competitive version of scent detection such as for narcotics, termites or explosives, and is also known as “nosework”. SDDA competitions use legal scents that are easily purchased and stored by the average person. The dog must locate any and all hidden target scents within a designated area and alert the handler to the location. It is a true partnership sport in which both ends of the leash must rely on one another.
All Dogs Can Play!!
All breeds, ages, sizes and ability of dogs are welcome. Trial searches are done by one dog and handler team alone, allowing dogs with space issues to focus and succeed. This activity promotes confidence, develops joy in training and provides mental stimulation, ideal for shy, elderly or disabled dogs. The main elements of the sport are good sportsmanship and fun for the dogs and handler.
The Sporting Detection Dogs Association was established in 2012 as a not-for-profit organization so that a wide variety of dogs and their people can enjoy the benefits of detection work and to earn titles in competition.