The 2020 Boneyard Challenge

How it Works
The format is that competitors will arrive at a designated time to search 5 rooms in 5 minutes. This ensures that the number of competitors at the venue will be minimal. Each room will have one scented object in it and the teams must identify as many objects that they can in the time allowed. Rooms can be searched in any order. The winning teams will be those that find the most objects in the shortest time.
  • Competition will be divided into 3 divisions. Level 1: Untitled/Started; Level 2: Advanced/Excellent and Level 3: Elite or Professional. Competitors may only enter a single dog per level, but can enter a second dog in a level higher than they are titled in. Each dog/ handler team may only compete ONCE, regardless of where they enter.
  • Each division will have 1st to 3rd placements, with SDDA providing the awards and prize money after the event is completed and results have been submitted. Prize money will be $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd and $25 for 3rd place.
  • Each competitor will be given an 8-minute time slot to arrive, check in and ask any questions and do their 5-minute search so hosts are encouraged to provide as much information in their welcome letters as possible. There will be NO walk-throughs.
  • Scented objects can be anything identifiable and removeable and the difficulty of the location will increase with each level. Scents will be wintergreen for the first level, pine for the second level and thyme for the third level.
  • Items will be placed by the host or a designated alternative “judge” who will accompany the team into each area to confirm if they identify the correct item. The host/judge will be the only other person in the search area besides the handler.
  • Handlers must identify the object to the judge verbally. For example: “the green purse” or “the soap dish.” The judge will reply with “correct” or “no/ incorrect”. Handlers must not touch the items.
  • There is no penalty except time for guessing items incorrectly. You can leave rooms at any time and return to them if time remains.
  • Dogs may touch or walk on objects but dogs that damage objects or reveal the hide will be excused.
  • The two timers will start their stopwatches at the threshold of the first room and stop the time when the final object is found or call “time” when the time runs out. The official recorded time will be the average of the two times noted.
  • Entry fees will be $50. The host will forward these to SDDA along with the results after the event.
  • Once all entry times and results have been received by the SDDA, awards and prize money will be mailed by the SDDA. Prize cheques will be $100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd place.
  • Hides are to be placed in removeable objects so that the items can be taken out for subsequent levels. Each level will have a different hide object. Hides will increase in difficulty with each level as per the guidelines in the SDDA Rule Book.
Dogs must be registered with the SDDA. This allows us to confirm title and contact owners in case of any issues. Hosts will be able to check that entries comply with title level but are not responsible for incorrect entries. If a competitor enters the wrong level, their result will be voided by the SDDA.
A dog and handler team may only be entered once in an official Boneyard Challenge and dogs must be entered at the level they have a title OR above. Handlers may only enter one dog per level at any single event. For competitors with multiple dogs at the same level, you have some options:
  1. You can level up. That is, you may enter the next level up from your dog’s title (you cannot level down). Eg. If you have an Advanced titled dog and an Excellent titled dog, one dog can be entered at Level 3 (Elite/Professional).
  2. You can enter another dog on a different day if available. This can be in your own province or another if travel is allowed.
  3. You can enter another dog with a different handler. Of course, no discussion of the search areas is allowed, so the dog should remain with the alternate handler in a separate location from you until both dogs have run.
Hosts that wish to enter dogs must find an alternate qualified person to judge (at least) the Level they are entered in or they may attend a different event hosted by someone else where possible.
All registrations will go through the host who will provide all registration information. Entry fees are set at $50 per dog/ handler team. Event dates will be posted on the SDDA website with host contact information.
Keeping score
We encourage all organizers to use the workbook linked below.  Consistency in score keeping should make it relatively easy for us to post results following the completion of the 2020 Boneyard Challenge.
Besides a couple cells for trial info, the workbook contains columns for dog & handler information and for each level as outlined above.  A dog should only be entered in ONE level.
Please ensure to record the data from BOTH time keepers.  Excel will calculate the average.  Times are to be entered in the following format:
mm = minutes followed by a colon
ss = seconds followed by a period
nn = hundredths of a second
Upon completion of the trial and verification of the results, please email the workbook to
Please note: the workbook is NOT protected in any way.  You may sort and filter data as you wish.  Do us a favour though, don’t mess with the formulas :).

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