From the February 2017 Board Minutes:
The Board VOTED to approve a new sport called AKC Scent Work. Scent Work is a sport that mimics the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. This proposal responds to many requests that the American Kennel Club provide such an event. Significant research has been done in developing this program and it is believed it will meet the needs of many dog owners. Scent Work is a sport in which a dog-handler team must locate hidden scents within a defined search area. The dog uses their sense of smell to locate the target odor, which may be an essential oil or the scent of the handler. Any team who finds and calls all hidden odors within the designated time will qualify. Scent Work is a pass/fail sport, however placements will be awarded for the first through fourth place teams, based on fewest number of faults and then on time. Titles are earned when teams reach a certain number of qualifying legs. The event will be open to all breeds and Canine Partners. Dogs must be registered/listed with the AKC. Scent Work is a fun and engaging activity that taps into the dog’s strongest sense. Clubs may start applying to hold AKC Scent Work events on August 1, 2017. Events may be held starting October 1, 2017.