Service Dog Laws and Tests You Must Be Know it ! (Part 2)

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6-Sit on Command:

There will be three individual times you will be asked to sit your dog. Each time, the dog should respond quickly with no more than two repetitions of the command. The first sit will be situated next to a plate of food. You are allowed to verbally or physically correct your dog for sniffing the food but once this has been done your dog should remain sitting and ignore the food completely. S/he will not be taunted by the food. For the second sit, you will be asked to sit your dog and then the evaluator’s assistant will walk passed you within three feet away with a shopping cart. Your dog must not show any fear towards the cart. If s/he starts to move you are allowed to correct him/her in order to maintain the sit. Finally, your dog must maintain a sit while the evaluator’s assistant walks up behind you and your dog, then begins a conversation with you and pets your dog. Your dog must not break his/her position to solicit attention from the assistant. You may be allowed to verbally repeat yourself to encourage the stay or give a physical correction.

7-Down on Command:

Similar to exercise six, down on command will include multiple exercises with a few variations. For the first down, you will be seated at a table with your  dog in a down underneath the table out of the way. Food will then be dropped off of the table, and your dog must maintain his/her position and not break to eat or sniff the food. You will be allowed to give verbal or physical corrections. Once the second down is executed, an adult and child will approach you and your dog, s/he shall not break his/her position and not solicit attention. The child may pet your dog, and your dog should again maintain his/her stay.

8-Noise Distraction:

Whilst you and your dog are heeling through the building, the evaluator will drop his/her clipboard behind you. Your dog may jump and/or turn

but must quickly recover and return to heeling along with you. Any excessive fear or aggression exhibited as a result of being started will conclude the test, and you will be disqualified.


Like exercise seven (in fact this is most likely the time number seven will be tested), your dog will be in a down under your table. While being seated, your dog should refrain from showing interest in other tables and people as you walk by. Once seated s/he should not be obstructing the aisle in any way. Your dog will be allowed to move slightly (stand spin and lay down) in order to be comfortable as long as they don’t require a lot of correcting or reminding.

10-Off Lead:

while heeling through the building, at some point your evaluator will prompt you to drop your leash. You will continue walking as your dog acknowledges the leash has been dropped. Although it will vary greatly depending on your disability, the test’s purpose is to demonstrate you can remain in control of your dog and regain the leash.


The evaluator’s assistant will take your dog’s leash from you and passively hold the dog without giving

him/her any commands while you walk 20 feet away. Your dog must remain calm, collected and not show any sign of excessive stress, whining or barking. Any aggression will result in disqualification as well.

12-Controlled Exit:

Similar to the way you entered the building, you and your dog must safely leave through the threshold in a controlled manner and navigate back through the parking lot. S/he must not show any signs of aggression or fear when faced with traffic noises, cars or other distractions.

13-Controlled Loading into the Vehicle:

Once at the vehicle, your dog must wait patiently and not wander while you load your equipment into the car. Then safely load your dog.

14-Team Relationship:

Throughout the test, you and your dog should both be in a calm state and work well together with little to no adversity. Both of you should promote positivity to the public and maintain a relaxed demeanor.

It would also behoove you to participate in the Canine Good Citizen Test. This is a great way to document that you’ve put the training into your dog to ensure they are safe to take out in public with children, other people, and dogs. This test should be done without his/her service vist on.

Canine Good Citizen Test:

Some of these exercises you will recognize from the Public Access Test.

1-Friendly Stranger:

Your dog must sit by your side patiently while a stranger/evaluator approaches you. The evaluator will then usually shake your hand and have a normal short conversation with you. Your pup should show zero fear, aggression, or shyness and remain neutral to the presence of the stranger who will be ignoring him/her.

2-Sitting Politely for Petting:

Your dog must not show any disdain or shyness towards the evaluator while s/he pets his/her head and body. You may reassure your dog while this test is taking place.

3-Appearance and Grooming:

It is important that your dog is physically pleasing to the eye and clean for places like hospitals and restaurants. This test not only demonstrates your dog’s neutrality to being groomed but also assess his/her health (including proper weight and mentally alert). The evaluator will inspect his/her ears, paws, and gums. Then, softly and naturally comb your dog’s fur.

4-Walking on a Loose Leash:

Often given a pre-planned course of direction, you will be expected to walk your dog on a loose leash. It should be clear that your dog’s attention is on you and where you’re walking. This is to demonstrate your control over your dog when walking and changing direction. There should be at least one right turn, left turn and halt.

5-Walking Through a Crowd:

According to the American Kennel Club, a crowd of people consists of at least three people. You and your dog must politely walk through the crowd of the people without putting any strain on the leash.

6-Sit, Down, and Stay on Command:

Before the test, your dog’s leash is replaced with a 20-foot leash. You will sit your dog, then tell them to down. Once your dog is in his/her down position, you will leave your dog. You may say stay, or if you have built the stay into your dog’s down, you can simply leave your dog’s side. At a natural pace, you will leave your dog’s side walking forward and then turn at the end of the leash and return to your dog calmly. S/he must remain in the position you left them in until the evaluator gives further instruction.


Similar to the stay exercise, you will leave your dog and walk 10 feet away. Once you are 10 feet away, you will turn and face your dog and call him/her.

8-Reaction to Another Dog:

This test’s purpose is to demonstrate how your dog behaves around other dogs. From 20 feet away, you and another handler accompanied by their dog will begin walking towards each other. Your dog must not show any exuberance, fear, or aggression towards the approaching dog. Once you reach each other, you will stop, shake hands and exchange small talk. The dogs may acknowledge each other’s presence but may not be overly interested. Then, you will continue walking past each other another 10 feet. Your dog must continue with you and not focus on the dog behind them.

9-Reaction to distraction:

During this test, the evaluator will present you and your dog with two distractions. Your dog must remain confident during this time. S/he should not bark, or panic by showing fear or aggression. Some examples of distractions you may be exposed to during the test are an opening umbrella, a jogger running by, a chair dropping, or dropping a crutch or cane.

10-Supervised Separation:

The goal of this test is to demonstrate that your dog can be left with a trusted friend or family member while you leave and go out of sight from your dog. During this exercise, your dog must remain under control of whoever has the leash. The evaluator takes the leash from you, and you leave out of sight for up to three minutes. S/he must not whine, bark, or pace during this time.

The only collars allowed during the Canine Good Citizen Test are flat collars and choke collars made of nylon, leather, or chain. Prong collars, halters, and electric collars are not allowed. You may also use a body harness or vest for your dog. Your evaluator will supply the long line. However, you are responsible for bringing your own brush or comb.

Reward items such as toys and food are not allowed during the test. You may, however, pet your dog in between exercises. With an exception of the last exercise being outside, your dog must not eliminate during the test. If s/he does, they will be disqualified. Any aggression exhibited by your dog will also result in disqualification.

It is imperative that your service dog is kept healthy and clean. Being a member of society means s/he must smell at least neutral and look clean. A service dog’s nails are to be remolded and short to avoid damaging any objects s/he may come across in public such as store shelves. It is wise to carry a brush, comb, and sanitary wipes with you every day. Shedding must be kept to a minimum, many restaurants are reluctant to serve service dogs because of the owners who do not keep their shedding under control, and other reasons. The sanitary wipes are more so for the health of your dog. The world is a disgusting place, and the ground is covered in germs. It is important to check your dog’s paw pads regularly to make sure they are clean and safe. For instance, if you were at the mechanics, walking on the garage floor or even a parking lot your dog could potentially pick up oils from cars on his/her pads and then subsequently ingest the oils from licking their paws.


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