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The ADI Public Access Certification Test was developed over 15 years ago. The goal of the test is to discover whether or not a particular service dog team is ready to go places out in public without trainer supervision. The safety of the dog, the handler and the public were the main considerations in developing the specific exercises for testing the team. 

We have developed our own curriculum and requirements for this Public Access Test while still maintaining all the fundamentals the other large organizations use. 

Disability mitigating tasks or work are not critiqued during the test. However, to establish a dog’s eligibility to take this test to become an assistance dog, our program will ask for a demo in advance of at least two (fully trained) service dog tasks, three hearing dog sound alerts or a series of tasks known as “guide dog work.” To document the dog performs tasks in the home such as seizure response work, alerting to an attack of hypoglycemia late at night or fetching a portable phone or beverage, the program may ask the client to submit a video tape of the tasks.

To be considered as a candidate to take the Public Access Test with us, the following must be completed:

1. Your dog must have proof of having passed the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or an Equivalent after the age of 12 months. 

2. You must have a journal with the hours of training and locations (a minimum of 120 hours of schooling over a period of Six Months or more. *At least thirty (30) hours should be devoted to outings that will prepare the dog to work obediently and unobtrusively in public places)

3. Dog must be a minimum of 18 months of age

4. Dog must be trained to perform 2 observable service tasks related to your disability.

5. Dog must be clean, properly groomed and appear in good condition.

6. Dog must have a County license tag and be current on all vaccinations - titer testing is permitted in lieu of vaccinations with the exception of the Rabies vaccination.

7. Dog must have ID Tag with name and phone number worn on collar or harness.

8. Dog must be able to work without the use of treats, leash corrections or training aids. Test must be performed on a flat collar or harness (no choke chains, prong collars or e-collars allowed) and dog should be able to walk with a loose leash throughout the test.

The dog can have no aggression towards human or other animals and must be neutral at all times. Evaluator will also be looking for fear and stress levels of the dog. If the evaluator feels the dog is fearful or highly stressed and does not seem to enjoy the work, it will not pass. Dog must be healthy and free from injuries, pain, sickness, and disease. 

The Public Access Test evaluates the dog's obedience and manners and the handler's skills in a variety of situations which include:

The handler's abilities to:

1. Safely load and unload the dog from a vehicle

2. Enter a public place without losing control of the dog

3. Recover the leash after 10 feet of walking when "accidentally" dropped

4. Cope calmly with an access problem if an employee or customer questions the individual’s right to bring a dog into that establishment

5. Remember to not feed or water their dog from the table or tableware in a restaurant establishment

6. Keep their dog off of any chairs, benches, booths or tables while at a restaurant

7. Maintain a positive team relationship

The dog's ability to:

1. Safely cross a parking lot, halt for traffic, and ignore distractions

2. Enter a building in a controlled manner through both an automatic and manual door

3. Heel through narrow aisles

4. Not bump into shelves or interact with merchandise

5. Hold a Sit when a shopping cart passes by

6. Hold position (sit or down) when a person stops to chat and pets the dog

7. Does not interact with people unless instructed to do so

8. Hold a Down when a child approaches and briefly pets the dog

9. Maintain a working position while handler uses a shopping cart and remains relaxed and in position while going through checkout

10. Hold a sit or down position when someone drops food on the floor

11. Not beg or attempt to eat or closely sniff any food on the floor or tables

12. Be positioned under the table or chair, or in a corner to cause the least obstruction to the flow of business

13. Load into an elevator and ride both up and down confidently in a sit, down or standing position

14. Maintain a working position next to handler while climbing stairs; if stairs are inaccessible to handler, wheelchair ramps are to be substituted

15. Remain calm if someone else holds the leash while the handler moves 20 ft. away

16. Remain calm while another dog passes within 6 ft. of the team during the test and the handler stops to chat

17. Maintain position and not react to strollers, scooters, people shouting or running past

18. Enter a public restroom confidently, not whine or peek under stall, be confident after toilet flushes, maintain position while handler washes hands and remain calm while hand dryer is running or paper towels are dispensed

19. Exit building in a controlled manner through both an automatic and manual door

20. Only eliminate on cue when in an appropriate location outside

21. Perform an in-sight 15 ft long-leash recall outside with distractions

22. Confidently walk over a variety of textured surfaces

It is highly recommended the test be video taped to document the team passed it. This is also helpful in case a team ever has to go to court; a video record is an independent way of showing that the team accomplished what the evaluator indicates they did.

Upon completion of the PAT, you will get a certificate showing that you and your dog met and passed our Public Access Test. You will also receive a copy of your test for your records.

Any dog who exhibits aggressive behavior in violation of our Minimum Training Standards for Public Access is NOT eligible as an Assistance Dog. If a dog later displays aggressive behavior and cannot be rehabilitated within a reasonable time period, ethically, that dog should be retired as unfit for duty outside the home, as the dog does not qualify as an assistance/service dog under our Minimum Training Standards for Public Access. Non aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable in appropriate situations.

Aggressive/fearful behavior is considered inappropriate for service dogs and are seen as the following: growling, inappropriate or excessive barking, nipping or biting, showing or baring teeth, lunging at other people or dogs.

Public Access Test

Investment - $125

Testing Locations

Testing will take place at your choice of the following:

  • Scottsdale Fashion Center (Scottsdale Rd and Camelback Rd)

  • Promenade Shopping Center (Frank Lloyd Wright and Scottsdale Rd)

  • Scottsdale Quarter (Scottsdale Rd and Butherus Dr)

  • Desert Ridge Marketplace (Loop 101 and Tatum Blvd)

  • Chandler Fashion Center (Loop 101 and Chandler Blvd)

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