PUBLIC ACCESS TEST
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 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. You must have a signed copy of Veterinary Statement dated within 30 days prior to test being taken to show dog is in optimal working health
5. You must have a letter of recommendation or a written prescription from a local licensed medical professional directly indicating the need for a trained serviced dog/assistance dog. The letter should also state the medical reasoning for this need.
6. Dog must be trained to perform 2 observable service tasks related to your disability.
7. Dog must be clean and properly groomed.
8. 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.
9. Dog must have ID Tag with name and phone number worn on collar
10. 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:
A. 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 20 feet of walking when "accidentally" dropped; (4) to 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 in a restaurant establishment; (6) keep their dog off of any chairs, benches, booths or tables while at a restaurant; and (7) maintain a positive team relationship.
B. The dog's ability to: (1) safely cross a parking lot, halt for traffic, and ignore distractions; (2) enters a building in a controlled manner through both an automatic and manual door, (3) heel through narrow aisles; (4) does not bump into shelves or interact with merchandise; (5) hold a Sit-Stay when a shopping cart passes by; (6) holds 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 Stay when a child approaches and briefly pets the dog; (9) maintains 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) hold a sit or down position when someone sets a plate of food on the floor within 18" of the dog, then removes it a minute later. [the handler may say “Leave It” to help the dog resist the temptation.]; (12) not beg or attempt to eat or closely sniff any food on the floor or tables; (13) be positioned under the table, chair or in a corner to cause the least obstruction to the flow of business; (14) not shake when leaving food establishment to minimize amount of fur/dander flying through the air; (15) load into an elevator and ride both up and down confidently in a sit, down or standing position; (16) maintain a working position next to handler while climbing stairs, if stairs are inaccessible to handler, wheelchair ramps are to be substituted; (17) remain calm if someone else holds the leash while the handler moves 20 ft. away; (18) remain calm while another dog passes within 6 ft. of the team during the test and stops to chat; (19) maintain position and not react to strollers, scooters, people shouting or running past; (20) 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; (21) exits building in a controlled manner through both an automatic and manual door; (22) only eliminate on cue when in an appropriate location outside; (23) perform an in-sight 30 ft long-leash recall with distractions; (24) perform an out of sight 30 ft long-leash recall with distractions; (25) remain calm while handler remains out of sight for 3 minutes; (26) enters and exits public transportation in a safe manner; (27) rides public transportation in a safe manner and stays out of the way; (28) confidently walk over 5 different textured surfaces; (29) perform multiple different obedience skills with distractions - leave it, heel, sit, down, come, wait and focus.
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 for enrollment as an Assistance Dog, or renewal, no matter what disability related tasks or alerts the dog is said to perform. 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.
Cost for Public Access Test - $75
There will be a travel charge for residents outside of Maricopa County.