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Assistance Dogs in Public

There are guidelines on the public appropriateness, behavior and training expected of a dog working in public places.

These are intended to be minimum standards for all assistance dog programs that are members or provisional members with ADI. All programs are encouraged to work at levels above the minimums.

1. Public appropriateness

  • Dog is clean, well-groomed and does not have an offensive odor.
  • Dog does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.

2. Behavior

  • Dog does not solicit attention, visit or annoy any member of the general public.
  • Dog does not disrupt the normal course of business.
  • Dog does not vocalize unnecessarily, i.e. barking, growling or whining.
  • Dog shows no aggression towards people or other animals.
  • Dog does not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.

3. Training

  • Dog is specifically trained to perform 3 or more tasks to mitigate aspects of the client’s disability.
  • Dog works calmly and quietly on harness, leash or other tether.
  • Dog is able to perform its tasks in public.
  • Dog must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
  • Dog is trained to urinate and defecate on command.
  • Dog stays within 24″ of its handler at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires it to be working at a greater distance.