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Ethics for Dogs

ADI believes that any dog the member organizations trains to become an Assistance Dog has a right to a quality life. Therefore, the ethical use of an Assistance Dog must incorporate the following criteria:

  1. An Assistance Dog must be temperamentally screened for emotional soundness and working ability.
  2. An Assistance Dog must be physically screened for the highest degree of good health and physical soundness.
  3. An Assistance Dog must be technically and analytically trained for maximum control and for the specialized tasks he/she is asked to perform.
  4. An Assistance Dog must be trained using humane training methods providing for the physical and emotional safety of the dog.
  5. An Assistance Dog must be permitted to learn at his/her own individual pace and not be placed in service before reaching adequate physical and emotional maturity.
  6. An Assistance Dog must be matched to best suit the client’s needs, abilities and lifestyle.
  7. An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to interact with him/her.
  8. An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to provide for the dog’s emotional, physical and financial needs.
  9. An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to provide a stable and secure living environment.
  10. An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client who expresses a desire for increased independence and/or an improvement in the quality of his/her life through the use of an Assistance Dog.
  11. An ADI member organization will accept responsibility for its dogs in the event of a graduate’s death or incapacity to provide proper care.
  12. An ADI member organization will not train, place, or certify dogs with any aggressive behavior. An assistance dog may not be trained in any way for guard or protection duty. Non-aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable in appropriate situations.