Public Access

Kona ignoring shelves of meat

Kona ignoring shelves of meat

Psychiatric Service Dog Partners provides a Public Access Standard and a Public Access Test (each updated in 2017) for use by service dog handlers. We designed these service dog public access resources to be used in conjunction. We also have a fun quiz on service dog handler etiquette, so you can learn about public access behaviors from another perspective!

For businesses operators and agents of other places of public accommodation, PSDP has created a section for professionals. We designed resources in that area to distill fairly involved laws down to simple and practical guides that are useful in running a business and training employees.

Our public access standard and test for service dog handlers establish a baseline for behaviors a service dog should and should not exhibit in public, through explanatory guidance in the standard and evaluation of skill in the test.

Our service dog public access test reflects an approach that differs from the tack other such tests have taken. Most service dog public access tests have many items to complete, with many situations to simulate, but the team only must achieve an 80% rating (or thereabouts) in order to pass.

Our service dog public access standard and test employ a minimum threshold. This means that one that any service dog, regardless of size or working position, should be able to meet the standard. Since every item on the standard and test is important, a pass on our test requires a score of 100%. In this way, PSDP’s service dog public access test is both more restrictive than other tests (only a 100% earns a pass), and less limiting than other tests (only basic service dog behavior is required).

As with any such test, you must use our public access test in good faith. Just as the nature of individuals’ disabilities contains unpredictable variance, so too do the needs of the working relationship of a service dog and handler. Handlers are strongly cautioned to view the taking of the test at one point in time as a baseline snapshot of a dynamic journey, and not a signal to cease tailored attempts at improvement.

The following initial pages contain the information on our service dog public access standard and test, as well as a link at the top of each to the printable (pdf) version for convenience. Our quiz on service dog handler etiquette is also linked below.


Public Access Standard


Public Access Test


Etiquette Quiz


We embedded our Out to lunch with service dog teams YouTube video just below. This under-four-minute video is a great primer on the basics of dining with a service dog. Much of the video consists of text without sound. For blind and low-vision individuals, the script is on our Out to lunch with service dog teams PSDP page.