Testing (service dog & service dog in training)


Kona ignoring shelves of meat

Kona ignoring shelves of meat

When you take a dog in a no-pets place as a service dog, or to train it to be a service dog, you want to be sure you and the dog are ready! These public access testing resources are for both handlers and trainers.

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Our evaluations

SDIT Manners Evaluation

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Public Access Standard

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Public Access Test

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About our evaluations

What they’re for

Our SDIT Manners Evaluation helps handlers and trainers mark progress in the beginning of a service dog training journey. This also makes it easier to figure out when a team is ready to transition to training in no-pets places, as allowed where you live.

Our public access standard and test for service dog handlers establish a baseline for behaviors a service dog should and should not show in public. The standard offers guidance and explanations, while the test provides the practical skills evaluation.

How they work

The SDIT Manners Evaluation is meant to help you find training opportunities. It is not just about giving a black-and-white stamp of approval! Teams are scored on yes/no guidelines and on their proficiency on different activities. The test-giver’s notes can be a valuable tool for improvement.

Our service dog public access test has an approach that differs from other tests. Most service dog public access tests have many items and many situations, but the team only needs an approximately 80% rating to pass.

Our service dog public access standard and test are different. They use a pass/no-pass minimum threshold. This means 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 public access test is more restrictive than other tests (only a 100% earns a pass). It is also less limiting than other tests (only basic service dog behavior is required).

What they mean

Our evaluations are only valuable if they are used in good faith and in capable hands. Whether a professional dog trainer or not, the evaluator must be accurate and honest.

Just as people’s disabilities can vary over time, so do the needs of a service dog team. Taking a test at one point in time is a snapshot of an ever-changing journey. Positive results today don’t mean you should stop all training tomorrow!

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Etiquette quiz

This is an educational quiz on service dog handler etiquette. It’s a more fun way to help you learn about how service dogs should behave!

Etiquette Quiz

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Lessons on dining with service dogs (video)

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.