One dog at a time in the testing area. The evaluation is designed to simulate an actual visit. The concept is to have a team enter, sign-in, get greeted, go through a crowded hallway, visit in a room, go past another dog and exit. The evaluation process is approximately 15 minutes in duration.
Station One: Entrance/Registration/Crowded Petting
Team will enter the facility on a loose lead with dog at side and sign in with dog staying in a sit position at side. After signing-in, team is greeted by 3 evaluators wanting to pet the dog all at once.
Purpose: Demonstrate loose leash walking, sit at side, stay at side, keeping dog’s attention and
response to crowded petting.
Number of evaluators: 3
Station Two: Walking Through a Crowd
Team walks from Station One right into a crowd of 3 evaluators. One with a walker that has tennis balls on the legs, one dropping a distraction and using a buzzer (or similar sound), and dropping a piece of kibble. The distractions should include food, sound, something dropping and the tennis balls. The group of evaluators are talking loudly/shouting. One of the evaluators will gently bump the dog from side or behind.
Purpose: Demonstrate loose leash walking, reaction to multiple distractions, the “leave it”
command and keeping a dog’s attention. Observe dog’s reaction when lightly bumped.
Number of evaluators: 3
Station Three: Visiting
Team approaches an evaluator sitting in a wheelchair. The handler will put the dog in a down/ stay at side when stepping forward to ask if the evaluator would like a visit from the dog. The handler will cue the dog to “go visit”. The evaluator will try to pet the dog in a clumsy manner and attempt to grab the collar. The handler will then visit with an evaluator lying in bed. In the case of a small dog, the evaluators may ask if the handler wishes to hold the dog for the visit. At the end of the visit the handler will have the dog on the floor and ask the dog to “back-up” while saying good-bye. Station Three will have a wastebasket.
Purpose: Demonstrate down/stay, handler interaction with patient, commands of visit and back-
up. Demonstrates handler’s advocacy for the dog and redirection of a patient’s hand while
keeping the dog safe and relaxed. The wastebasket will provide the opportunity to demonstrate
the “leave it” command. Holding a small dog will demonstrate the handler’s ability to keep the
dog and patient safe while the handler’s arm(s) are occupied.
Number of evaluators: 2
Note: This is the only station that a dog can be held by the handler if appropriate.
Station Four: Reaction to Another Dog
Team passes, sits and greets another team with at least 6 feet of separation, while in the process of exiting.
Purpose: Demonstrates attention, reaction to another dog and loose leash walking.
Number of evaluators: 1