Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Mad Hatter

Hey der evewybody!
We has had too many sick & rainy days lately, and mumma got bored one day and we had "Hat Day".
Me thought me wuz gonna be safe fur awhile once dos bunny ears got packed away, but no such luck.  Pray for spring soon so we can get outside and play and not play dress up poor Boo anymore!!  Anyway, as long as we're here, let me know which hatty u like best on me!!  Pleease don't say de pink ones!!!
Love & Smoochies,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Minimum Standards for Service Dogs as Developed by The Delta Society

Hi Evewybody:  This is gonna be a long post, but I have a lot of people asking mumma for this info., so I wanted to get it up here as soon as possible.  Will write more on fun stuff next time.  Love and Smoochies, Boo

The Minimum Standards for Service Dogs (Minimum Standards) documents the

recommended characteristics and minimum set of skills required of all service dogs.

The Minimum Standards also address the health and safety of the public, handler, and dog.  

The Minimum Standards were developed by a team of service dog trainers, 
animal behaviorists, people with disabilities, and veterinarians. 
Service Dog Behaviors vs. Tasks 
As the Team began analyzing the work to be performed by service dogs (e.g., 
turn on a light switch, alert to the doorbell, guide the handler down the 
sidewalk), the Team determined that the specific service dog tasks (may be 
better thought of as “applications”) were actually chains (or sequential 
combinations) of component behaviors such as “sit,” “moving with handler,” 
and “focus on handler.” In other words, a task is a set or combination of 
behaviors joined or chained together into a sequence. 
Service dog tasks, which are primarily activities of daily living and 
instrumental activities of daily living, are so numerous and individualized that 
it is impractical to list all of them. The Team decided that the first step was to 
identify all the component behaviors that a dog needs to know before learning 
how to combine (or chain) them together into tasks. The Team identified an 
extensive list of component behaviors by breaking down several sample tasks. 
In addition to defining the component behaviors, the team recognized the need 
to identify the various contexts in which the behaviors and tasks need to be 

 The term “service animal,” as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is any animal individually trained to do 
work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. This can include guiding a person with impaired vision, 
alerting a person with impaired hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, etc. 
Delta Society uses the term “service dog” to be consistent with the ADA definition of “service animal”.
 Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, eating, walking, and other personal functioning activities. Instrumental
activities of daily living include preparing meals, shopping, using the phone, doing laundry, and other measures of living 
independently performed, the range of conditions affecting the behaviors and tasks, and the 
set of stimuli that will control the behaviors and tasks. 
Once the component behaviors were listed, the Team identified those 
behaviors and other characteristics that all service dogs should be able to 
perform, no matter what the individual needs of the handler will be. Most of 
these behaviors and characteristics are related to basic obedience and public 
health and safety. 
Opening a door is an example of a service dog task. The component behaviors 
for this task would be: 
♦  Going Away (from handler to door) 
♦  Targeting/Touching (specific door) 
♦  Picking up an Object (towel attached to door handle so it can be 
♦  Tugging with Mouth (pulling on towel to open door) 
♦  Dropping the Object (release the towel once door open) 
These Minimum Standards include only those recommended characteristics and 
minimum component behaviors (hereafter referred to as “behaviors”) required of 
all service dogs. The characteristics and specialized behaviors required of 
individual dogs should vary, based on the individual requirements of the person 
for whom the dog is trained. 
Included for each behavior is a description of the behavior, the conditions under 
which the behavior is performed, suggested uses or applications for the behavior, 
and popular cues used to elicit the behavior. 

Service Dog Characteristics 
General Characteristics 
Candidate dogs for service dog training must have passed entry screening for 
aptitude and health with consideration for age, physical soundness, soundness of 
temperament, breed/breed-type characteristics, size, expected longevity, 
stewardship issues, behavioral issues, and behavior history. 
The dogs will vary in age, breed, training experience, activity level, and 
temperament. The source of the dogs will also vary. They may come from animal 
shelters, breed rescue groups, breeding programs, or the handlers’ household. 
They may have been raised specifically to be service dogs. A variety of training 
methods may have been used with the dogs. The dogs may have been highly 
affected by previous training methods. In some cases, little or nothing may be 
known about the background of the dogs. 
Health, Aptitude, and Physical Requirements 
To perform successfully as a service dog, a dog must meet minimum health, 
aptitude, and physical requirements. When screening dogs for these requirements, 
those performing the screenings must consider the tasks the dogs may be expected 
to perform for their prospective handlers and the environments in which the dogs 
will be routinely expected to work. For example, a dog that assists a person with 
mobility tasks may need different physical characteristics from one that provides 
sound alerting assistance. The dog’s characteristics must be matched with a 
handler’s requirements, whether the dog is selected for a specific handler or 
matched with a handler after it has started training. 
The following are requirements that the dog must meet by the time it has 
completed service dog training: 
•  Basic physical exam performed by a veterinarian and other appropriate 
animal health care professionals - Each dog shall pass a basic physical 
exam that includes, at a minimum, the following: 
♦  Eyes - Eyes shall be clear, free from disease, and fully functional. 
A veterinary ophthalmologist who will look for breed-related 
defects and indicators of other congenital or hereditary eye 
problems should check the dog.
♦  Hearing - Ears shall be clean, free from disease, congenital 
problems and functional such that the dog can perform required 
♦  Skeletal/Muscles - The dog shall have the normal skeletal/muscle 
structure and function within normal limits for its breed or 
predominant breed. There shall be no structural faults or 
deficiencies that would prevent it from performing the expected 
tasks. All dogs that weigh 40 lbs. or more shall be evaluated for 
dysplasia of the hips and elbows (OFA or PennHip). Dogs shall 
also be radiographed for OCD of the hips and elbows. It is highly 
recommended that the dogs also be checked for OCD of the 
shoulders, hocks and knees. 
♦  Blood panel - The dog shall be screened for heartworms and for 
normal blood results. 
♦  All immunizations - The dog shall have had all immunizations 
appropriate for the area of origin and for eventual placement. 
♦  Stool - The dog’s stool shall be examined and be free from ova, 
parasites and blood. 
♦  Skin - The dog’s skin shall be free of fleas, ticks, 
dermatitis/allergic reactions, mange, and other common ailments. 
♦  Respiration - The dog shall have normal lung sounds, respiratory 
rate and rhythm. 
♦  Heart - Based on a heart screening, the dog shall have normal heart 
sounds and there shall be no heart conditions detectable on exam 
that would prevent it from performing the expected tasks. 
♦  Abdominal organs - The dog shall have normal results from the 
palpation of abdominal organs. 
♦  Teeth/Gums - The dog shall have clean and healthy teeth and 
gums free of infections or other dental problems. 
•  Pedigree - Every attempt should be made to review the pedigree of the 
dog to ensure it is free from hereditary diseases. When this cannot be 
done, the dog should be examined for hereditary diseases in possible 
mixes, such as collie eye in collie dogs and hearing loss for breeds in 
which it is historically found. 
•  Owner identification - Ownership must have been properly transferred 
to the person/organization supplying the dog. This includes checking 
the dog for the presence of all microchip systems and tattoos and other 
accepted methods of determining ownership 
•  Temperament - The dog should be screened for temperaments 
appropriate for the tasks it will be performing and under the conditions   
it will perform them. At a minimum, the dog should behave in a 
friendly manner to both people and other animals, should not display 
inappropriately fearful reactions to normal experiences, and should not 
behave in an excessively submissive or assertive manner. The dog 
should display confidence and a willingness to interact with people in 
a novel environment. 
•  Spay/neuter - All service dogs must be spayed or neutered prior to 
placement with the handler. 
•  Physically suited to tasks required - The dog must possess the physical 
size, strength, conditioning, physical structure, etc. to be able to 
perform the expected tasks. The dog shall not be overweight or 
underweight, as determined by the examining veterinarian. 
•  Able to handle the conditions of working/living in the area in which it 
will eventually be placed - For example, a dog placed in Montana 
would have to be able to perform its tasks in conditions such as 
temperature extremes, snow, ice, and rain. 
•  Age - The dog’s age should be identified as best as possible. This may 
be difficult with dogs coming from shelters or rescue organizations, 
but a reasonable estimate should be possible. A thoughtful review of 
the dog’s age in relation to expectations must be made. The dog must 
be at least 12 months old and physically mature enough to perform 
required tasks at the time of placement with the handler. The dog 
should have an expected working life of at least 6 years. 
•  Local animal control laws vary and should be considered when 
selecting and placing a service dog. 
Component Behaviors 
Unless otherwise specified for a behavior, the following conditions and standards 
apply to all behaviors and are not included in the specific discussions for each 
Common Conditions 
Dogs must be physiologically capable of performing all behaviors they are 
expected to perform. This includes physical conditioning, size, weight, physical 
structure, etc. 
The surface on which the behaviors are performed must vary in texture, traction, 
angle (both horizontal and vertical planes), stability, temperature, and material (see 
examples below). Behaviors for which the surface is particularly important (e.g., 
move with handler) must be performed on a variety of surfaces. Behaviors for 
which surface is less important (e.g., focus on handler) do not need to be 
performed on as wide a variety of surfaces.  
•  Examples – carpet, slick floors, ice, snow, dirt, sidewalk, road, 
temperature of flooring/footing, grass, gravel, changes of surface 
(dark/light color, shiny/dull and dark/bright lighting), flat, incline, 
decline, cambered (arched), and moving surfaces 
The assistive/required equipment the dog must wear or use will depend on the 
individual needs of the handler. (See examples below) 
•  Assistive/required equipment worn by the dog – e.g., pulling, bracing, 
or guide harness; backpack; foot protection; leash; collar 
•  Assistive/required equipment used – e.g., door pulls, drawer pulls, 
light switch levers, specialized switches, specialized pulls 
The environments in which the behaviors are performed must vary in the 
distractions presented, familiarity to the dog and/or handler, and physical   
characteristics (see examples below). At a minimum, there must be a food 
distraction; crowds; unexpected, loud, and sharp noises; an unfamiliar dog and cat; 
and an unexpected approach and interaction with a stranger, in which the stranger 
pets the dog. Behaviors will be performed in public, in the home, and, if the 
handler works outside the home, in the handler’s workplace. If there are other pets 
in the household, they may be present during the performance of some of the 
behaviors in the home. If the handler lives with family members, an assistant, 
roommate, or other person(s), those persons may be present during some of the 
•  Examples – variety of temperature, food, crowds, noises, other 
animals, toys, individual people, odors, light and dark, in 
familiar/unfamiliar environments, while being petted, in public, at 
home, and varying amounts of room available for performing the 
Command/Cues by Handler  
The dog must respond to the types of commands, cues, and corrections that the 
handler is capable of providing (see examples below). 
•  Examples – voice command, hand signal, laser light, sound cue, and 
behavioral cues. For some behaviors (e.g., basic and social behaviors), 
the dog must respond to the commands/cues of people other than the 
handler if the handler has given permission and/or if the handler is not 
present or able to control the dog (e.g., the handler is incapacitated).  
Common Standards 
Standards for the Dog 
The dog maintains controlled position, in appropriate proximity and 
position to handler, on cue by handler and/or as appropriate to the 
The dog performs the behavior without injury, discomfort, or interference 
to handler. 
 Frequency of correct responses is high enough to ensure handler’s safety 
and not be an impediment to handler’s ability (with dog’s assistance) to 
perform daily tasks and respond to the environment in a timely fashion. 
The dog responds to commands and/or cues. The handler may give the 
cues or the dog may be cued by events in the environment.
responds without prolonged delay, and does so without pain or physical 
discomfort to either dog or handler.  
The dog performs the behavior within a reasonable amount of time. 
The dog may exhibit submissive behaviors, but its behavior cannot 
interfere with the handler’s safety or control or the dog’s work functions. 
The dog should recover from its submissive behavior quickly. 
The dog performs the behavior required by the handler. 
It is acceptable, and even desirable, for the service dog to display 
avoidance or appeasement behaviors to encourage less threatening and 
aggressive behavior from an approaching dog, assuming the approaching 
dog is directing its behavior toward the service dog rather than the handler. 
The dog does not pull toward animals or initiate interaction with animals. 
Ignoring or greeting other animals appropriately is essential because when 
in public, the service dog and handler will encounter other animals, on and 
off leash. 
When encountering another dog, the service dog may look at the other dog 
and wag its tail, provided this does not interfere with its work. However, if the 
other dog approaches the service dog, the service dog either ignores the dog or 
sniffs briefly before continuing with its work. The dog should display: a 
relaxed facial expression and a relaxed body, its tail may wag gently, its ears 
may be alert and forward, or relaxed, or slightly back, its mouth may be open 
but the lips relaxed, its head may be slightly lowered. 
The dog should not display: a stiff, larger than normal body posture; a stiff 
rigid or a stiff wagging tail positioned high or tucked underneath the body; 
retracted or pulled forward lips; bared teeth or gums (unless panting); 
piloerected hair; direct stare in combination with stiff body, bared teeth, or 
growl; upside-down posture exposing the groin area. The dog should not 
vocalize (bark, howl, whine, growl, snarl, etc.) or urinate. 
Standards for the Handler 
Commands and/or cues are given in a manner that is understood and 
consistently responded to by the dog, and in a manner appropriate for a 
public setting. 
The handler does not interfere with dog’s attempt to perform the behavior 
unless it is necessary due to changing situation (e.g., someone 
unexpectedly blocks the door to be entered.
The handler uses encouragement and reinforcement to assist the dog as 
The handler uses partial or intermittent reinforcement, not continuous 
The handler follows humane dog training as defined in the Professional 
Standards for Dog Trainers 
Summary List of Minimum Behaviors 
The behaviors have been grouped into categories that relate to the most significant 
aspects of service dog behaviors. Note that these are the names of the behaviors 
and do not necessarily correspond to the popular cues given for behaviors. The 
categories and behaviors are listed below. 
Basic Behaviors 
Static Positions, Postures, or Behaviors 
Lying Down 
Basic Movements 
Movements Relative to Handler 
Focus on Handler 
Moving with Handler 
Going to Specified Position 
Moving Backward 
Coming to the Handler 
General Positioning 
Manipulation Movements 
Dropping the Object 
Social Behaviors 
Interrupt Current Behavior 
Eliminate on Command 
Accept Greeting by People 
Allow Body Examination  
Information Included for Each Behavior 
Included for each behavior is the name of the behavior, a description of the 
behavior, the conditions under which the behavior is performed, suggested uses or 
applications of the behavior, and popular cues used to elicit the behavior. 
We have included popular cues for each behavior for the reader to recognize 
familiar behaviors. Some behaviors have multiple popular cues. The cues are for 
the convenience of the reader only. Trainers and handlers will use the best cues for 
their individual situations. Cues are all arbitrary; the key is that the person can 
remember and communicate the cue/command consistently to the dog and the dog 
has been acclimated to the handler’s delivery of cues. 
The handler is usually the person with a disability. There may be times where 
someone else temporarily becomes the handler of the service dog to assist the 
person with a disability. 
Basic Behaviors 
Static Positions, Postures, or Behaviors 
Behavior Name: Sitting 
Dog is stationary with its buttocks and rear pasterns tucked under body (hind legs 
bent at stifle and hock) and in contact with the floor or ground. The forearms are 
straight down from the shoulder. The dog’s hindquarters may be tilted such that 
all or part of one hip or upper thigh is in contact with the ground or floor.  
The pads of both front paws should be in contact with the ground or floor, but the 
forearms may be raised singly from time to time. 
Other Conditions 
This behavior should occur in response to appropriate contexts (i.e., the dog may 
assume a sitting position without a specific signal to do so or within a chain of 
behaviors in which it has regularly been required to sit in the past) 
Suggested Uses 
The sit can be chained with other tasks service dogs perform, such as heeling, 
providing physical support, retrieving, possibly having equipment put on, 
interacting with people, etc. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
Behavior Name: Lying Down 
Dog is stationary, lying on its abdomen, side, or back (i.e., ventral, lateral or 
dorsal recumbency). The head may or may not be in contact with the ground or 
floor underneath the dog. In ventral recumbency, the dog may also rotate its 
hindquarters so that all or part of the upper thigh and/or hip is in contact with the 
ground or floor. 
Other Conditions 
This behavior should occur in response to appropriate contexts. The dog may 
assume a down position without a specific signal to do so, in a situation in which 
it has regularly been required to lie down in the past or within a chain of 
behaviors in which it has regularly been required to lie down in the past. 
Suggested Uses 
Lying down can be chained with other tasks service dogs perform, such as 
providing physical support, completing certain household tasks, possibly having 
equipment put on, interacting with people, relaxing while on duty, etc. Down can 
be a very comfortable and relaxed posture for the dog and may be used for longer 
duration than other postures. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Down,” “Rest,” “Lie,” “Lay,” “Platz,” “Lay Down,” “Lie Down” 
Behavior Name: Standing 
Dog is stationary with all four feet under the body in contact with the floor or 
ground. The forearms are directly below the shoulders. The rear hock and rear 
pasterns are straight down from the upper thigh and are extended naturally. Feet 
are in contact with the floor or ground. The head and/or tail may move. The dog 
should not move its feet. 
Other Conditions 
This behavior should occur in response to appropriate contexts. The dog may 
assume a standing position without a specific signal to do so, in a situation in 
which it has regularly been required to stand in the past or within a chain of 
behaviors in which it has regularly been required to stand in the past. 
Suggested Uses 
Standing can be chained with other tasks service dogs perform, such as providing 
physical support, mobility functions, completing certain household tasks, having 
equipment put on, interacting with people, etc. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
Behavior Name: Staying 
The dog remains in a specified posture without moving in any direction (changing 
location) or significantly changing posture. Slight shifting of position, movement 
of head and tail, and lifting and replacing feet in same location are permitted. 
Other Conditions 
This response may be taught as an additional component of the sit, down, stand 
and other behaviors (i.e., the dog may learn to assume a sit position with a “sit” 
signal and to maintain that position for a length of time with a “stay” signal. The 
dog may also be taught that, when told to “sit” for example, it assumes a sit 
position and maintains it with the “sit” signal alone until released from that 
This behavior should occur in response to appropriate contexts. The dog may stay 
without a specific signal to do so, in a situation in which it has regularly been 
required to stay in the past or within a chain of behaviors in which it has regularly 
been required to stay. 
Suggested Uses 
Staying can be chained with other tasks service dogs perform, such as providing 
physical support, completing certain household tasks, having equipment put on, 
interacting with people, relaxing while on duty, etc. It is also a component of 
waiting, which allows the dog more freedom in where it positions itself. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Stay,” “Wait” 
Basic Movements 
Behavior Name: Halting/Stopping 
Dog ceases forward or other directional movement and becomes stationary. May 
assume a sit, down or stand position. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
Halting/stopping is built into numerous chains, especially during heeling and 
other mobility functions. For example, it is used to stop the dog at a curb or to 
stop the dog from pulling a wheelchair. 
Halting/stopping is also used in emergency and safety situations. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Stop,” “Halt,” “Whoa” 
Movements Relative to Handler 
Behavior Name: Focus on Handler 
Dog orients itself (head or full body) toward the handler. The dog may look 
at/make eye contact with the handler, rest with paw on handler’s leg or lean into 
handler’s body. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
Focus on the handler behavior can be chained with other behaviors service dogs 
perform, such as retrieving, completing household tasks, alerting the handler to 
sources of sounds, etc. It may be used to get the dog’s attention, to get the animal 
ready for the next command or to get its attention away from a distraction. It can 
also be used for social support. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Watch Me,” “Look at Me,” “Watch,” “Pay Attention” 
Behavior Name: Moving with Handler 
Dog moves with handler in any direction and matches the handler’s gait. A 
variety of gaits may be required. The dog maintains a defined, consistent position 
relative to the handler. The dog’s position should not interfere with handler’s 
movement in any direction. The dog should be close to the handler and should 
adjust his/her pace to the handler’s rather than vice versa. A common position for 
the dog to maintain when moving with the handler is the “heel” position to the 
handler’s side (left or right, as appropriate), with the dog in close proximity to the 
handler. The specific location for the dog will vary, based on the handler’s needs 
and equipment. Other positions ahead, behind or to the side of the defined heel 
position would have similar criteria, but be signaled by a different command word 
(e.g. side, behind, front, etc.) 
Other Conditions 
The positions assumed relative to the handler depend on many factors. For 
example, dogs are typically worked on the side opposite power wheelchair 
controls (i.e., dog on the right if the controls are on the left). Positions should be 
chosen to permit handler greatest degree of movement ease and safety. 
Suggested Uses 
Moving in a constant position relative to the handler is actually a chain of 
behaviors made up of forward movement, turns, and halts. The dog may or may 
not be taught to perform each of these behaviors separately. It may be taught to 
maintain a position relative to the handler, which would require that the dog 
perform these behaviors as the dog moves along with the handler.
give the dog one preliminary signal for movement with the handler and no further 
signals for component behaviors that occur as part of the movement sequence.  
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
The command “Heel” can be used for the primary position from which the dog 
will move with the handler. Although traditionally this has specified a position on 
the handler’s left side, this convention is not mandatory for service dog work. 
Different commands must define forward movement from other positions so as 
not to confuse the dog (e.g., if “heel” means left side, “my side” could be used for 
forward movement with the dog to the handler’s right). 
 “Forward,” “Let’s Go,” and “Hup-up” (used by many guide dog schools) 
Behavior Name: Going to Specified Position 
Dog moves from current position to the position specified and remains there. The 
dog will stop and assume a sit, down, or stand position (as deemed by handler’s 
needs) when it reaches the required location. Possible positions relative to handler 
could be: 
 Front (in front of the handler) 
Left (left side of the handler) 
 Right (to the right side of the handler) 
 Behind (behind the handler) 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
The “go to a specified position” is built into chains such as walking and other 
mobility functions, or putting on equipment. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Front,” “ Back,” “Around,” “Let’s Go,” “By Me,” “Place,” “ Walk Close,” 
“With Me.” 
(If the command “Heel” is used to initiate movement with the handler from a 
specified position, then another command should be used for the “go to position” 
Behavior Name: Moving Backward 
Without changing the direction it is facing and from a standing position, the dog 
initiates and maintains motion in the direction of its rear quarters (until cued 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
Moving backward is necessary or useful in many contexts and in many situations. 
It is built into numerous chains, especially heeling and other mobility functions, 
having equipment put on, etc. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Back,” “Back Up,” “Reverse,” “Step Back,” “Go Back”. 
Behavior Name: Coming to the Handler 
Dog moves from its current location to a specified position related to the 
handler’s needs. This behavior is often described as a recall: a return to a 
specified position by the handler. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
Coming to the handler is built into chains that make up numerous tasks service 
dogs perform, such as alerting a person to the source of a sound, retrieving, 
having equipment put on, completing household duties, social interactions, for the 
dog’s safety, etc. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Come,” “Here,” “Come Here,” “Front” 
General Positioning 
Behavior Name: Behind 
The dog places its body in back of an indicated object and remains there in 
indicated position (sitting, lying down, standing) until given the cue to move. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
This behavior can be part of a number of chains. The dog may be directed to get 
behind the handler in preparation for following or behind a curb, fence, or other 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Get Back,” “Behind” 
Behavior Name: In 
Dog moves to location (e.g., crate, under a table) of contained area and goes 
inside or under indicated object. Typically, another positioning cue, such as 
Down, would be given. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
The in behavior can be useful when the dog must go into its crate, a kennel, car or 
other vehicle. Moving under or behind something is very convenient to position 
the dog in an unobtrusive place, such as under a piece of furniture. Sometimes 
when taking public transportation, it may be necessary for the safety of the dog 
and other people. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Get into,” “Get in,” “Kennel,” “Go in,” “In,” “Under,” “Get in there,” “Go 
Behavior Name: On 
The dog moves its body onto a specified object or place (e.g., table, chair, loading 
ramp) and remains there in the position indicated by handler (sitting, lying down, 
or standing on the object). 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
Moving onto something is convenient when positioning the dog in an unobtrusive 
place, such as on a piece of furniture. It is useful if the dog can be signaled to 
jump onto a table in order to receive grooming, examinations, etc. This behavior 
may also be incorporated into chains of behaviors involved in completing 
activities of daily living, both at home and in public. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Up,” “Get Up,” “Jump,” “On” 
Behavior Name: Off 
The dog moves all or part of its body from the object or surface where it is located 
to the floor/ground. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
This is used to get the dog off an object once it has been commanded to get on. 
This includes getting paws off.   
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Off,” “Paws off,” “Get off” 
Behavior Name: To 
The dog moves to an indicated location. The “going to” behavior is often part of a 
chain of behavior (see Suggested Uses), but may also be followed by a position 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
To is built into chains that make up tasks service dogs perform, such as going to 
the handler, going to another person, or sending the dog to a specific location 
(e.g., go to crate, bed, etc.). 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Go,” “Go To (…) Place” 
Manipulation Movements 
Behavior Name: Dropping the Object 
The dog opens its jaws and releases its hold on the object in its mouth so that the 
object can either be removed from the dog’s mouth or it falls to a designated 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
This behavior is generally the endpoint of a sequence of behaviors by which the 
dog brings objects to the handler or other person, or moves objects from one 
location to another. This behavior can also be used for the dog’s safety to drop an 
object the dog has picked up that you do not want it to have. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Drop it,” “Release,” “Out,” “Give,” “Let go,” “Thank You” 
Social Behaviors 
Behavior Name: Interrupt Current Behavior 
The dog should stop whatever activity s/he is engaging in and be stationary until 
another command is given. 
Other Conditions 
Suggested Uses 
When a dog is engaging in a socially inappropriate behavior and needs to be cued 
to cease doing so. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“No,” “Ehh,” “Oi,” “Hey,” “Quit,” “Stop,” “Leave It,” “Uh, uh” 
Behavior Name: Eliminate on Command 
Dog begins sniffing, circling, etc., or engaging in any other behaviors that precede 
urination or defecation and then does either or both in the area and at the time 
indicated by the handler. 
Other Conditions 
It is also acceptable for the dog to eliminate when not specifically commanded to 
do so, if instead, the handler has indicated by some other signal or command (e.g. 
“free”) that the context or situation is appropriate. While on duty, the dog 
performs this behavior only when signaled. The dog must be accustomed to 
eliminating whether on or off leash, indoors or outdoors, and on different ground, 
such as pavement, grass, etc. 
Suggested Uses 
A service dog cannot eliminate inappropriately in public places such as shopping 
malls or interrupt its work to relieve itself unless commanded to do so. It may also 
be necessary for the dog to eliminate at a specific time, because the opportunity 
may not be available again for a while (e.g. prior to boarding an airplane). 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
“Do Your Chores,” “Go Potty,” “Potty,” “Go Ahead,” “Better Go Now,” 
“Empty,” “Hurry Up”  
Behavior Name: Accept Greeting by People 
The dog permits people to approach itself and the handler in a passive or friendly 
manner. The dog should display a relaxed facial expression and a relaxed body; 
its tail may wag gently, its ears may be alert and forward, or relaxed, or slightly 
back; its mouth may be open but the lips relaxed; its head may be slightly 
The dog should not display any of the following: body posture that is stiff or 
rigid; a stiff tail positioned high or tucked underneath the body; retracted or pulled 
forward lips; bared teeth or gums; piloerected hair on withers; direct stare in 
combination with stiff body, bared teeth or growl; upside-down posture exposing 
the groin; or urination. The dog should not attempt to avoid the approaching 
person nor should it jump up or have contact with the person unless commanded 
to do so. The dog should, at most, sniff the person on the hand, leg or other   
appropriate spot and should not vocalize (bark, howl, whine, growl, snarl, etc.) or 
urinate. Accepting greetings by people should not interfere with a task the dog is 
performing. The dog should accept touching, stroking, and hugging in the same 
If the dog has not been given a signal to greet the person approaching it, the dog 
should ignore the person. 
Other Conditions 
This is qualified by the assumption that the approaching person is behaving in a 
friendly manner toward the handler. Although it is not recommended that the 
service dog be specifically trained to protect its handler, when presented with a 
menacing person, the dog will bark only on command, change its position to be 
between the person and handler, and/or assume an ‘alert’ stance. 
If the approaching person is not friendly to the dog, the dog should not behave in 
an unfriendly manner in return (unless the person physically abuses the dog). 
There are cases when a menacing person approaches the handler-dog team, 
pointing at the dog and demanding to know why the dog is in the person’s place 
of business. It would not be appropriate for the dog to respond to this type of 
situation with anything but passivity. 
Suggested Uses 
Greeting people appropriately is essential because the service dog is often 
required to be in public and, inevitably, people are curious and want to greet the 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
Most of these behaviors are performed without specific signals provided by the 
handler, although signals may sometimes be helpful. If the handler chooses, the 
dog may be instructed to greet people by shaking hands, sitting, or other desirable 
Behavior Name: Allow Body Examination 
The dog permits itself to be touched and restrained in a variety of ways, including 
cleaning ears, brushing teeth, placing drops in eyes, clipping nails, etc. The dog 
allows touching, probing, and manipulation of its body while sitting, lying down, 
standing, or lying on its back and while restrained. 
It allows its ears and mouth to be held open and probed and its eyes to be held 
open with objects in close proximity (e.g., dropper, veterinary instruments, etc.). 
The dog may display an interest in the person’s behavior but does not interfere. 
Other Conditions 
The dog allows body examination by the handler and by other people, such as 
family members, the veterinarian, and groomer. These procedures should not be 
painful; however, if they are, it is acceptable for the dog to display mild 
discomfort and struggling, but the dog should calm easily once the procedure is 
Suggested Uses 
Examining the service dog’s body without difficulty is extremely important 
because the handler may not be able to physically restrain the dog. The handler 
and professionals, such as veterinarians and groomers, will need to handle the dog 
as part of health care delivery. 
Popular Cues for This Behavior 
A variety of commands may be used to assist the dog in assuming and 
maintaining desired positions during the examination such as “Sit,” “Down,” 
“Stand,” “Stay,” “Lifting a Paw,” “Roll Over”