Public Access Behaviours

Below is an example of just some of the requirements for PADs and does not include many other aspects of training that needs to be covered.

For the purpose of successfully passing a public access standard test it is necessary for your dog to be able to complete the following behaviours at test standard WITHOUT the use of treats or training aids.

(Please note that while the animal is learning these behaviours rewards will be required)

Walking and other on-lead behaviours

An appropriate level of looseness is required in the leash/harness for all on-leash behaviours.

The dog is required to stay close to handler at heel maintaining a slack J shaped lead. There should be no continuous or repeated straining at the lead or harness or excessive pulling or wandering. (Retractable leads are not suitable unless for specific disability requirement).

Working position

During all behaviours the dog remains comfortable and confident in its working position.

Obedience Training

Dog holds – Sit, Down, Stay on command for 30 seconds.

Dog comes on command from distance of 6 feet or greater.

Dog walks past and leaves food item on ground.

Dog is able to ignore, greet or get out of way of stranger on command

Dog does not exhibit any inappropriate behaviour when touched by a stranger.

Dog looks at handler on command.

Working with Distractions

Dog is able to work despite distractions encountered in normal working environment, including but not limited to loud noises, sirens, crowds, mounted police.

Vehicles and public transport

Dog enters and exits any form of transportation in a safe manner.

Dog is able to ride in any form of transportation in a controlled manner.

Controlled entry

Dog must enter building in controlled manner.

Dog must walk up/down stairs at heel of handler.

Dog must be trained to use escalators safely.

Store Navigation

Dog navigates store without knocking shelves or interacting with merchandise.

Dog does not interact with other people unless instructed to do so.

Dog does not lick or closely sniff food or other store items.

Dog maintains good working position while the handler uses shopping cart.


Dog does not beg or attempt to eat or closely sniff at any food on floor or tables.

Dog is positioned to cause least obstruction to flow of business and maintain position.

Dog is not on table, chair or bench but is always either on the floor or under table.

Handler does not feed or water their dog from the table.


Dog should be able to load into an elevator and travel both up and down remaining confident in either sit or standing position.


Dog should maintain working position and not cause the handler to fall or stumble.

Working around other dogs

Dog should be able to maintain a working mode while in the presence of other dogs.


Dog does not cause disturbance in the restroom.

Inappropriate conduct

Dog must not display any inappropriate behaviours listed below:

Growling or inappropriate excessive barking.

Nipping or biting.

Showing teeth.

Lunging at other people or dogs.

Being out of handler’s control.

Inappropriately eliminating (urination/defecation).

Mitigating behaviours are tailored to the handler’s specific needs, which vary from person to person. An Assistance Dog must be trained to perform at least three task-related behaviours for their handler. If you are unsure what might be useful, feel free to contact us for a discussion. Below is a list with some examples.

Mitigating Behaviours


Possible Mitigating/Task Related Behaviours

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

• Interrupt Compulsive/Repetitive Behaviours
• Provide Socially Acceptable Redirection of Stims


• Provide: Comfort to Handler; Tactile Support
• Fetch/Retrieve Tissues, Medication and/or other necessary


• Console and "Ground" Handler
• Lead Handler Away From Source of Anxiety in Event of Breakdown
• Alert at onset of Panic Attack, enabling handler to take necessary steps
(Acute medication, call emergency contact etc)

Dissociative Fugue (If you suffer with dissociative episodes, you will need to have a suitably sized dog to register with PADs. Please call to discuss)

• Guide Handler to Safety
• Keep Handler Away from Road


• Alert to Onset of Manic Symptoms
• Distract and redirect Handler's Attention

Social Anxiety

• Provide and Maintain Space Between Handler and Strangers
• Fabricate Comfort Break Requests to Allow Handler Breaks from Uncomfortable Situations

Faiure to Rouse

• Turn on Light & pull duvet off
• Open Curtains
• Call/Go Find Help

Fear of intruder

Can check rooms / house when returning home

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners Minimum Training Standards for Public Access

This link is for task related behaviours Assistance Dog Tasks for Psychiatric Disabilities