Program Requirements

Tao Service Dogs -

“The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities."

Public Access Training Classes

This class is designed for owners looking to train their own service dog. We work on basic foundation behavior in both the classroom and home and help the owners learn how to train proper public access behavior. We discuss service dog etiquette, how to handle a service dog, practice how to deal with access challenges and work on task training.

Students will be engaged in various games which simulate public access locations including restaurants, shopping lines and doctor’s offices. We will use these games and simulations to problem solve and answer questions that may arise in an environment designed to give the entire team success.

One or more field trips will be planned each week in which the teams will be exposed to different types of public access locations best suited for the level of training and age of the dogs. Field trips are separate from classroom time.

We will be using Training Levels: Steps to Success by Sue Ailsby to work on foundation and advanced public access behaviors for the dogs.

Class Offers:
  • 4 classroom hours of instruction
  • 3 field trips
Cost: $100

Evaluation: $60

Public Access Training Classes Requirements
  • Tao Service Dogs provides assistance with selection and training of service dogs.
  • All dogs attending class must undergo a one time temperament evaluation prior to attending class. This evaluation is not to determine level of training, but potential for working in public and/or in a group of dogs. Please contact Tao Service Dogs to schedule your evaluation prior to your first class.
    • A temperament evaluation is not a guarantee your dog will graduate.  Tao Service Dogs cannot guarantee any dog will become a public access service dog.
  • All student must purchase a copy of Training Levels: Steps to Success by Sue Ailsby.  Speak with me if you are having issues with purchase and need assistance with class material.
  • Dogs training with Tao Service Dogs must be vested and labeled as In Training until graduation for public access training. Public Access training will be evaluated based on the dogs confidence and skill level.
    • A plan for increased Public Access training will be made for the dog as the dog's skill progresses.
  • Owner Trainers must keep a journal of their training and Public Access hours for their records to show proof of training of their dog.
    • Random testing of the dog's skills will be done throughout the program.
  • The dog and their gear must be kept well groomed and clean to provide the public with a positive view of the service dog community. If the dog, at any point, has an issue when training in public, the student is to remove the dog and evaluate why the dog had an issue. A plan, based on that evaluation, will be made to help the dog be successful in the future.
  • A Public Access Test (PAT) will be provided to deem if the dog is ready for graduation. At graduation the dog will receive a certificate that states Tao Service Dogs has tested the dog and determined it was trained and can perform tasks to assist it's handler. This certificate will not be used to gain access into public avenues.
  • Tao Service Dogs asks that all dogs trained for service dog work have a vet x-ray the dogs hips and elbows to ensure they are not displaced and have the dogs eyes checked to ensure the dog's vision is not failing. Any dog who has health or joint issues will be dismissed from training for service work.
  • All dogs attending class must have a minimum of their second puppy shots (if a puppy, all shots if an adult) and their rabies shot if at age for it.  Once at age, all dogs must be kept current on their rabies shot as per state law.
    • I recommend researching and making an informed decision on shot frequency for other shots for your dog or coming to me to discuss shot frequency once your dog has gone through it's first round of vaccinations.