Rovers in Training

 We celebrated our newest graduation class on Friday November 13th 2015.  Now we will begin the next levels of training for our upcoming class which will graduate in January of 2017

See Photos and follow our Rovers in Training on Facebook.

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 The Patriot Rover Service Dog Standard Effective July 1st 2015

Breed, Sex, Weight, and Height Requirements. The paragraphs below detail acceptable breeds, physical appearance, and size and weight requirements for canines.

Breed. The canines (service dogs and emotional support dogs) deployed are the following breeds, unless written approval otherwise: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Canines should not weigh less than 55 pounds or more than 90 pounds. Canine should not be less than 20 inches at the withers.

Age. Canines must be at least 14 months, but not more than 24 months of age, at time of the medical evaluation.

Sex. Males and females are acceptable. All canines must be spay/neutered (i.e. castration or ovarian hysterectomy)

Medical Requirements.

In general, all canines must be in excellent health with no acute or chronic disease or condition, which could either hamper their ability to perform, or would be excessively costly to treat.

At 14 months of age or older, the candidate dogs must undergo a complete medical examination meeting the requirements outlined below.

Specific Behavioral/Training Requirements.

Service Dogs. A service dog must be well behaved at all times and promptly respond to commands (verbal or hand signals) given by the handler/trainer. To be effective in the trained tasks the canine must exhibit strong desire to please the handler and remain at the handler’s side unless otherwise directed. In addition to the trained tasks specified, canines must pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test (and must also pass the  PAT with the trainer(s) serving as the handler in both cases.

Emotional Support/Therapy Dogs. An emotional support dog must be well socialized to people and other animals (and must pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen  and AKC Community Canine tests when administered by a AKC Evaluator.

Assessment Tests.

American Kennel Club – Canine Good Citizen test

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger. This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting. This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise.

The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming. This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead). This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd. This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place. This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called. This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog. This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction. This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation. This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The handler will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).

Equipment. All tests must be performed on leash. For collars, dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, and electronic collars are not permitted in the CGC test. The VA evaluator will supply a 20-foot lead for the test. The handler should bring the dog’s brush or comb to the test.

Encouragement. Handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The handler may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something.

Failures and Dismissals. Any dog that eliminates during testing will be disqualified. Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is disqualified.

Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test a Patriot Rover AKC Evaluator dog trainer, will administer this test no later than 2 months prior to pairing of dog with handler. Commands must be given verbally.

CONTROLLED UNLOAD OUT OF VEHICLE: After a suitable place has been found, the individual will unload the dog and any necessary equipment (wheelchair, walker, crutches, etc.) out of the vehicle. The dog must wait until released before coming out of the vehicle. Once outside, it must wait quietly unless otherwise instructed by the Individual. The dog may not run around, be off lead, or ignore commands given by the individual. Once the team is out of the vehicle and settled, the assistant should walk past with another dog. They should walk within six (6) feet of the team. The Service Dog must remain calm and under control, not pulling or trying to get to the other dog.

The emphases are that the Service Dog must remain unobtrusive and is unloaded in the safest manner possible for everyone.

APPROACHING THE BUILDING: After unloading, the team must maneuver through the parking lot to approach the building. The dog must stay in a relative heel position and may not forge ahead or lag behind. The dog must not display a fear of cars or traffic noises and must display a relaxed attitude. When the individual stops for any reason, the dog must stop also.

CONTROLLED ENTRY THROUGH A DOORWAY: Once at the doors of the building, the individual may enter however he/she chooses to negotiate the entry safely. Upon entering the building; however, the dog may not wander off or solicit attention from the public. The dog should wait quietly until the team is fully inside then should calmly walk beside the individual. The dog must not pull or strain against the lead or try to push its way past the individual but must wait patiently while entry is completed.

HEELING THROUGH THE BUILDING: Once inside the building, the individual and the dog must walk through the area in a controlled manner. The dog should always be within touching distance where applicable or no greater than a foot away from the individual. The dog should not solicit public attention or strain against the lead (except in cases where the dog may be pulling the individual’s wheelchair). The dog must readily adjust to speed changes, turn corners promptly, and travel through a crowded area without interacting with the public. In tight quarters, the dog must be able to get out of the way of obstacles and not destroy merchandise by knocking it over or by playing with it.

SIX FOOT RECALL ON LEAD: A large, open area should be found for the six foot recall. Once found, the individual will perform a six foot recall with the dog remaining on lead. The individual will sit the dog, leave it, travel six feet, then turn and call the dog to him/her. The dog should respond promptly and not stop to solicit attention from the public or ignore the command. The dog should come

close enough to the individual to be readily touched. The recall should be smooth and deliberate without the dog trudging to the individual or taking any detours along the way.

SITS ON COMMAND: The dog handler/service dog will be asked to demonstrate the Individual’s ability to have the dog sit three different times. The dog must respond promptly each time with no more than two commands. There should not be any extraordinary gestures on the part of the people approaching the dog. Normal, reasonable behavior on the part of the people is expected.

The first sit will be next to a plate of food placed upon the ground. The dog must not attempt to eat or sniff the food. The individual may correct the dog verbally or physically away from the food, but then the dog must maintain a sit while ignoring the food. The dog should not be taunted or teased with the food. This situation should be made as realistic as possible.

The second sit will be executed, and the assistant with a shopping cart will approach within three feet of the dog and continue on past. The dog should maintain the sit and not show any fear of the shopping cart. If the dog starts to move, the individual may correct the dog to maintain the sit.

The last sit will be a sit with a stay as a person walks up behind the team, talks to the person and then pets the dog. The dog must hold position. The dog may not break the stay to solicit attention. The individual may repeat the stay command along with reasonable physical corrections.

DOWNS ON COMMAND: The down exercises will be performed in the same sequence as the sits with the same basic stipulations. The first down will be at a table where food will be dropped on the floor. The dog should not break the down to go for the food or sniff at the food. The individual may give verbal and physical corrections to maintain the down. There should not be any extraordinary gestures on the part of the people approaching the dog. Normal, reasonable behavior from the people is expected.

The second down will be executed, and then an adult and child should approach the dog. The dog should maintain the down and not solicit attention. If the child pets the dog, the dog must behave appropriately and not break the stay. The individual may give verbal and physical corrections if the dog begins to break the stay.

NOISE DISTRACTION: The dog handler/service dog will be heeling along and the tester will drop a clipboard to the ground behind the team. The dog may acknowledge the noise, but may not in any way show aggression or fear. A normal startle reaction Is fine–the dog may jump and or turn–but the dog should quickly recover and continue along on the heel. The dog should not become aggressive, begin shaking, etc.

RESTAURANT: The dog handler/service dog should enter a restaurant and be seated at a table. The dog should go under the table or, if size prevents that, stay close by the individual. The dog must sit or lie down and may move a bit for comfort during the meal, but should not be up and down a lot or need a lot of correction or reminding. This would be a logical place to do the food drop during a down. (See #7)

OFF LEAD: Sometime during the test, where appropriate, the person will be instructed to drop the leash while moving so it is apparent to the dog. The individual must show the ability to maintain control of the dog and get the leash back in its appropriate position. The main concern is that

the dog be aware that the leash is dropped and that the person is able to maintain control of the dog and get the leash back into proper position.

CONTROLLED UNIT: The dog handler/service dog will leave the building in a similar manner to entering, with safety and control being of prime importance. The team will proceed across the parking lot and back to the vehicle. The dog must be in appropriate heel position and not display any fear of vehicle or traffic sounds.

CONTROLLED LOAD into VEHICLE: The individual will load the dog into the vehicle, with either entering first. The dog must not wander around the parking lot but must wait patiently for instructions. Emphasis is on safety and control.

Disqualifying Behaviors. Any dog that displays any aggressive behavior (growling, biting, raising hackles, showing teeth, etc.) will be disqualified. Any dog that eliminates in a building or shows uncontrollable behavior will be disqualified.

AKC COMMUNITY CANINE TEST (Advanced Canine Good Citizen {CGCA}) (The trainer acting as the handler will evaluate all candidate emotional support dogs using the AKC Community Canine test as described below. Dogs must successfully complete all ten items.

(1) Dog stands, sits or lays down and waits under control while the owner:

sits at a table and fills out paperwork. Or if the test is done in the community, dog waits while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with another person (e.g., at a park).

(2) Dog walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring) and does not pull. ❏ make a left turn
❏ make a right turn
❏ stop

(3) Dog walks on a loose leash through a crowd in the community, dog walks on a sidewalk, through a crowd at a community fair, park, on a trail, through a busy hallway, etc.

(4) Dog walks past distraction and does not pull. This item may be tested along with #3 if there are dogs in the crowd.

Dog walks by dogs waiting in the crowd – dogs 2 ft. in the community. Dog walks by other dogs on a trail, sidewalk, in a hallway, etc.

(5) Sit-stay in small group (three other people with dogs). Owners and dogs are in an informal circle while owners have a conversation. Dogs are all on the owner’s left side, on leash, 3 ft. apart (at least 30 seconds).

(6) Dog allows person who is carrying something (backpack, computer bag, etc.) to approach and pet it. “May I pet your dog?” (Item is placed on floor/ground before the person pets the dog.)

(7) “Leave it.” Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.” This can be food placed by the evaluator on the floor or ground in a food dish with a wire cover as in Rally.

(8) Down or sit stay-distance (owner’s choice). Dog is on 20-ft line, owner walks away with back to dog, picks up an item (shopping or training bag, clipboard, folder, etc.) placed on the floor, chair, or ground by the evaluator and returns to the dog. walk at a fast and slow pace.

(9) Recall with distractions present (coming when called). Handler goes out 20-ft. (off center) and calls dog. Dog is on the 20-ft. line from #8 above.

(10) Dog will sit or stand stay (owner’s choice) while owner enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway. Owner calls dog through door when ready. Owner may choose to send the dog through first and have the dog wait for the owner, or, the owner may choose to have the dog go through the doorway at the owner’s side. Whichever method is used, the dog must not pull the owner and must be under good control. Think of the handler having the leash in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

The doorway or gate can be real or simulated with ring gates, two chairs, or a natural passage way (e.g., entrance to trail) in the community.

 

 

Provide Trained Service Dogs

Description. CPR Inc. will train service dogs and provide a list of medically-cleared service dogs that have been trained to comply with the specified tasks 90% of the time, and passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and ADI Public Access Test (PAT) when administered by training personnel. CPR Inc. must provide documentation that the dog is competent to perform these tasks (see below). Once the list of candidate dogs is assigned, a Patriot Rover Inc. AKC Evaluator will assess the dog’s ability to perform the specific tasks listed below:

Post(stand in front of Veteran to give space). Trainers will be asked to demonstrate the ability to have the dog provide physical space in front of the handler. The dog should perform the task reliably each time and should not have to be given a command more than three times before complying.

  • This task shall be demonstrated in a public place. The handler will walk with the dog for at least 30 feet distance then and stop. The dog should naturally stop with the handler. As a person approaches from the front the block command will be given. The dog should step in front of the handler, typically the dog stands perpendicular to the handler, to provide a physical barrier between the handler and the person approaching.
  1. The dog should be relaxed and not exhibit aggressive, defensive, or protective behaviors. The dog should not show interest in the person approaching and should stay in block position until released by the handler with an appropriate command.

Lights (locates and turns on lights ) Trainers will be asked to demonstrate the ability of the dog to enter a room ahead of the handler and turn on the lights to ensure good visibility, reduce the risk of falls, and generally make the Veteran feel more at ease. This is a task that will be performed simulated home environment. A standard consumer light switch must be used (touch plates or similar adaptive hardware are not acceptable).

  • To demonstrate the skill, the handler will walk the dog to a door or entryway and give the command to turn on lights. The dog should enter the room and turn on a light while the handler remains in the entryway.
  1. Once the lights are on, the dog will return to the handler’s side and wait for further direction.

Sweep (room, perimeter, turn on lights, if needed). Trainers will be asked to demonstrate the ability of the dog to enter a room ahead of the handler, turn on lights, and sweep the perimeter of the room. The dog should perform this task reliably each time and should not have to be given a command more than 3 times before complying.

  1. To demonstrate the skill, the handler will walk the dog to a door or entryway. If it is necessary to turn on lights (meaning a light switch is not accessible to the handler from the door or entryway) a command will be given. The dog should enter the room and turn on a light.
  • Once it is established that the room is clear, the dog will return to the handler’s side.
  1. If the dog detects someone in the room it will alert the handler by barking.

Bring (retrieves an object at the request of the handler). Trainers will be asked to demonstrate the ability of the dog to bring specified items to the handler upon request. The dog should perform the task reliably each time and should not have to be given a command more than three times before responding. This task may be applicable to both the home and public environments.

  • To demonstrate the skill, the handler points to a specific object and gives the command. If the specified object is in a group of objects, the handler will say the name of the object in combination with the handler pointing to the object.
  1. Once the dog correctly locates the specified object, the dog carries the object to the handler and releases the object to the handler.

Behind/Post Block (stand behind Veteran to give space). handler will be asked to demonstrate the ability to have the dog provide physical space behind the handler. The dog should perform the task reliably each time and should not have to be given a command more than 3 times before complying.

  • This task should be demonstrated in a public place. The handler will walk with the dog for at least 30 feet then stop. The dog should naturally stop with the handler. The dog will be given the watch command and should step behind the handler to provide a physical barrier behind the handler. The dog should stay in “behind” position until released by the handler. Next, the handler should take the dog to a check-out counter or other place where they would need to stand in a line or stand in a group or crowd of people. The dog will be given the behind command and should step behind the handler.
  1. The dog should not exhibit aggressive, protective, or defensive behaviors.
  • The dog should be alert but not show interest in or seek attention from the people behind the 
handler.
  1. The dog should stay in the behind position until released by the handler.

 

 

 

 

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