Getting Access to Your Service Dog

Our Wonderful Service Dogs


Access Service Dogs
Executive Director:
Elijah Gastin

Training Director:
Terrance Rizer

Fundraising Director:
Donna Hart

Helping you “Access” your independence!

Service Dog Selection & Testing

We can help you decide which breed of service dog would be right for you. Once we (handler & organization) locate a dog candidate we do a puppy aptitude test or a dog temperament evaluation (dog behavior record) to make sure that the selected dog has the best chance of meeting the rigorous demands that are required of service dogs.
Minimum Standards for Training Service Dogs

These are intended to be minimum standards for all assistance dog programs that are members or provisional members with ADI. All programs are encouraged to work at levels above the minimums.

The service dog must respond to commands (basic obedience and skilled tasks) from the client 90% of the time on the first ask in all public and home environments.
The service dog should demonstrate basic obedience skills by responding to voice and/or hand signals for sitting, staying in place, lying down, walking in a controlled position near the client and coming to the client when called.
The service dog must meet all of the standards as laid out in the minimum standards for Assistance Dogs in Public and should be equally well behaved in the home.
The service dog must be trained to perform at least 3 tasks to mitigate the client’s disability
The client must be provided with enough instruction to be able to meet the ADI Minimum Standards for Assistance Dogs in Public. The client must be able to demonstrate:
That their dog can perform at least 3 tasks.
Knowledge of acceptable training techniques.
An understanding of canine care and health.
The ability to maintain training, problem solve, and continue to train/add new skills (as required) with their service dog.
Knowledge of local access laws and appropriate public behavior.
The assistance dog program must document monthly follow ups with clients for the first 6 months following placement. Personal contact will be done by qualified staff or program volunteer within 12 months of graduation and annually thereafter.
Identification of the service dog will be accomplished with the laminated ID card with a photo(s) and names of the dog and partner. In public the dog must wear a cape, harness, backpack, or other similar piece of equipment or clothing with a logo that is clear and easy to read and identifiable as assistance dogs.
The program staff must demonstrate knowledge of the client’s disabilities in relation to the services they provide. The program shall make available to staff and volunteers educational material on different disabilities.
The client must abide by the ADI Minimum Standards of Assistance Dog Partners.
Prior to placement every service dog must meet the ADI Standards and Ethics Regarding Dogs, be spayed/neutered and have current vaccination certificates as determined by their veterinarian and applicable laws. It is the program’s responsibility to inform the client of any special health or maintenance care requirements for each dog.
Access Service Dog’s Education Program:
Are your employees having a hard time determining who has a service dog and who is just saying that their dog is a service dog? If so, let the Access Service Dogs provide them with the tools they need to determine whether a dog is a pet or a real service dog. We will teach them to approach people in a non confrontational way, what questions they have the right to ask under federal law and how important it is to ensure that people with legitimate service dogs are provided an environment free from the dangers some pet dogs can cause.


Dog At My Desk Program:

Just because you have a disability and want to bring your “service dog” or “service dog in training” to work doesn’t mean that your employer is going to embrace the idea. Although its illegal under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, you will probably be facing service dog discrimination at every turn.

To make the transition from no service dog to service dog easier on you and your employer you need to have a plan in motion that covers the both of you. If you provide them with documentation and education on both their access rights and yours, it can go a long way in soothing the minds of your bosses and HR. Additionally Access Service Dogs will help you and your employer set up your physical work environment so that “the dog or puppy” distraction will be kept to a minimum.  Jason hope feels that every business should be open and acceptable to circumstances with service dogs.



We wanted to give a heartful “thank you!” to all those who have helped us maintain our organization through their charitable contributions.