We promote Standards
Dogs for Diabetics, Inc. (D4D) is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and abides by the standards established by ADI. As part of its membership with ADI, D4D promotes ADI standards to other members of the assistance dog industry and educates the general public. Additionally, D4D has developed and promotes its own standards regarding Medical Assistance Dogs.
The following standards are applicable to all assistance dogs and their partners and are provided to educate the public as to what to expect of assistance dogs in public environments.
Additional information on standards pertaining to Assistance Dog Programs and Training processes are available at www.assistancedogsinternational.org.
Minimum Standards for Assistance Dogs in Public
These are standards for all assistance dog programs that are members or provisional members with ADI. All programs are encouraged to work above the minimums.
1. Public appropriateness
- Dog is clean, well-groomed and does not have an offensive odor.
- Dog does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.
- Dog does not solicit attention, visit or annoy any member of the general public.
- Dog does not disrupt the normal course of business.
- Dog does not vocalize unnecessarily, i.e. barking, growling or whining.
- Dog shows no aggression towards people or other animals.
- Dog does not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.
- Dog is specifically trained to perform 3 or more tasks to mitigate aspects of the client’s disability.
- Dog works calmly and quietly on harness, leash or other tether.
- Dog is able to perform its tasks in public.
- Dog must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
- Dog is trained to urinate and defecate on command.
- Dog stays within 24″ of its handler at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires it to be working at a greater distance.
Standards and Ethics Regarding Dogs
ADI also believes that any dog the member organizations trains to become an Assistance Dog has a right to a quality life. Therefore, the ethical use of an Assistance Dog must incorporate the following criteria.
- An Assistance Dog must be temperamentally screened for emotional soundness and working ability.
- An Assistance Dog must be physically screened for the highest degree of good health and physical soundness.
- An Assistance Dog must be technically and analytically trained for maximum control and for the specialized tasks he/she is asked to perform.
- An Assistance Dog must be trained using humane training methods providing for the physical and emotional safety of the dog.
- An Assistance Dog must be permitted to learn at his/her own individual pace and not be placed in service before reaching adequate physical and emotional maturity.
- An Assistance Dog must be matched to best suit the client’s needs, abilities and lifestyle.
- An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to interact with him/her.
- An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to provide for the dog’s emotional, physical and financial needs.
- An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client able to provide a stable and secure living environment.
- An Assistance Dog must be placed with a client who expresses a desire for increased independence and/or an improvement in the quality of his/her life through the use of an Assistance Dog.
- An ADI member organization will accept responsibility for its dogs in the event of a graduate’s death or incapacity to provide proper care.
- An ADI member organization will not train, place, or certify dogs with any aggressive behavior. An assistance dog may not be trained in any way for guard or protection duty. Non-aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable in appropriate situations.
Minimum Standards for Assistance Dog Partners
The assistance dog partners will agree to the following partner responsibilities:
- Treat the dog with appreciation and respect.
- Practice obedience regularly.
- Practice the dog’s skills regularly.
- Maintain the dog’s proper behavior in public and at home.
- Carry proper identification and be aware of all applicable laws pertaining to assistance dogs.
- Keep the dog well groomed and well cared for.
- Practice preventative health care for the dog.
- Obtain annual health checks and vaccinations for the dog.
- Abide by all leash and license laws.
- Follow the training program’s requirements for progress reports and medical evaluations.
- Arrange for the prompt clean up of dog’s waste.