For Service Dogs

MSSD also believes that any dog MSSD trains to become a Service Dog has a right to a quality life. Therefore, the ethical use of a Service Dog must incorporate the following criteria.

What a service dog must be:

  • Temperamentally screened for emotional soundness and working ability.
  • Physically screened for the highest degree of good health and physical soundness.
  • Technically and analytically trained for maximum control and for the specialized tasks he/she is asked to perform.
  • Trained using humane training methods providing for the physical and emotional safety of the dog.
  • Permitted to learn at his/her own individual pace and not be placed in service before reaching adequate physical and emotional maturity.
  • Matched to best suit the client’s needs, abilities and lifestyle.
  • Placed with a handler able to interact with him/her.
  • Placed with a handler able to provide for the dog’s emotional, physical and financial needs.
  • Placed with a handler able to provide a stable and secure living environment.
  • Placed with a handler who expresses a desire for increased independence and/or an improvement in the quality of his/her life through the use of A Service Dog.

What a service dog must do:

  • 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 handler and coming to the handler when called.
  • Respond to commands (basic obedience and skilled tasks) the first time, 95% of the time in all environments.
  • Perform at least three tasks to mitigate handler’s disability.