My dog now has more titles than I do!

While Service dogs in Ontario do not have to pass any specific tests, I choose to use a variety of tests by a third-party trainer to assess Kai’s training and help me identify any areas that need working on.

Therefore, some time ago Kai and I travelled to a Mall in the US that we hadn’t been to before for us to be assessed as a service dog team. We also took a variety of other tests as well.

Being in the US, we took the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Test, the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test Urban and the AKC Community Canine Tests.

We also took the United Kennel Club Socialised Obedience Test as part of my assessing his general obedience and good manners.

For being a service dog we were also assessed by the trainer for their version of the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test, which was quite a lot more extensive that this baseline test that SD organisations use to certify their dogs as Service Dogs.

Kai and I passed them all with flying colours. With being sick it has taken me a while to send in all the paperwork, but today Kai’s certificates arrived.

So I am proud to present to you:

Kai Shaw, SPOT, CGC, CGCU, CGCA
Service Dog

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While Kai has passed all the legal requirements to be a Service Dog (house-trained, public access trained and task trained – all of which have been verified by a third-party purely as my choice), he is still young and I’m still working on new experiences with him.

Additionally, he can’t be trained for some tasks until he is two and his joints are fully formed and sound. I also need to proof some of his skills to be commanded purely by my hand signals and not my voice and add more distance and duration to others.

Having said that, he has blown me away this summer with how well he has done despite the lack of training outside my home during this time.

So while he is with me the vast majority of the time there will still be a few times in the next year, and beyond, where he will stay home.

Sometimes because it’s not safe for him in the situation that I’ll be in, or because I’ll be in a sterile environment (one of the few places that he’s not allowed), or just because he and I need to OK with being apart at times in preparation for situations when it’s required.

Once I’m well again I will also continue group obedience classes with him so that he is used to working near other dogs and distractions.

It’s good for both of us!

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