ITEM 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.
ITEM 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 (either side is permissible) to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body only. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place once petting begins. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
ITEM 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 (Le., 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.
ITEM 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEASH)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. (Note: The left-side position is required in AKC competitive obedience events.) 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 must be a left turn, right turn, and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and one at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way to praise or command it in a normal tone of voice. The handler may also sit the dog at the halt, if desired.
ITEM 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROW
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 be straining at the leash.
ITEM 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND I STAY 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).
Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a 20-ft. line. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog 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 either 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 20-ft. line is not removed). 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.
ITEM 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 as the evaluator provides mild distractions (e.g., petting).
ITEM 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 15 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries,
and continue on. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
ITEM 9: REACTION TO DISTRACTIONS
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations.
The evaluator will select only two of the following: (Note: Since some dogs are sensitive to sound and others to visual distractions, it is preferable to choose one sound and one visual distraction).
A) A person using crutches, a wheelchair, or a walker (5 ft. away)
B) A sudden opening or closing of a door.
C) Dropping a pan, folded chair, etc. no closer than 5-ft. from the dog.
D) A jogger running in front of the dog.
E) A person pushing a cart or crate dolly passing no closer than 5-ft. away.
F) A person on a bike no closer than 10-ft. away.
The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and/or 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.
ITEM 10: SUPERVISED SEPARATION
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like for me to watch your dog?" You will give the leash to the evaluator and go out of sight for 3-minutes. You may tell your dog to stay if it already has a down or sit-stay. The dog does not have to stay in position but it can not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.