What is a Public Access Test


What is a Public Access Test®

We provide the nation’s “gold standard” testing system for Service Dog behavior. Our Public Access Test® establishes the criteria for a well-mannered Service Dog. It does not test that dog’s task-oriented skills—such as opening doors or carrying things to help its hander—but concentrates instead on the dog’s behavior in public.

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Public Access Test® consists of a 3 Level testing system:

Level 1

The Foundation

  • Each dog is required to pass a Level 1 Public Access Test® as a prerequisite qualification to proceed into the Service Dog Certification process
  • Level 1 consists of a basic obedience test, temperament and behavioral evaluation
  • All documentation has been started

Level 2

Service Dog Certification

  • Public Behavioral Etiquette Evaluation
  • This testing level consists of 60 different testing requirements that are performed in a mall, restaurant & grocery store.

Level 3

Flight Evaluation*

*This phase is only for people who intend to fly with their Service Dog.

  • Behavioral Etiquette Evaluation at the airport and on an airplane.



What’s Required?

  1. All dogs participating in the Public Access Test® are required to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act Service Animal criteria.
  2. Annual Re-Certification for each Service Dog team is required in order to maintain excellence and show the handlers commitment to maintaining their Service Dog’s public etiquette.
  3. Dogs who fail the Public Access Test® the first time are allowed to try again when they’re ready. Don’t rush your second chance, though, because two failures indicate that the animal, while it may be a fine companion, is not temperamentally suited for public activity as a Certified Service Dog by Companion Training, LLC.

Why We Certify

Companion Training offers the official Public Access Test® that prepares your Service Dog for active duty out in public.  Companion Training developed this program because no comprehensive process existed for official certification of Service Dogs.

Federal regulations, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act, require business establishments to allow entry of Service Dogs alongside people with disabilities—but they also allow removal of dogs that don’t conduct themselves properly. Certification of Service Dogs is not legally necessary, so how can managers of restaurants, hotels, stores, and other public venues be sure a dog won’t pose a nuisance or danger to others? How can you, the dog’s owner, be sure you’re ready to take your Service Dog out into public?

Public Access Test®

Our Public Access Test® quality assurance begins with the person who evaluates your Service Dog’s skills and behavior. This evaluation service is backed by more than a decade of Companion Training’s expertise in Service Dog education. We want to help guide you on how best to qualify your dogs’ ability to peacefully and happily accompany you wherever you go.

You may either train your dog yourself for the Public Access Test® or hire a Companion Training approved private trainer to help you prepare for the test. When your animal is ready, one of our approved evaluators will conduct the test. When your dog passes our Level 2 Public Access test®, you and your companion will be welcomed into the ranks of those who carry the Companion Training Service Dog Certification ID Number. This Certification ID Number allows you, officials, businesses, airports & landlords to check the status of a Service Dog Team.

Get Certified

With the Companion Training Service Dog Certification, you and everyone you meet can rest assured that your dog has passed all of the qualifications for Service Dog work.