The following details provide guidance of the assessment process so you can judge if your dog is suitable. The list is not exclusive, but as a guide.
This can damage an older person’s thin skin, or even knock people over. It also shows lack of control of the dog.
This is one of the main reasons a dog is referred and not passed first time.
Giving a paw:
We all have asked our dog to give a paw when offering a treat, however, for this work it is not acceptable. Again, it can catch the thin skin of the person which might not heal quickly.
Pulling on the lead:
If they pull the owner, they could pull them over, especially dangerous when going through doors or down stairs. It also shows lack of control.
Reluctance or backing away when greeting a person:
It can be hard for the dog to negotiate around zimmer frames and tables as well as the tight spaces between people. If the assessor finds the dog does not want to be fussed by the assessor, then it is a referral to get the dog more used to the intense fuss. If it struggles with the zimmer frames and tables, the owner can ask if it is ok to move them to give more space, then make sure they put them back again after the visit.
Basically this is an inhibited bite, so is unacceptable again due to possible injury to thin skin, or even the possibility of increasing to a bite.
Many charities would say a definite NO to licking, however, we say yes, as long as you carry hand wipes or wash to clean the hands afterwards. For some people it is a comfort to be licked, however, their immune systems are weak and they can become poorly.
Taking food greedily:
The dog must be gentle when taking food from the assessor. If any teeth are felt, then it is a referral so that the owner can train the dog to be gentle. Be aware some people will wave the food around, and might even eat it themselves, so as long as the dog doesn’t snatch, that is fine, it will probably drool with the thought of the food, if so it must be wiped up.
Barking or growling:
This can show the dog is not at ease with the situation. Sometimes, you, the owner and your dog are so wound up and nervous, that although the dog was not comfortable first time around, another time it might be fine.