Ph.D. Evaluation Scoring Guidelines

1. LOOSE LEASH WALKING

Student holds an unsteady object in their hand while walking with their dog for 15 feet and enters through a door.

  • Excellent: Leash remains loose or tightens 1 time with 0 to 1 cues; dog is within 2 feet of student; and object is not spilled, dropped, or crushed.
  • Needs Work: Leash tightens 2 to 3 times, or student gives 2 to 3 cues to loose leash walk, or dog is between 2 to 3 feet of student >50% of time, or student struggles to hold object.
  • Incomplete: Leash tightens 4 or more times or is consistently or mostly tight; or student gives 4 or more cues to loose leash walk; or object is spilled, dropped, or crushed.

2. BACK UP

A. Student holds an unsteady object in their hand while walking with their dog to maneuver around household items.
B. Student asks their dog to back up 3 feet.

  • Excellent:
    • A. Leash remains loose or tightens 1 time with 0 to 1 cues.
    • B. Dog backs up with 1 cue (3 steps from student equals 1 cue) and responds to cue within 3 seconds.
  • Needs Work:
    • A. Leash tightens 2 to 3 times, or student gives 2 to 3 cues to loose leash walk, or student struggles to hold object.
    • B. Student gives 2 to 3 cues to back up or dog needs 4 to 5 seconds to respond to cue.
  • Incomplete:
    • A. Leash tightens 4 or more times or is consistently or mostly tight; or student gives 2 to 3 cues to loose leash walk; or object is spilled, dropped, or crushed; or team "splits the obstacle."
    • B. Student gives 4 or more cues to back up, or dog does not back up 3 feet, or dog does not respond to cue within 5 seconds.

3. STAY

Student asks dog to stay until released, in a sit or down, while student places an unsteady object on a chair.

  • Excellent: Dog stays with 1 cue.
  • Needs Work: Student gives 2 to 3 cues to stay, or student resets dog 1 time.
  • Incomplete: Student gives 4 or more cues to stay, or student resets dog 2 or more times.

WARM-UP TIME

Dog and student are allowed up to 5 minutes to explore and acclimate to the testing area. Dog should remain on-leash during this time. Food treats, petting, toys, and on-leash games may be used freely during the Warm-Up Time.

  • Excellent: Dog does not eliminate, or dog eliminates in potty area, or student successfully interrupts and redirects dog to potty area if dog starts to eliminate out of potty area.
  • Needs Work: Dog eliminates out of the designated potty area, or needs more than 5 minutes to acclimate before continuing evaluation.

4. COME AND LEASHING UP MANNERS

A. Student calls dog to come from 20 feet away and pass by distractions placed between the dog and student.
B. Student asks dog to sit or down, and attaches leash and detaches long line before releasing the dog.

  • Excellent:
    • A. Dog comes to student with 1 cue to come (and 1 cue to leave it, if needed) and responds to cue within 3 seconds, and dog's nose does not investigate within 2 feet of items.
    • B. Dog sits or downs with 1 cue until released.
  • Needs Work:
    • A. Student gives 2 cues to come and/or to leave it, or dog needs 4 to 5 seconds to respond to cue, or dog's nose investigates within 2 feet of an item but does not touch item.
    • B. Student gives 2 to 3 cues to sit or down until released, or student resets dog 1 time.
  • Incomplete:
    • A. Student gives 3 or more cues to come and/or to leave it; or dog does not respond to cue within 5 seconds, or touches an item, or dog passes by student, or dog does not come.
    • B. Student gives 4 or more cues to sit or down, or resets dog 2 or more times; or dog does not sit or down.

5. MEET AND GREET

A. Student asks their dog to sit or down, and an unfamiliar person approaches student and dog.
B. Person greets dog and gently pets dog's head, ears, and back.

  • Excellent:
    • A. Dog sits or downs with 0 to 1 cues.
    • B. Dog allows petting of head, handling of ears, and stroking of back.
  • Needs Work:
    • A. Student gives 2 to 3 cues to sit or down, or student resets dog 1 time, or dog jumps up 1 time.
    • B. Dog does not allow handling in 1 of the 3 (head, ears, or back) areas, or dog jumps up 1 time.
  • Incomplete:
    • A. Student gives 4 or more cues to sit or down, or student resets dog 2 or more times, or dog jumps up 2 or more times.
    • B. Dog does not allow handling in 2 of the 3 (head, ears, and/or back) areas; or dog jumps up 2 or more times; or dog growls, snaps, or bites during any part of handling.

6. ATTENTION

Student asks their dog for 15 seconds of eye contact after an unfamiliar person knocks on the door and enters the testing area.

  • Excellent: Dog watches student for 15 seconds with 0 to 1 cues.
  • Needs Work: Student gives 2 to 3 cues to watch student for 15 seconds.
  • Incomplete: Student gives 4 or more cues to watch, or dog does not watch student for 15 seconds.

7. TABLE MANNERS

Student asks their dog to settle in a down until released while student and an unfamiliar person sit at a table for a snack for 1 minute.

  • Excellent: Dog settles with 1 cue until released.
  • Needs Work: Student gives 2 to 3 cues to settle, dog touches unfamiliar person, or student resets dog 1 time.
  • Incomplete: Student gives 4 or more cues to settle; or student resets dog 2 or more times; or dog does not settle; or dog whines, barks, or tries other attention-getting behavior.

8. DO YOU REALLY KNOW SIT?

Student asks their dog to sit 3 separate times, varying the student's body position each time.

  • Excellent: Dog sits with 1 cue for each variation, responds to each cue within 3 seconds, and maintains each sit for 2 to 3 seconds until released.
  • Needs Work: Student gives 2 to 3 cues to sit, or resets dog 1 or more times, for one or more variations; or dog needs 4 to 5 seconds to respond to one or more cues.
  • Incomplete: Student gives 4 or more cues to sit, or resets dog 2 or more times, for one or more variations; or dog does not sit; or dog does not respond to one or more cues within 5 seconds.

BONUS 1: DO YOU REALLY KNOW SIT?

Student asks their dog to sit using 2 additional Sit Test Variations. (See Student Handbook.)

  • With Honors: Dog sits with 1 cue for each variation, responds to each cue within 3 seconds, and maintains each sit for 2 to 3 seconds.

BONUS 2: TARGETING WITH AN UNFAMILIAR PERSON

Dog uses his nose to touch each of an unfamiliar person's hands on cue.

  • With Honors: Dog targets each hand with 1 cue and responds to cue in 1-3 seconds.

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