Asessement Guidelines

Following are the requirements for behaviour, attitude and presentation of dogs for acceptance into Caring Canine Companions, which is the program administered by the Golden Retriever Club of South Australia Inc as an auspice for the Community Visitors Scheme.


Dogs must not present for the Assessment Test with a metal choker chain. Please bring a brush to allow the assessor to ‘groom’ your dog

1. Accepting A Friendly Stranger

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. Evaluator approaches and shakes hands with the handler and acknowledges the dog

2. Sitting Politely For Patting

This exercise is to ensure the dog will be easily accessible and does not jump around or move about while being patted. The evaluator will be seated during this exercise and the dog should not show any signs of exhuberance or aggressiveness. The dog will welcome being touched on the head, ears and back.

Small Dogs will be tested on their attitude when sitting on the assessor's lap.

3. Grooming

Dog must be clean, which includes brushing or combing through the coat and removing knots. Dog will be assessed for cleanliness, breath, body odour, tendency to slobber (appropriate remedy must be attended to by handler), and toenail length. It is suggested the handler should bring a brush so the evaluator can brush the dog’s coat. (This is an exercise many aged care residents like to undertake so evaluation of this aspect is required)

4. Sit and Stay

This test is to show the dog listens to and obeys the handler. The dog should respond to the command to sit and will remain in place while the owner walks to the end of a 36” lead.

5. Reaction to Another Dog

To ensure the dog will behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach, shake hands, exchange pleasantries and continue on. Dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other. The ability of the owner to handle the dog in this situation is also observed

6. Being Handled by a Stranger
To ensure the dog will maintain its good manners when handled by a person other than its owner.
7. Accepting Food
Whilst being evaluated for point 6 above, the evaluator will offer the dog food, which should be taken carefully by the dog.
8. Behaving in a Crowd of People
This exercise will entail walking your dog amongst several people who are standing and talking.
9. Overall Behaviour in Testing Area
A certificate may be withheld if a significant incident is observed in the immediate testing area.
10. Reaction to Distractions
This area of the test will take place on the first (orientation) visit into the Aged Care Home, when the dog will be observed for acceptance of wheelchairs, walking frames, tea trolleys, large chairs, slippery floors and the general environment of the Home.
Rules to be observed by handlers when visiting Residential Aged Care Homes, and where appropriate, these points should be adhered to whilst attending your dog’s assessment.

1. Dog must be on a lead at all times and MUST NOT PULL ON THE LEAD.

2. Handler must be in complete control of dog at all times.

3. Dogs must not wear a metal choker chain, but preferably a soft collar. A collar and lead is provided once the dog has passed final assessment.

4. Dogs’ toenails must always be clipped and without rough edges which can injure frail skin.

5. Dog should not be a “barker.” The occasional infrequent bark may be acceptable, but consistent barking is not.

8. The dog must always be under close control in the Home, and especially so If children are present.

7. If dog toys are taken into the Home, the toys must be clean..