Evaluation Module – Certification Test
This is for you if…
You have taken classes elsewhere and would like to challenge our evaluation.
Non-alumni must pass the evaluation for access to ALL advanced classes, including Scentwork and Canine Good Neighbour.
Not to mention, bragging rights?
Upon receiving a passing grade, handler/dog teams will be awarded a certificate.
For dog and handler teams that do not pass, an opportunity to re-take the evaluation once more will be offered at a future date subject to availability.
Where is it offered?
To be booked as a 1-on-1 test with one of our instructors at one of our locations.
What’s it cost?
$110 plus HST
About the Evaluation Module (What to Expect, How to Prepare)
Preparing for the test
Foundation skills modules may be taken repeatedly. We advise returning to specific modules you struggled with to gain further practice and to access more advanced versions of the content.
You are also welcome to use the student handouts to self-study. Ensure that you understand each skill, and that your dog is able to perform the desired behaviour both indoors and outside on leash.
We advise only taking the test when you are quite confident with each of the 10 skills included and outlined below.
Taking the Test
The test allows you to demonstrate 10 of the core foundation skills we taught in our group classes. Passing the test demonstrates a commitment to training and communication with your dog, as well as a comprehension of each exercise. Passing is a big achievement, and you should be proud of succeeding!
Each test is rapid-fire, and you will have a maximum of 3 attempts. If you pass on your first attempt and where time allows, the instructor may present you with a harder version of the challenge for bonus marks (failing the bonus challenge does not fail the test).
Your dog must not disrupt any other student while the test is being taken.
- High Value Treats
- Treat Pouch
- Your own mat, if desired
- Your own toy or chew for drop it, if desired
1. Name Attention
The instructor will distract the dog with a treat. Handler will cue name attention after the treat is consumed. To pass, the dog must respond to their name by turning around and orienting to the handler.
2. Sit & Down
The handler will cue the dog with a verbal or hand cue, and the dog should respond with the correct behaviour. You will be asked to demonstrate both sit and down.
3. Go to Mat
The handler will send their dog to a mat 2-3ft away. The dog will be able to target the mat. For bonus points, the dog will automatically sit or lie down on the mat. The handler must not rely on guiding the dog with the leash, or with excessive prompting.
4. Leave it
The handler will offer a treat in their open hand at the dog’s head height and give the cue “leave it”. The dog must then leave the food. For bonus points, the food may be placed or dropped on the floor.
5. Drop It
The handler will demonstrate drop it with either a pacifier (chew) or a tug toy. This is the handler’s choice, and you may bring your own item to demonstrate with. To pass, the dog must be able to drop the item upon hearing the verbal cue.
6. Walk with Me
The handler will demonstrate loose leash walking, around two pylons in a figure of eight pattern. For bonus points, your instructor may add some nearby distractions. To pass, the handler will complete the course with minimal pulling. Where pulling occurs, the handler is able to quickly regain the dog’s attention.
Remember: you may use any other foundation skills as needed to complete this course. Make use of engage/disengage, leave it, touch or name attention to set your dog up for success.
The handler will demonstrate the “touch” cue by recalling the dog to hand across the classroom floor. Your instructor will hold your dog at the other end of the classroom for this test. For bonus points, be ready to also demonstrate that your dog can follow a moving hand target.
The handler will ask their dog to stay at a marked area in either a sit or a down position. The handler will then leave the dog and walk around a cone set 5 paces away. To pass, the handler must be able to walk around the cone and then return to their dog before giving a release cue.
For bonus points, your instructor may ask you to add some duration by remaining at the cone for several seconds.
The handler will demonstrate their verbal recall cue by calling the dog to them from across the classroom floor. Your instructor will hold your dog at the other end of the classroom for this test.
To pass, you must also be able to catch your dog and put them on leash. For bonus points, your instructor may introduce a distraction during the exercise.
10. Greet another dog or Greet the Instructor
You may choose whether to demonstrate a polite greeting towards a human, or a polite greeting towards another handler’s dog. To pass, you must demonstrate that your dog has good impulse control when greeting and will listen to your cues. You may take any steps necessary to set your dog up for success. To pass, you must advocate for your dog by observing their body language during the greeting.
During the test, you will be scored on your completion of the challenges as outlined above. You will also be scored on your handling skills and training mechanics. Good training mechanics include:
- Click timed to correct behaviour
- Click only once
- Treat follows click
- Mindful use of cues
- Hands in neutral position (not in treat pouch)
- Food concealed from dog until after click (no baiting/luring)
- Able to read your dog’s body language
- Able to advocate for your dog, and set them up for success
You will receive a report card detailing your performance at the end of the session. There are three possible results from this test as follows:
1. Still Learning
3. Pass with Distinction
OK! I’m Ready to Challenge!
Fill out our Admissions Form and choose “Challenge Evaluation” as your Program. You’ll be invited and required to attend a New Student Orientation as well as book an Evaluation with one of our instructors.
I Passed! What’s Next?
Congratulations on passing our evaluation module! This achievement represents a commitment to training and to your dog. We hope you take some time to celebrate your accomplishment as a team.
Fill out this form to make sure your dog’s pass is recorded in our student management system (for access to advanced classes).