Service Dog Prospect Guidelines

What you can expect when getting a service dog prospect from RidgeView Labradors. When RidgeView sells a dog as a service dog prospect the buyer knows they are buying a dog that has been evaluated to have the correct temperament and drive to be a service dog and that they, the buyer, are not buying a task trained service dog.


Novice Milestone Guideline 

  • Sit – sit on the first request- Treats can be used
  • Down – down on first request- Treats can be used
  • Focus – say puppy’s name, puppy must make eye contact
  • Impulse control – sit and wait for food until the bowl is placed on the ground
  • Crate time – be able to be in their crate for at least 30 minutes during the day without fussing.  Kong, nylabone or other tools may be used.
  • Kennel – enter kennel on cue
  • Handling – calmly tolerate handling of ears, feet, mouth, tail with minimal reactivity
  • Go Potty – on leash, handler using cue
  • Loose Leash Walk – check in at least once and be able to weave through obstacles such as bushes, fences, poles, etc.  If distracted, trainer is able to easily regain puppy’s focus and continue walking – treats may be used
  • Public behavior – no barking, lunging or jumping towards people, dogs or distractions
  • Load up – Puppy will place its front two feet in the car and wait for the handler to lift up its back legs.


Intermediate Milestone Guidelines – includes all Novice Milestone Guidelines


  • Sit/Stay – sit on first request and hold sit for 1 minute
  • Down/Stay – down on first request and hold down for 1 minute
  • Crate time – be able to be in a crate for at least 1 hour when the trainer is home and not home without fussing. Kong, nylabone or other tools may be used
  • Loose Leash Walk – puppy walks in heel position with no lunging or pulling, can make right and left turns and checks in. 
  • Leave it – be able to walk by a low value treat within 3 feet. The puppy can look at treats but not lunge for them.  Verbal “leave it” cue is used.
  • Here – from a sit or down puppy will come and sit in front of handler when the verbal command “here” is used
  • Load up – puppy will sit and wait for cue and load into car on their own
  • Resource guarding – must not guard objects from another dog

Advanced Milestone Guidelines – includes all Intermediate Milestone Guidelines

  • Down – Down with implied stay, trainer walks 360 degrees around puppy in both directions.
  • Heel – walks in heel position with frequent check-in.
  • Leave it – can walk through a “mine field” of treats. If puppy looks at treats – verbal “leave it” cue is used
  • Here – from a sit or down position the puppy comes and sits in front of the handler when the verbal command “here” is given.
  • Place – goes to “place” on request, downs and remains in an implied stay.  Trainer can use dog bed, mat, blanket, etc. for “place”.
  • Heel- When sitting in front of handler puppy will go into heel position when given the verbal command “heel”
  • Stairs – be able to go up and down stairs in a calm, controlled manner.
  • Focus – has focus on handler and offers frequent check-ins (eye contact)
  • Make a friend – puppy remains in a calm sitting position while someone slowly approaches and does not break sit until given the cue to “make a friend”.  The puppy should remain calm with 4 paws on the floor while being pet.
  • Supervised separation – puppy needs to remain calm and quiet while trainer leaves   them and walks out of sight for approximately 1 – 2 minutes.  Puppy should remain calm and with 4 paws on the floor as the trainer quietly and calmly returns to the puppy.
  • Sound sensitivity – puppy can startle to sudden sound but needs to quickly recover, ie. dropping a metal bowl, etc.
  • Resource guarding – test with pig ear or high value treat and must not exhibit any signs of resource guarding towards humans or another dog
  • Public access – puppy reacts appropriately to a variety of stimuli such as other dogs, people of all ages, balloons, shopping carts, strollers, canes, walkers, umbrellas, human food, etc.