Alberta Training Standard

Approved organizations ensure service dogs are trained or tested to meet the Alberta Training Standard.

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For organizations to be eligible for the qualified list, as per section 1(2)(b) of the Service Dogs Qualifications Regulation, AR 59/2017, an organization must meet the requirements set out in A or B:

A. Training methods and standards for dogs

  1. The organization uses training methods that support the ethical and humane treatment of service dogs that do not cause fear, pain or other negative responses in the dog, for example, no shock collar, prong collar or similar equipment is to be used in the training or testing of a service dog.
  2. The organization has a service dog training or testing program that ensures dogs that are trained or tested meet the following standards:


  1. Are between the ages of 18 months and nine (9) years.
  2. Have current vaccinations.
  3. Have been spayed, if female (ovariohysterectomy) or neutered, if male (bilateral orchiectomy).
  4. Have an operating microchip that is a full duplex type conforming to ISO Standards 11784 and 11785.

Public appropriateness

  1. Are clean, well-groomed and do not have an offensive odour.
  2. Toilet only in appropriate circumstances and locations.
  3. Display a jacket, cape, harness or other equipment to indicate that it is a working animal assisting a person with a disability.
  4. Present as healthy and able to work.


  1. Do not solicit attention, visit or annoy any member of the general public.
  2. Do not disrupt the normal course of business.
  3. Do not vocalize unnecessarily, i.e. barking, growling or whining.
  4. Show no aggression towards people or other animals.
  5. Do not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.
  6. Work calmly and quietly in a harness, leash.
  7. Are able to perform tasks in public without showing distress or avoidance.
  8. Are able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
  9. Stay within 24 inches of their handler at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires them to be working at a greater distance.

Basic obedience skills

  1. Are able to demonstrate mastery of basic obedience skills sufficient to support a disabled person having public access with that dog.
  2. Are able to focus on the person with a disability despite distractions, such as children running, loud noises, flashing lights, traffic, and presence of food, balls, toys or other attractants.
  3. Have prompt recall directly to the handler.
  4. Respond to commands 90% of the time on the first command in all public environments.
  5. Exhibit good canine citizenship and be able to demonstrate that the dog is safe to be in a public setting.
  6. Dogs must be on leash and under the direct control of its handler at all times when in public spaces.

Advanced skills

  1. Have mastered the Basic Obedience Skills set out above.
  2. Are capable of performing three (3) or more tasks in order to mitigate aspects of the handler’s disability, for example, performing specific tasks which the handler is unable to do themselves due to their disability.
  3. Have received a minimum of 240 hours of advanced training.

B. Other province or territory

The organization has been contracted by a provincial or territorial government in Canada to train or test dogs to be qualified as service dogs in that province or territory, and the provincial or territorial government has service dogs training or testing standards that are equivalent to the Alberta Training Standards, as determined by the Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services.