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Decision Matrix

Through our 5 step PDA credentialing program you can teach your pet some much needed life skills in a fun and supportive environment, helping your pet become the Ambassador they deserve to be in your family and community.

The PDA program builds over five levels to the Championship Level. Dogs as young as 4 months of age can enroll and begin gaining their first credentials very quickly learning these important skills.

For a pet dog that has reached 6 months of age you can begin them at level 2. Your pet will learn about car manners, how to enter and leave buildings. How to leave and recall back to you. And let’s not forget stay or settle!

Level 1 Puppy: 4 – 9 months of age

  • Exercise 1 – Sit at front and side, then take collar
  • Exercise 2 – Give take exchange
  • Exercise 3 – Leave it
  • Exercise 4 – Loose leash walking
  • Exercise 5 – Social interaction
  • Exercise 6 – Wait to be fed
  • Exercise 7 – Recall
  • Exercise 8 – Handling
  • Exercise 9 – Go to place

Level 2 – Any dog over the age of 6 months

  • Exercise 1 – Car manners
  • Exercise 2 – Entrance manners
  • Exercise 3 – Leave it
  • Exercise 4 – Loose leash walking with social interaction
  • Exercise 5 – Wait to be fed
  • Exercise 6 – Recall
  • Exercise 7 – Emergency stop
  • Exercise 8 – Handling
  • Exercise 9 – Stay or settle
  • Exercise 10 – Being alone

Levels 3 and Level 4 build further on the dogs’ and Guardians’ skills, knowledge and ability and culminate in assessments both in real life settings and in the class situation.

Level 3 Assessment Markers

  • Exercise 1 – Entrance Manners
  • Exercise 2 – Leave it
  • Exercise 3 – Street walk
  • Exercise 4 – Wait to be fed
  • Exercise 5 – Recall
  • Exercise 6 – Emergency stop
  • Exercise 7 – Handling
  • Exercise 8 – Settle
  • Exercise 9 – Being alone

Level 4 Assessment Markers

  • Exercise 1 – Back up at entrance
  • Exercise 2 – Street walk
  • Exercise 3 – Recall
  • Exercise 4 – Emergency stop
  • Exercise 5 – End of walk pack up
  • Exercise 6 – Being alone
Level 5 (Championship)
This level is where everything the dog and Guardian have learned is put to the test in real life settings. There are location options available to help assessors make real life training relevant to their clients. Assessors will be able to create scenarios that may be appropriate to their local surroundings provided they include all of the compulsory exercises and two from the selection of optional exercises.
  • Exercise 1 – Street walk

Optional exercises – select any two of the following:

  • Exercise 2 – Veterinary examination
  • Exercise 3 – Visual/Spoken cue discrimination

How Can you Get Started?

  1. First to get started you need to register your dog with the Pet Dog Ambassador credentialing organization. Click here to do that. There is a onetime fee of $3.85. Alternatively you can register for group classes through your DogSmith and they can help get your training underway before you register with the PDA organization
  2. Before your skills are assessed you will need to register with PDA and take the short open book quiz. This focuses on responsible pet ownership. There is a manual to support this quiz. The manual is a guide to pet care and the link is below.
  3. Then when you have completed the quiz you can provide your DogSmith Licensed PDA Instructor or Instructor/Assessor with your proof of vaccinations and your test result and you are ready for your first level assessment.
  4. Click here to get going and enroll your dog.

Your PDA Manuals

The assessment guide below will take you through each of the five levels and the skills required for each level. If you need help learning these skills, then register with your local DogSmith for some training classes.

  1. Check out the Pet Dog Owner Guide
  2. The Pet Dog Assessment Level Skill Criteria
  3. Candidate Eligibility click here

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