Understanding Startle Response and Sound Distractions for Assistance Dogs

Ariza from PCC ATA Ubuntu Support

Welcome to this video series, where I’ll share my knowledge to help you prepare for the PAT and increase your chances of passing.


Startle Response and Sound Distractions in the Real World

The test takes place in a busy, noisy real-world environment. Your dog needs to focus through all the noise.


What Happens When Your Dog is Startled?

The Assessor will startle your dog to see their reaction. There are generally five patterns a dog can display:

  1. Bolt – This is an inappropriate response for an Assistance Dog and poses a safety risk.
  2. Freeze – Acceptable if the dog recovers in less than three seconds.
  3. Fight – Inappropriate for an Assistance Dog and safety risk. Better suited for crowd-control dogs.
  4. No Startle – Some dogs may move away slightly, and the startle response can be beneficial in situations like navigating traffic.
  5. Vocalization – Assistance Dogs should be seen, not heard, unless being vocal is part of their trained task. They aren’t personal protection dogs.


Join Us Next Tuesday

Stay tuned for the next video in this series, and don’t forget to like, share, and comment. The more engagement we receive, the more information we’ll provide. Feel free to ask questions, and we’ll create videos to answer them.


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