The Maltese Assistance Dog Center T.A.R.S.Q. ® would like you to get qualified trained assistance dogs, which you can take with you wherever you go. This is only possible if your dog complies with standards. In doing so, the dog learns how to behave appropriately in public and in various situations.

Until ten years ago, there was virtually no self-training. That means, assistance dogs were always trained by professional trainers, mostly in large assistance dog organizations. At that time, assistance dogs could be recognised relatively easily by their exemplary behaviour. There were only a few organisations that trained assistance dogs and they made sure that their dogs behaved appropriately in public so that they were granted access rights. This is where the typical image of an assistance dog comes from, which accompanies a wheelchair user, is not distracted by anything and only concentrates on its work. Assistance dogs were known to be particularly well trained and disciplined. This image of an assistance dog contributed significantly to the fact that shops and other public places granted special rights to assistance dogs.

Not only should assistance dogs show no aggression whatsoever, always be friendly and marked by a vest or identification blanket in public, but they should also show certain behaviour when on duty.

The following standards for assistance dogs have been established worldwide to ensure that they continue to be seen as an exemplary assistance dog in self-training and that they are given access. Some countries have even anchored such standards in their laws, Germany has not yet. The Maltese Assistance Dog Centre T.A.R.S.Q. ® would like your assistance dog to make a positive impression in shops and the supermarket to continue to let assistance dogs in. After all, the "S" in T.A.R.S.Q. ® stands for "standards"! The best assistance dog is the one about which people say afterwards: "I didn't even notice that there was a dog in the shop."

Therefore all assistance dogs learn T.A.R.S.Q. at the Maltese Assistance Dog Centre. ® , whether in foreign or self-training, learn at least the following standards:


1st control: The assistance dog should respond to 90% of each command at the first request, both on and off the leash. This includes the basic commands and the learned tasks.

  1. do not disengage in public: An assistance dog should disengage in public on duty only on command and, if possible, in green areas. Males should also not lift their leg against fences, lanterns or house walls.
  2. don't sniff: When serving in public, assistance dogs are not allowed to sniff other people, bags, goods in the shop, shelves, counters, lanterns, fences, grass, bushes, trees or the ground. In leisure time and during walks, every assistance dog should of course be allowed to sniff as much as he wants, as compensation.
  3. Stay close in the free run: An assistance dog should always remain close and controllable, so in free run, it should not be further than 10 meters from its partner and should stay on sidewalks.

Five. Loose line: If a task, for example with PTSD assistance dogs, does not require the opposite, the assistance dog should always be on a loose leash and not pull.

  1. ignore distractions: If the assistance dog is working, e.g. when taken to a shop, he should concentrate on his partner, ignoring other customers, salesmen or people who try to lure, whistle or snap at him. He must also ignore flying leaves, balls, playing or running children.
  2. ignore food: In public, the assistance dog often encounters edible objects on the ground or in the street. No matter whether a piece of sausage roll is on the footpath in front of the station or the table neighbour in the restaurant accidentally drops something, the assistance dog must ignore this.
  3. calmness: Acoustic and visual stimuli and foreign smells are to be tolerated by the assistance dog.
  4. Don't beg: Whether in the supermarket at the sausage counter, when passing by on the footpath or when queuing in line at the checkout. The assistance dog should not beg for stroking, attention, treats or food from his partner or other people.
  5. leashed: When the assistance dog enters public places, it should always be on a leash.
  6. bus, train, elevator: Every assistance dog should ride elevator without fear and behave appropriately during the ride. This includes getting in and out in a controlled manner and only on command, not disturbing other passengers and not sniffing at passengers.

Twelfth floor: When climbing stairs, assistance dogs should move up and down in step with their partner and neither advance nor retreat behind.

  1. seating: When on duty, the assistance dog may only lie in front of or beside chairs, benches or seats and may not lie or sit on them.
  2. Undergrounds: Over any surface encountered in service, even reflective or smooth tiles, the assistance dog should willingly walk
  3. car: Getting in and out should always be controlled and only on command.
  4. public toilets: In public places, the assistance dog should be able to be taken to the toilet and kept quiet. In particular he should not try to look under the wall in the cabin, run away or make any sound. While washing his hands, he should remain in a seated or seated position until his partner takes up the leash again.
  5. Ignore: If the assistance dog encounters other dogs or people while on duty, it must not move to them, but must pass by on a loose leash and ignore them. On command, if the partner so wishes, individual dogs or people may be greeted.
  6. doors: In public, the assistance dog may not rush through doors, but must pass through them in a controlled manner on command.

     19. building: The assistance dog should always be with its partner and enter and leave each building together with the partner.

     20 restaurant: In the restaurant the assistance dog should remain calm and lie down either under the table or next to his partner in place-stand. He may not lay his  head or paws on the table. If crumbs or food falls down, it must not pick it up, but must ignore it.

     21 aircraft: In the aircraft, the assistance dog should not be conspicuous, should not make any sound, should not obstruct paths in the cabin and should not occupy the footwell or seat of other passengers.

  1. strong distraction: Even in hectic, busy and noisy places where there is strong distraction, the assistance dog must be able to work and execute commands.
  2. unforeseen situations: At all times, the assistance dog must remain friendly and controllable and obey orders. In everyday life, unforeseen situations can always occur for the assistance dog, which is why aggressionlessness is so crucial as a characteristic feature (determined by the aptitude test). If the assistance dog is in a café with his partner, it can happen that suddenly a strange toddler comes running towards the dog and strokes it without asking the assistance dog partner beforehand. The assistance dog should passively tolerate the stroking and remain friendly. Or the assistance dog was placed in the seat lead by his partner while the partner was looking at something on the shelf next to him. Unexpectedly, a stranger accidentally steps over the dog. The assistance dog should not panic, but remain calm in his command.