Aptitude Test

Both members and non-members of The Finnish Association for Dog Assisted Intervention can take the aptitude test organized by the association.

Should a practitioner wish to be certified as an official Handler-Dog Team, they must hold a degree in social work, healthcare or education, they must take the aptitude test and participate in the in-service training and finally pass the in field testing.

Aptitude Test

For Whom?

The aptitude test organized by the association is meant for any practitioner and their dog wishing to become a certified Handler-Dog Team.


The purpose of the aptitude test is to ascertain whether the dog is suitable for working with persons needing different kinds of support.

What happens during the test?

Our judges use different kinds of small tasks to see how well the dog and its handler are suitable for dog assisted work. These tasks test, for example, how the dog reacts to strangers, different surroundings, sounds and situations and how well the dog can follow the canine etiquette in general. The dog is not expected to be fully obedience trained, basic skills suffice. The dog mustn’t however, show fear towards people or aggression during any part of the aptitude test. The dog must be able to function with strangers. The dog will also fail if it shows continuous restlessness or if it barks at lot during testing. The dog must show interest towards people naturally and it should be evident that the dog enjoys social interaction.


The handler-dog team can take the aptitude test before the in field training or at any other suitable time.

The dog must be one (1) year of age. Shepherd dogs or breeds which show strong traits of guarding must be no less than two (2) years of age before signing up for the aptitude test. This allows the dog to mature before testing.

Who are the Judges?

Our judges in the aptitude test are professionals in the fields of education and healthcare as well as experts of animal behavior. There are at least two (2) judges present in the aptitude test, one assessing the dog and the other assessing the handler. A unanimous decision is required for passing the aptitude test. Should there be a disagreement, the judges will consult the association’s board of judges.

The judge for The Finnish Association for Dog Assisted Intervention are Katriina Tiira (Ph.D, Researcher of Canine Behavior), Leena Rajala (Early Childhood Educator, Service Dog Trainer),Paula Leppänen (Physiotherapist), Päivi Latvala-Sillman (Special Needs Teacher), Miia Malmberg (Physiotherapist), Christina Borgström (Bachelor of Social Services, Vocational Educator, Agronomist), Reetta Räsänen (Service Dog Trainer, Agronomist) and Teija Viljanmaa (Animal Trainer, Vocational Educator) Maria Sihvola (Special Class Teacher)

How much does it cost?

The aptitude test costs €100 for members and €150 for non-members. After passing the test and taking the in-service training course on AAI (10 study credits), the dog may wear the association’s student scarf. You can sign up for the test with the Nepton membership platform. Should the dog fail the aptitude test, retaking the test is free of charge.

Where can I sign up for the aptitude test?

Sign up for the aptitude test with the Nepton membership platform which you can find at https://www.jasentieto.fi/public/Login.aspx?sid=3305  The handler will be sent further instructions for the aptitude test and how to prepare for it.

If you are already a member and you have given the association your email address, the easiest way to sign into the membership platform is through the link ”unohditko salasanan?”. The platform will send a new password into your email which you can change after signing in.

If you are not yet a member, register in the service and at the same time you can apply for membership. If you only want to take the aptitude test without applying for membership, you can contact the association via email directly at koirakoevastaava@kasvatus-kuntoutuskoirat.fi

When and Where Are the Next Aptitude Tests?

Aptitude Test March 3, 2018 Helsinki, Synapsia Building

Aptitude Test for non-members Thu April 20, 2018. starting at 14:00, Helsinki, Synapsia Building

Summer – early fall 2018 Kajaani

We will announce future Aptitude Tests on our Events – tab and on our Facebook– page.

Further information: Should you have any further questions, you can contact our Aptitude Test Administrator Päivi Latvala-Sillman at koirakoevastaava@kasvatus-kuntoutuskoirat

What Happens after the Aptitude Test?

After passing the aptitude test, a practitioner holding a degree in social work, healthcare or education can apply for the in service training on AAI (10 study credits) and take the Handler-Dog Team field test.

Should you have problems using the Nepton membership platform, please contact the Treasurer

Eeva Kahilaniemi at talousvastaava@kasvatus-kuntoutuskoirat.fi or +358 40 7378 028.