Log in

Pawsitive Squad CIC

Paws of Hope, Paws of Love, 

Paws of Life

Assistance Dog Program

Our Pawsitive Squad assistance dog program is one of the most comprehensive programs currently available in the UK. We specialise in supporting young people aged 2 to 25 years old and their parents/ carers in training their dog to become a fully trained assistance dog, trained to meet the young persons exact needs.

Our eligibility criteria is based on care, support and health needs rather than diagnosis, meaning that we are able to support a diverse range of clients with a variety of conditions including physical, psychiatric, developmental and learning disabilities, neurodiverse young people and young people with conditions which cause life threatening medical events. If a young person has an undiagnosed condition which is recognised as a disability by their doctor then they're eligible for training through our program if they meet the general eligibility criteria. 

Memmbership Contents & Fees

Assistance dogs in training and dogs who have passed their gold award (fully trained) have different membership fees and provision based on the differing levels of support between in training & qualified assistance dogs.

For assistance dogs in training, the membership fees are £45 per calendar month. The monthly subscription includes:

  • 3 hours of practical classes per calendar month – either in the form of 4x 45-minute live teams/zoom session, 4x face to face 45-minute classes or a 3-hour face to face intensive workshop (you choose each month which classes you want and can mix and match - e.g. do 2 working skills sessions and 2 physical assistance sessions one month, then a 3-hour workshop the next month etc.).
  • ALL group* assessments included your face-to-face and written assessments (*there will be a one-off top-up fee if you decide to do live assessments individually).
  • A one to one 15 minute catch up every 3 months.
  • Access to virtual canine-assisted activity sessions each month
  • One sibling activity session for any siblings or other children in the household per month
  • Virtual learning self guided education
  • Weekly parent chat & activity sessions
  • Weekly live Q&A sessions
  • 2 virtual parties per year including yearly award ceremony with trophy & certificate**.
  • Annual 1-page report (can be used for EHCP, DLA, PIP application etc.) upon request ***
All for only £45 per calendar month until your dog passes their gold assistance dog award

You can find a more detailed explanation of exactly what is included by clicking here. 

For assistance dogs who are working as fully trained assistance dogs under Pawsitive Squad, having passed their gold award, the membership fee is £12.50 per month.This monthly subscription includes: 

  • 45 minutes of practical classes per calendar month – either online or face to face
  • Annual reassessment 
  • A one to one 15 minute catch up every 3 months.
  • Access to virtual canine-assisted activities
  • One sibling activity session for any siblings or other children in the household
  • Virtual learning self guided learning including access to a continued development course 
  • Weekly parent chat & activity sessions
  • Weekly live Q&A sessions
  • 2 virtual parties per year including yearly award ceremony with trophy & certificate**.
  • Annual 1-page report (can be used for EHCP, DLA, PIP application etc.) upon request ***

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for our program, the young person must benefit from 3 assistive tasks in public and must meet 3 of the below:                                            

  • Be unable to go shopping & attend vital medical appointments without support from a carer (including parent carer), this can be due to physical and psychological (e.g., anxiety) reasons (over 16’s only).
  • Be unable to dress and undress themselves (over 10’s only).
  • Be unable to cross a road WITHOUT reliably stopping at the curb, looking both ways and deciding when it is and is not safe to cross. (over 12 years old).
  • Be nonverbal or have less than 20 words (over 36 months old).
  • Use AAC as their primary form of communication or have no clear method of communication (over 36months old).
  • At least fortnightly display behaviour which poses a risk to the health and safety of the young person (e.g., self-harm, running away and not returning within 1 hour).
  • Be unable to access education without 1-2-1 support for at least 10 hours per week (including support required during break & lunchtimes) if in full-time education in a mainstream setting.
  • Attend a specialist provision for education.
  • Require 1-2-1 support in 6th form school, college, or university.
  • Be part of an ‘access to work’ or ‘access to education' program (over 16’s only).
  • Be unable to travel outside of the house without either two carers to the young person OR without using a wheelchair or specialist pram (over 4 years old)
  • Have a diagnosis of moderate, severe, or profound learning disabilities.
  • Have received hospital inpatient care for mental health difficulties within the last 5 years.
  • Have a medical condition that causes medical events which risk your safety (eg fainting) on at least a weekly basis.
  • Have a medical condition that causes medical events which are potentially life-threatening (e.g., hypo, anaphylaxis, generalised seizure) on average at least once every 6 weeks.
  • Have a diagnosis of epilepsy that has not been controlled with at least 3 medication trials.
  • Be a full-time wheelchair user when outside of the home.
  • Require a hoist (or carrying) to transfer between a chair, bed and floor.
  • Have limited mobility at least one upper limb.
  • Be unable to pick up items off the floor without assistance or additional equipment.
  • Be unable to sit independently (over 18 months old)
  • Be unable to stand independently (over 28 months old)
  • Be unable to walk more than 20metres without physical assistance and/or rest (over 4 years old)
  • Have a diagnosis of a degenerative condition.
  • Have a personal emergency care and resuscitation plan.
  • Require regular complex medical care provided by a specially trained adult or registered nurse (includes – providing oxygen at varying rates (excluding set rate given at night-time and set rate during the day), dialysis (home or hospital-based), parenteral or enteral nutrition or stoma care).
  • Have a diagnosis of stage 3 or stage 4 cancer.
  • Have multiple disabilities which fit into 3 or more the following classifications overall:

 > Physical

 > Psychiatric/ mental health

 > Learning/ intellectual/ developmental

 > Neurological/neurodiversity

Applicants must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • have never have caused deliberate harm to an animal (including psychological distress)
  • either have the cognitive ability and impulse control to treat their dog appropriately at all times including during emotional distress OR have a full time parent/carer who will ensure the dog is treated appropriately at all times, including physically removing the dog from the situation temporarily if their is any risk the young person may cause fear or harm to the dog.
  • Under 10 year olds must never be left unsupervised with the dog.

Once you've been accepted on the program you must also:

  • be able to meet all of the needs and costs of the animal within their household (parents & carers may assist) 
  • flea, worm, vaccinate with vet recommended products and take their dog for 6 monthly vet checks
  • provide veterinary and public liability insurance for their dog 
  • meet all the requirements and expectations laid out in the Pawsitive Squad contact including pay the monthly membership fee on time each month.

Please note: ALL clients will need to travel to Derby or Nottingham at least 4 times during training for assessments, then annually for reassessment - no exceptions. 

To be apply to apply to join our assistance dog program you must first complete the pre-application course which is an 8 week program containing 6 zoom sessions, virtual learning module and project. 

The pre-application course gives you the opportunity to try out service before committing to the assistance dog program while also allowing us to assess yours and your dogs suitability for the assistance dog program. 

To join our pre-application course, click on the desired start date (to the right on this text under 'upcoming events' for more information and to book onto the pre-application course which costs £90.

Upcoming events

©copyright 2018-2021 Pawsitive Squad CIC.

All rights Reserved.

Pawsitive Squad is a registered community interest company (non profit organisation) number 1145 1119 (England and Wales)



Terms and conditions

Privacy Policy

Pawsitive Squad CIC

2 Woodberry Grove

North Finchley

N12 0DR


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software