Pawsitive Squad CIC
Paws of Hope, Paws of Love,
Paws of Life
Below is a more detailed explanation of what is included in your £45 per month membership for assistance dogs in training. Once a partnership qualifies their membership fee reduces to £12.50 per month and what's included in your membership changes to the change in assistance dog support needs. This includes, reducing to 45 minutes of practical training per month.
Included in the monthly membership, clients get 3 hours of practical training per month. This can be accessed as:
There are always virtual classes available every month, the availability of face to face services depending in part on Covid guidelines and trainer availability. Each month you choose how you wish to use your 3 hours.
All assistance dogs partnerships training with Pawsitive Squad must travel to Nottingham/ Derby for at least 3 assessment sessions during their training journey (once qualified there are also annual face to face re-assessments). The cost of these is included in your membership. For each assessment level there is also a written theory assignment (more info under the virtual learning programs area below). There are 3 assessment levels:
Assessments are in small groups of 3 to 6 dogs. Assessments are available at least monthly. Every 3 months we have 'food & severe anxiety sensitive' assessments. These are for young people who cannot access food centered environments such as cafes, restaurants or fresh food aisles in shops or whose severe anxiety means that, even with their dogs assistance they cannot access larger shops. During these assessments we visit Sherwood in Mapperley to visit small independent shops and there is no meal. Dogs trained and assessed through the 'food and severe anxiety sensitive assessments will have limited public access upon qualification as we have no assessed the dogs in specific environments.
As part of each assessment level (bronze, silver & gold) we have a virtual learning program and assessment. Each virtual learning program contains vital canine theory training which all assistance dog owners should know.
To assess understanding at each level, the responsible handler (whoever will be responsible for handling the dog in public) must complete a canine theory assignment. For accessibility, at each level the responsible handler has 3 assignments to choose from and is able to select whichever is most appropriate for them. Assignment types include written quizzes, poster designing, pre-recorded video presentation and more.
Alongside the formal virtual learning programs, we also have children's learning resources such as word searches, colouring activities and so much more.
Our emotional and behavioural modifications run once a week most weeks. These are webinar style events which include a 10-15 minute presentation, followed by live Q&A to ask for tailored advice.
An example of the topics we cover in these sessions are:
The topics we cover differ depending upon the requests of clients currently on the assistance dog training program.
Our virtual canine centered activity sessions are all about having fun with your dog, strengthening the bond between the young person and their dog, socialising with other clients and just having fun. Some activities actively involve the dogs and others do not. we try to vary the target age ranges between each session.
An example of the activities we have previously done in our virtual canine centered activities include:
We aim to offer 1-2 canine centered activity sessions per month, these are included in your membership.
One to one catch up sessions are available to clients every 3 months. In these sessions we will go over what's working well, where there is improvements needed, answer any questions you have and check you are on track to work towards your next training level. This is your big chance to get tailored advice so we recommend clients have written questions ready or even pre-admitted to their private area on the Microsoft teams private area so we get as much covered as possible in your 15 minute session.
Our weekly parents social and support groups are a barrel of laughs! For the first half of these sessions, we just talk, discuss how the weeks gone, share the wins, seek support for the difficult times and then usually end up on a completely random topic.
In the second half of the session, we do an activity. These are usually loosely competitive and involve some pretty odd activities - if you've seen taskmaster, that's the sort of activities we go for. As you can see in the picture, one activity we have done is 'make yourself look the most not like yourself in 5 minutes'. It's a great chance to have a laugh and blow off steam in a supportive environment.
Our sibling social and support sessions run monthly and are open to clients siblings or other young people (including the clients children) who live in the same house hold. In these sessions we do some kind of craft activity and a virtual game. We post out all the equipment the young people need to participate so you don't need to buy anything for the sessions. The cost of these is also included in the membership fees.
We have done a variety of craft activities including baking, painting money boxes, painting and planting cress in dog plant pots, paper craft and sewing activity. We also do a social virtual game such as guess who or treasure hunt.
These sessions are really important to us as an organisation. We know that sometimes siblings and other children who live with disabled children can feel excluded so with these sessions we hope that the whole family know they are included and valued members of our Pawsitive squad.
Included in the membership is also 2 parties a year - one in the summer and one at chrismtas. Currently parties are virtual but we hope to resume a face 2 face element as the Covid pandemic settles down.
During the party day we have games and workshops and activities running throughout the day. In the afternoon we also have an award ceremony to celebrate all the wonderful achievements of the past 6 months.
Once you've been on the program for at least 6 months AND your dog has passed at least their bronze award, you are entitled to one written 1 page report per year which is available upon request. This can either be a general report of what your dog does, what we are training them to do next and the improvements we've seen in both the dog and the handler or can be a tailored support document for a specific reason such as to support DLA application or EHCP.
Our Facebook support group is an active virtual group for members only (not only assistance dog teams but all members). In this group we have weekly interactive posts including a Wednesday Win post for clients to share their wins from the previous week, Sunday check in post to share how the last weeks training has gone and how you're feeling about training. This is also a great chance to ask other clients for advice and support.
To become an affordable organisation with minimal waiting lists our service & membership structure is very ridged to allow us to accommodate as many families as possible and provide a high quality service to all. Because of this, the following are not included in our membership and are things which we CANNOT offer to new clients in any circumstances, these are: