Here at Pawsitive Squad we believe that our young people wanting to owner train their own assistance dog should be actively involved in their dogs training. We therefore offer our assistance dog training package through weekly group classes to individuals under 25 years old with any additional needs. This is beneficial for multiple reasons:
While some of our partnerships will aim towards public access we are very passionate about working with young people whose dogs can assist them at home and in dog friendly places anyway. This means that even if your dog isnt super obedient or brilliantly socialised they can still benefit from our training and you can still apply the training at home. This also means that young people with additional needs but without a formal diagnosis can still access supportive dog training.
Each group class contains a mix of exercises and games which teach and proof a mixture of physical assistance and autism/emotional support tasks. No matter what the individual young persons needs are their dog will still benefit from learning all tasks as this assists with general obedience, drive to learn and their bond. The last class of each month is held in a public space where we practice applying learnt tasks in real world situations.
All dogs are able to work through 4 levels from foundation to gold. For those aiming for public access these are assistance dog awards and for dogs which are aiming to be trained for home support only recieve supportive dog awards. Dogs aiming for assistance dog awards need to meet specific socialisation, public and tasks criteria whereas supportive dog levels are only assessed based on the tasks they are able to do. All dogs joining assistance dog classes need to be able to focus in the class environment and the young person must already have basic handling skills. Some partnerships maybe moved temporarily into canine assisted activities classes if they need some extra practice with these skills prior to returning to assistance dog classes if the trainer feels this is in the best interest of the assistance dog partnerships. Children attending this class must be vaccinated. Dogs attending must have recieved their puppy vaccines and be flea and wormed regularly in line with veterinary recommendations. Any dog accessing public access in training or qualified must obtain public liability insurance for their own dog.
We offer two assistance dog classes per week:
> Fridays at 5.30pm at Dunkirk and Lenton Community Centre
> Saturdays at 10.30am at Southwell Scout Hut, Southwell, NG25 OGD
You can read about Emily and Fox who attend our assistance dog training classes by clicking here.