We are offering virtual assistance dogs to enable families living further away or fragile health conditions (and ofcourse currently everyone can access these as we go through this period of social isolation). These enable you to complete MOST of your assistance dog training and assessment virtually however you are required to do 15 hours (spread over a minimum of 3 sessions) of face to face assessment on top of this to become a Pawsitive Squad Assistance Dog. You will remain classes as 'in training' with us until these face to face hours have been completed even when you pass the virtual gold award.
To apply to train your dog as an assistance dog through Pawsitive Squad CIC you need to email us an application form and customer agreement
The exact evidence we require for you to pass each level is shown below. We require to see videos of each task completed on 3 times on 3 seperate occassions (these can be within the same day but there must be a break between the assessment sessions asnd the stimuli in the video should be different on each occassion). we need atleast 10 seconds of blank filming before and after each task/requirement. Some of the things assessed in the video will be reassessed as part of the 15 hour face to face assessments.
Foundation Level Virtual Assistance Assessment
In order to pass your foundation assistance assessment virtually we require to see a video of each exercise/Behavior/task listed below videoed on 3 separate occasions. In each video different external stimuli should be clearly visible.
- Video of the dog handled from head to toe without the use of treats/distraction to tolerate this. This includes:
- Looking in mouth by raising lips and then lowering bottom jaw
- Looking in ears
- Touching from head to toe (of course avoiding around genitals) but including tail.
- Lifting each paw (all 4 independently) touching paw pad and between toes.
- Video of the dog when startled e.g. by pan dropping on floor on lead
- Video of the dog when started e.g. by pan dropping off lead
- Video of young person and dog engaging appropriately together for at least 10minutes per video.
- Video of playing fetch or tug in which the dog willingly drops toy for handler
- Video of dog focusing on handler doing 10 dog press ups (sit to down back to sit – it’s ok if they stand up between each behaviour and for targeting and luring to be used at this stage) while the given distraction video is played at a reasonable volume.
- Video with your dog introduced to the list of given ‘novel’ stimuli.
Bronze Level Virtual Assistance Assessment
- Video of your dog reliably sitting 5 times with a stand and walk around in between) Sits must be with a single request (hand signal or vocal command) and no lure. We require to see 30 seconds of walking around the room prior to the sit requests and 30 seconds of video walking around afterwards for contingency.
- Video of loose leash walking with regular eye contact in heel position (at side of wheelchair or at side of leg) for one minute with positive techniques used for repositioning if your dog starts to pull.
- Video of targeting fingers or target stick.
- Video leaving treats place in front of them while sitting
- Video demonstrating walking past dropped treats without taking them without the lead being responsible for this.
- Video of recall across empty room
Silver level virtual assistance assessment
- Video of a down stay for 5 minutes while handler eats a snack (your dog is allowed a couple of requests to settle but once settled must not stand for those 5 minutes)
- Video demonstrating leave while in sit with a loose lead with a piece of chicken or cheese in front of them under 1 metre away.
- Video walking past a piece of chicken or cheese left on floor (on a plate or in a bowl is fine) with a loose lead (without a tightened lead at any point).
- Video demonstrating 3 tasks relevant to the persons disability (we need to see each task filmed 9 times (3 times per task per video minimum) except for medical alert (specific other evidence is needed of this).
- Video demonstrating recall across room with distraction alley lay out (as advised).
- Video walking around room. Drop the lead, walk 5 paces with the lead dropped and then retrieve the lead. Your dog must stay beside you while lead is dropped.
- Video of giving you’re an appropriate regular groom for their breed.
Gold Virtual Assistance Assessment
- Video of at least 3 relevant assistance tasks each reliably performed 5 times on 3 occasions
- Video of waiting for dinner, waiting in sit or down as bowl is slowly lowered and only moving once, they’re given a release command.
- Video of performing sit, down and heel reliably
- Video of leaving high value food on a plate by moving away and looking back at owner. More high value treats must be added to the plate while the dog continues to leave it.
- Video of sending (from at least 5 paces) to settling on mat/bed/crate with door open and staying in place for 5 minutes without needing regular reminders and then given release command to move off.
- Video of asking to settle in down either under table or if not possible close beside chair for 10minutes while handler eats (or if handler is tube fed while another household member eats).
- Video of recall through advanced distraction alley (as advised).
- Worksheet pack completed by child handler.
- Worksheet pack completed by responsible handler.
On top of these virtual assessments you’re required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of face to face assessment time with a Pawsitive Squad assessor to complete your full gold award and become a Pawsitive Squad certified assistance dog partnership.
SO, If you'd like to sign up to join this program please complete the paperwork (click the blue button to download the form) and email the completed form as an attachment to email@example.com alongside a copy of the medical evidence. Medical evidence must state any diagnosis and explain how the disability impacts on your life - this could be a DLA/PIP award letter or hospital letter or GP letter.