Frequently Asked Questions

When are classes?

Assistance Dog classes are Wednesdays at 1.30pm at Old Basford Community Centre and Saturdays at 10.30am at Southwell Scout Hut.

Family Focused Canine Assisted Activity classes are Fridays at 5.30pm at Dunkirk and Lenton Community Centre and Saturdays at 11.30am at Southwell Scout Hut.

Child Centred canine assisted activity classes are Thursdays at 5.30pm. 


How much do classes cost?
£32.50 per class per month until November. In November we will be changing structure slightly and charging termly instead (at £7.50 per week).


What age should our dog join classes?

We accept dogs from 12 weeks old, if they're fully vaccinated in our canine assisted activity classes. Dogs must be 6 months old to join our assistance dog classes and already have basic obeidence and socialisation. If you want your dog to join the assistance dog program but theyre not ready we highly recommend joining a family focused canine assisted activity class to help get your dog to the required standard for the assistance dog classes.


Does my dog need to be vaccinated, flea and wormed to attend classes? Yes, your dog needs to be vaccinated, flea and worm treated in line with veterinary recommendations. They also must not be raw fed.  Your dog also needs to have insurance which includes public liability if you're wanting to train in the assistance dog program. 


My child requires a hoist to transfer from chair to floor/toilet. Do you have appropriate facilities to cater for this?

We currently can only offer a manual hoist and full sized adult changing mats at our Southwell classes. All locations have an accessible toilet and wheelchair access. 


How many people are in each class?

We allow 6 families per class except our Friday assistance dog class in which we allow 4 families. 


How are classes structured?

At the start of class all customers are given the opportunity to look at their passports, the file we use for all communications and records. We then generally have 6 games/exercises with a 5 minute break in the middle followed by a cool down. At the end of class everyone gives their dog a fuss to thank them for working hard and to ensure all classes end on a positive note. Some classes we will do one long exercise for the class or go on a field trip. 


My dog was provided to us by an assistance dog charity or company. Can you provide further training or can we attend classes just for fun?

Unfortunately if your dog has been provided by another assistance dog organisation or you are recieving training outside of general obedience training from another organisation we train with you. 

Nottingham Class FAQ's

General FAQ's

What kind of needs can you help with?

We work with children with any additional needs or disability. Your child doesn't need to be formally diagnosed to access any services accept the assistance dog classes. We also invite children recovering from trauma and who identify as LGBTQ+ to all services accept the assistance dog classes.


My child or dog wouldnt manage in a group - can you provide 1-2-1 training? We can not provide one to one training at this time.


My dog isnt good with other dogs or other children can we still come to training?

Unfortunately for the health and safety of other customers we can't allow agressive or reactive dogs to access our services. However you can attend paws on tour workshops or child centred canine assisted activity sessions without your dog. 


Are you a charity?

No, we are however a different type of not for profit organisation called a community interest company. This gives us greater flexibility to create a sustainable organisation.


My dog is raw fed, can come to classes/camp/workshops/family days?

Unfortunately we do not allow raw fed dogs to access any of our services as 


Can you supply me with an already trained dog? No, we do not supply trained dogs. Our services aim to support you to train your own dog. Even when you own a dog we do not physically do the training for you. We can support you in finding an appropriate dog though. 


Are there any breeds you do or do not recommend for living with a child with additional needs/ assistance dog work?

Dog selection is primarily about the individual dog not the breed but some breeds will suit your childs needs better than others depending on what they are required to do. If you're looking for dog to do physical assistance or autism assistance we would always recommend larger breeds as they'll be more able to do certain tasks. Outside of size, pedigrees espeically are likely to certain characteristics for example spaniels are likley to be energetic and have a high prey drive. Most inherited characteristics can be of benefit in some form and training can help manage traits. Finally, i personally recommend avoiding flat nosed dogs due to potential health difficulties.


My dog is getting old, can they still access Pawsitive Squad training? We allow dogs of any age to train with us but would not do any assistance dog public work with a dog starting training over 8 years old. 


We are outside your regular class area can you recommend a company near us? I never recommend other organisations bar Dog AID and MDD purely because i havent vetted them and can't guarentee the level or type of training they will provide but if you google assistance dog training in your area if there is a local service it should come up alternatively i recommend asking in an assistance dog facebook group. But please remember that we do offer national services on an occassional basis which maybe beneficial to you.

Do i already need a dog to take part?

You do NOT need to own a dog already to attend Paws in Tents but you DO need to own a dog for the Paws on Tour workshops. 


If my dog comes to Paws in Tents or Paws on Tour will they be an assistance dog and allowed full public rights?

Eventually potentially yes BUT training an assistance dog is not a quick or easy task. The aims of the national services is to introduce you to training your dog to do assistance dog tasks to help mitigate the impact of the childs disability on their life. To reach assistance dog level your dog would need to be reliably performing these tasks as well as be very obedient and be very well socialised. It takes around 18 months to get a dog to assistance dog level but if you impliment the training and your dog is suited for assistance dog work then you can reach the standard with pawsitive squad that your dog would be entitled to a legal right of public access as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act, 2010. 


Is there aftercare support avalible?

Once you've attended a paws on tour or paws in tents you're welcome to contact us via the dedicated advice email adress for basic follow up advice. You will also be offered early bird sign up opportunities for future events to help further your training. If you wish to train your dog to be an assistance dog with us you will need to attend AT LEAST 2 Paws in Tents, have a training portfolio (information on which will be provided at your first event) and practice regularly at home. 


You arent holding a camp or workshop near me. Can you? Sadly we have already chosen our tour areas for 2020 and these can't be changed. We will always try to pick relatively central locations and can't really deviate from these as Heather is unable to drive and schedules around her childrens schedule. HOWEVER, we are currently looking for a campsite in the south and one in north england or south scotland to host Paws in Tents so if you know a campsite near you that allows dogs and has accessible toilets please do recommend it to us. (we are sticking with Park Farm Camping as our East camp each year as it's perfect for us so please don't recommend camps in the East of England)


Does my child have to be vaccinated to join Paws in Tents? 

No, the vaccination rules only apply to regular Nottingham classes. 


What are the assessments at the end of paws in tents camps?

At the ends of Paws in Tents camps we hold foundation to gold level assistance assessments. If you pass these you will be eligable to become an assistance dog in training with pawsitive squad subject to meeting our requirements (vaccination, flea, worm, insurance, agree to hold a training manual, sign agreement, deposit for leash sleeve etc). If you decide you don't want to be in training under us you can still take the assessment and will get a certificate which will state what we have assessed. 



National services FAQ's