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Can we support you?

To be eligible to access our assistance dog program, the young person must EITHER meet: 

  • 1 (ONE) of the criteria on the 'eligibility pathway A' 
  • 3 (THREE) of the criteria on the 'eligibility pathway 'B


  • Be under 26 (can apply up to the day before 26th birthday - we will support you through your dogs whole working life & support successor dogs as long as you apply before your 26th birthday)
  • Own a friendly pet dog who is not aggressive, isn't excessively anxious and  who is vaccinated, flea & wormed, not raw fed & overall fit and healthy
  • Be willing to travel to Nottingham for assessments and occasional training workshops.
  • Be able to meet all your dogs health, care & welfare needs, including the cost of these. 

Additional & alternative needs & disabilities criteria

To be eligible to apply for the assistance dog program, the young person must meet EITHER 1 (one) criteria from the eligibility pathway A, OR 3 (three) criteria from the eligibility pathway B. As an organisation we are committed to providing support as quickly as possible.

For the assistance dog program full membership:

  • Clients applying under pathway A are currently guaranteed a position on our pre-application course within maximum 12 weeks. 
  • Clients applying under pathway B are currently guaranteed a position on our pre-application course within maximum 26 weeks of application. 

For the assistance dog program task based membership:

  • Whether a client is eligible under pathway A or B, we currently guarantee to respond to their application (accept or reject) within 8 weeks. 

Eligibility Pathway A

If the young person meets 1 (one) of any of the following, they are eligible to apply for our assistance dog program:

  • Be over 5 years old and have less than 50 words verbally.
  • Be in receipt of high-rate care & high-rate mobility DLA with at least 6 months left on your award.
  • Be in receipt of PIP daily living enhanced rate AND PIP enhanced rate mobility with at least 6 months left on your award.
  • Live in an assisted living facility or have at least 12 hours of funded care outside of education per week.
  • Have an NHS continuing care package (child) or NHS continuing health care package (adult)
  • Require 2:1 care in the community (outside the home)
  • Be a full-time wheelchair user.
  • Require long term ventilation.
  • Have any condition which is likely to be fatal before or during early adulthood.
  • Have a diagnosis of epilepsy that has not been controlled with adequate trials of at least three anti-epileptic drugs.
  • Have a condition which causes potentially life-threatening medical events which has not responded to OR is not effectively controlled with standard medical treatments.
  • Have an allergy which causes anaphylaxis when touching the allergen, without consuming it.

If the young person is not eligible under pathway A, they may be eligible under pathway B.

Eligibility Pathway B

To be eligible to apply under pathway B the young person needs to meet 3 (three) of the criteria outlined below:
  • Need to use AAC to support communication (e.g., Makaton, switches, PECS)

  • Regularly experience severe emotional or sensory overwhelm resulting loss of self-control over behaviour (aged 9+)
  • Be unable to retain the focus/ attention required to keep safe in public environment e.g., regularly running or wandering off or regularly falling due to lack of focus (for aged 9+)
  • Be unable to cross the road without reliably stopping at the curb and being able to assess whether it is safe to cross the road or not (for aged 10+).
  • Have received hospital inpatient care for mental health difficulties within the last 5 years.
  • Have a school attendance of below 75% OR be on a long term reduced timetable OR be home educated due to lack of suitable SEND provision OR have an EOTAS package provided by your local authority OR attend a specialist provision OR be unable to access education without 1-2-1 support for at least 10 hours per week in full time education in a mainstream setting OR receive 1-2-1 support for at least 3 hours per week in 6th form, college or university.
  • Have an upper limb difference
  • Have a diagnosis of moderate, severe, or profound learning disabilities.
  • 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).
  • Experience severe fatigue, weakness, involuntary movements, or tremor which significantly impacts on their ability to meet their own needs compared to non-disabled peers.
  • Be physically unable to walk more than 200 meters OR experience severe pain or fatigue when walking over 200 meters.
  • Be physically unable to pick up dropped items or reach items on low shelves. 
  • Be unable to go shopping & attend vital medical appointments without practical support from a parent/carer (for aged 16+)
  • Have been unable to maintain a previous job due to disability (for aged 18+)

Application evidence and support

We require evidence from all applicants of all disabilities/ health conditions they've been diagnosed with - this can be in the form of clinic letter, GP summery or similar document. 

We also require a copy of any care plans or similar documents for any condition which causes acute medical events (e.g hypo's, anaphylaxis, seizures, fainting etc.).

Exclusion Criteria

Unfortunately we cannot accept you onto our program if ANY of the following apply:

  • The child/ young person is in compliance based therapies such as ABA or you wish to use compliance based therapies at any point while registered on our program. 
  • Any member of the household have ever caused deliberate harm to an animal.
  • The child/ young person doesn't have the cognitive ability and impulse control to treat their dog appropriately at all times including during emotional distress OR don't 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.
  • The young person and/or parent/carer are unwilling or unable to travel to Nottingham for 3 assessments during training, then annual re-assessments.
  • The young person is not up to date with childhood vaccines except where vaccination isn't possible for medical reasons (evidence will be requested).
  • You currently have an assistance dog from/ trained with another organisation that you wish to continue working alongside training the dog you wish to train with Pawsitive Squad CIC.
  • You work for, or have worked for within the last 3 years an assistance dog or dog training organisation or were self employed as a dog trainer. 
  • The young person doesn't want an assistance dog
  • If the young person and/or family are unwilling to be open and honest about all diagnosis & needs the young person has.

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Pawsitive Squad CIC

2 Woodberry Grove

North Finchley

N12 0DR


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