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Can we support you?

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

"have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities" (which is the definition of a disability outlined in the Equality Act, 2010)


Need at least 3 of the assistive tasks listed  in public spaces to significantly lessen the impact your disability has on your daily living. 


  • 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. 

Assistive Tasks

You MUST need to regularly use 3 (unless requiring medical alert) of these tasks OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME to be eligible for the program:

  • Deep pressure therapy
  • Alert to increasing anxiety/ dissociative episode/ shut down/ sensory overload
  • Find the lost/ hiding young person (if the young person is prone to running away when distressed/overwhelmed)
  • Find parent/ carer 
  • Find and guide to nearest exit
  • Dual handling
  • Fetch supportive items (ear defenders, drink etc)
  • Alert to sounds such as door bell, phone ringing, fire alarm, road crossing sounds etc  (due to hearing impairment, auditory processing differences or significant use of ear defenders)
  • Pick up dropped items
  • Open doors and/or cupboards
  • Take items from you to another place/person (eg pass wallet to cashier,  rubbish to bin etc)
  • Fetch named items (phone, wallet etc on cue words)
  • Pull emergency cords
  • Press switches such as light switches, lift call buttons, door buttons etc
  • Help with dressing & undressing or removing/ adding blankets
  • Pull pillow/ bag/ soft item under head during medical event
  • Alert to acute medical event (allergen causing anaphylaxis, seizure etc)
  • Fetch and alert to parent/ carer upon behaviour or verbal/AAC cue from young person OR find/guide to parent/carer if lost or to increase independence.
  • Pass back items when dropped on the floor.
  • Indicate curbs, crossings and obstacles (due to lack of awareness of environment or of danger, only for visual impairment if use alongside white stick).

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.).

We only need these after your trial month on the program if you're offered a space. 

Exclusion Criteria

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

  • Diagnosis of ONLY autism and/or ADHD if dog is only required for 1 child, under the age of 8. (we do accept applications for dog to support multiple autistic children within the household under 8).
  • 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 or unable to be open and honest about all diagnosis & needs the young person has.
  • If you work or volunteer as or are training to be a dog/animal trainer or are undertaking any higher education animal or canine specific study. 

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All rights Reserved.

Pawsitive Squad is a registered community interest company (non profit organisation) number 1145 1119 (England and Wales)

Pawsitive Squad CIC

2 Woodberry Grove

North Finchley

N12 0DR


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