Pre-application Program

To be eligible to apply to join our assistance dog program or therapy dog program, you must first complete the 8-week application course. This course contains:

  • 6, 45-minute group live zoom classes
  • 6 exercises to try out and about in the community
  • Virtual learning zone (moodle) module and assessment


You have access to the virtual learning zone including the outdoor exercise instructions for 8 weeks from your start date. The pre-application course teaches you the fundamental skills required for dog training. Also, it allows us to assess you and your dog's suitability for the assistance dog program over multiple sessions instead of having a formal selection assessment. Anyone wanting to join the assistance dog program must complete this course first. The course costs £90. 


The pre-application course covers:

  • Socialisation skills - the right way to introduce your dog to new settings, objects, people & animals.
  • Building the dog's confidence around items they are fearful of.
  • Basic obedience skills - to sit, lie down, wait for food, wait in place, leave things they are never allowed, recall around minimal distractions, target, walk on a loose lead, watch handler.
  • Training techniques - targetting, shaping, prompt and fade, chaining, capturing and connection.
  • Welfare 


The pre-application course also comes with access to:

  • A live weekly Q&A session where you can ask for general dog training advice or find out more about the assistance and therapy dog programs.
  • Our weekly parents & professionals social group - meet other people who are registered on our programs, share any worries or wins and enjoy a fun (and often slightly silly!) activity such as virtual scavenger hunt, quizzes etc. 
  • 2 Saturday canine-assisted activity sessions


If you wish to progress on to apply for the assistance dog program, having completed the pre-application program, you will need to:

  • have scored above 90% on the virtual learning assignments.
  • Send us 3 videos of your dog: 1 around other dogs on lead, 1 around other children on lead, 1 playing with the young person the dog will be supporting.


Based on the above, alongside our observations in the live classes, we will decide if we are able to offer you a position on our assistance dog program. We may say you or your dog isn't suitable at all for our program or we may say that we would like to reconsider if you work on a specific behavioural issue within a given time frame then resubmit evidence, the second is most common for dogs who are barky around other dogs. If we ask you to work on an issue we will provide some basic suggestions to work on this but may recommend you work with a canine behaviorist in the interim to bring your dog up to the required standard to join our program.



Upcoming pre-application course start dates:

  • 6th May 2021 (FULL)
  • 16th September 2021 (2 spaces remaining)






To book onto the pre-application course please click here. Spaces are limited. If you cannot open the link, the website to book onto the course is: