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Family Dog – PAWS Service

PAWS Service

PAWS brings together the parents and carers of children with autism to explore the helping potential that a pet dog might have within their family. 

If you are considering getting a dog, then the workshops provide information and support for sourcing, choosing, handling and training a pet dog specifically to benefit a child with autism and the family as a whole.

The series of three one day workshops use a combination of practical demonstrations, discussions, hands on learning and course hand outs.  

Currently not taking workshop bookings

Our PAWS workshops are now fully booked for the remainder of 2015 and 2016. We will be running workshops in 2017 and the dates for these will be confirmed in mid 2016. 

Long-term support

Families receive ongoing support following the workshops, including a wealth of resources online such as fact sheets and videos, telephone support, and a private Facebook group. 

Pet dog, not assistance dog

Please note that the PAWS Project is a different service to the Autism Assistance Dog Service also offered by Dogs for the Disabled. This work led us to realise that whilst for some children there will be a clear need for a fully trained assistance dog, a well trained family pet dog can also have a massive impact.

Pet dogs will not be able to receive public access rights or assistance dog status i.e. entry into shopping centres etc.


Alongside our workshops, working in partnership with the National Autistic Society and Lincoln University, we were awarded a three year grant to carry out research into the relationship between dogs and humans, funded by The National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

Find out more and watch the highlights of the research