Our workshops are specially designed to provide parents of children with autism with the advice and long-term support needed for choosing and training a dog to benefit the whole family.

Workshops are held around the country and use a combination of practical demonstrations with our workshop dogs, discussions, hands on learning and course handouts.

“Sam is a reassuring presence and that reduces Jacob’s anxiety. His meltdowns have decreased enormously and I don't dread bedtimes anymore”

- Mum Liz

What the workshops cover

Workshop 1

  • About the Family Dog Service
  • What to expect from your dog
  • How to get your children involved in looking after a dog
  • Developing the child-dog bond
  • Selecting the right dog

Workshop 2

  • How dogs communicate with us
  • How a dog can help your family
  • How dogs learn
  • Problem solving

Workshop 3

  • Setting up a training session
  • Different training styles
  • Advanced training
  • Goal setting
  • Fundraising

Each workshop runs from 10.15 am – 3 pm, and attendees are required to attend all 3 workshops to benefit from the full range of support offered.

Following the workshops, ongoing support is available to families via telephone support, online resources, and a private Facebook group.

Am I eligible to attend the workshops?

These workshops are open to parents of children aged between 3-16 years, with a clinical diagnosis of autism.

Parents are welcome whether they already have a pet dog or not.

Family dog, not assistance dog

Please note that the Family Dog service is different from the Autism Assistance Dogs also offered by Dogs for Good.  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 pet dog can also have a massive impact. Pet dogs will not have assistance dog status i.e. entry into shopping centres etc. You can find places that welcome dogs on the Dog Friendly website.