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We offer affiliate and therapy dog training programmes, to schools, workplaces, private practices and individuals across the UK

School Dog Training Programme

The CAL school dog training programme is designed for educational establishments that would like one of their members of staff to work with their own dog to become and become an effective canine assisted intervention team.

The benefits of the human-animal bond are vast and we are seeing more and more positive success stories from schools, organisations and individuals working together with dogs that we have helped train and support.

Why not find out more with a FREE Chat.

 CAL School Dog Training – Setting your school dog up for success.

Our ongoing training programme for schools provides a safe and effective means for animal assisted interventions in school. The programme not only focuses on the training of the dog but of the school handler too.  This ensures all necessary health and safety considerations are met: this includes understanding of complex canine behaviour in a learning environment, safe and effective implementation of interventions and crucially,  the welfare and safety of the dog, children and everyone involved with the programme.

The programme is tailored to the requirements of each individual team and school. Before any training begins there is a detailed assessment to understand the suitability of the dog for the programme.  

Once successful, the dog will take part in stage one of the programme –  a six stage course Introduction to Animal Assisted Intervention in Education which will take place for two intervention handlers and two support handlers. The first two modules are online followed by in person sessions, where we come to you.

Stage two of the programme includes in person practical ongoing support and guidance from implementation of the programme to managing the dog’s timetable and workload along with specialist resource support and training.

We carry out termly visits to observe and review how the programme is working to ensure good practice and effective performance.  We provide feedback at each visit along with recommendations for further training, skills and strategies for both the key handler and the dog to ensure continuous improvement for the success of the programme and a positive impact within the school.

In addition to the above, the affiliate programme also includes a certificate once stage one of the programme is complete, a school dog jacket and school dog public liability insurance and all set up materials as well as a huge range of resources for you and your school dog team.

Over the years we have extended this service to include a similar set-up in care homes, mental health settings and for individuals – most commonly counsellors/mental health practitioners who would like to involve a dog in their own personal practice and work.

Dogs in Boarding Houses

We are aware that the mental health of young people in boarding schools can be under more pressure than day schools;  this presumption is made based on children being away from home and feeling a lot of pressure to do well inside and outside the classroom. There are many reasons why a good boarding school environment today is positive for the mental health of young people, with schools looking at innovative groundbreaking interventions and practices that prioritise their pupils mental health.

Research has shown that therapy dogs in an educational environment can reduce stress and anxiety and help provide a sense of connection in difficult situations.  The human-animal bond is a unique and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviours considered essential to the mental health and emotional wellbeing of both human and animal.  It is proven that utilising this special bond in the right way within educational environments can significantly benefit students who may be struggling with a range of mental and emotional challenges – especially in a boarding environment and away from their families or usual support system.

Canine Assisted Learning delivers a range of interventions to boarding schools across the UK delivering specialist interventions and training in-house teams as affiliate members.

The positive effects of having dogs in boarding houses is clear to see; children are visibly more relaxed around the dogs and are able to open up about their emotions. The unique human-animal bond utilised buy our assistance dogs and practitioners can help to:

  • Create a homely environment

  • Reduce the feeling of being homesick

  • Reduce anxieties and worries

  • Create a relaxed environment to promote conversation

  • Improve motivation

  • Improve overall emotional wellbeing

  • Reduce stress around exams

  • Help to ease transitions  

Dogs in Care Homes

An affiliate dog in a care home environment can prove to be a very positive calming influence and support to residents.  Our Canine Assisted Wellbeing Team always receives a very warm welcome when we visit the homes we work with, and our dogs help lift the spirits and emotional wellbeing of the residents we support.  An in-house dog offers very similar benefits and provides continuous support and encouragement for all residents and staff.

Dog in Private Practices

We are able to offer training and support for individuals wanting to incorporate their own dog as part of their everyday working life and professional services.  This would involve a bespoke package tailored to your specific needs with ongoing support as needed. This can include a wide range of environments such as play therapy, occupational therapy and counsellors.

Dogs for Individuals

Many independent counsellors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and mental health practitioners have seen first hand the benefits and value of having a professionally trained dog to support their work.  Having their own affiliate work helps them to establish on-going support to their business and the individuals they work with.   Working with the Canine Assisted Wellbeing Group means they have on-going training and support for their dog ensuring the health and safety of the dog in the working environment and everyone they would come into contact with on a professional basis.

If you would like more information about how to work with the Canine Assisted Wellbeing Group team to have your own affiliate dog please get in touch with us here.




Mental Health First Aid Training

The Canine Assisted Wellbeing Group provides Workplaces Schools, Colleges and Universities fully certified mental health first aid courses qualifying delegates as mental health first aiders.

The course options are below:

  • Level 1 Award in Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health – 4 hours
  • Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health – 6 hours
  • Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health – 12 hours

The course is aimed at workplaces who wish to enhance their employee Wellbeing Action Plan (WAP) and to encourage schools to have a qualified Mental Health First Aider alongside their provision for practical first aid. If you would like to run any of the above courses please contact us.

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First Aid Training

The Canine Assisted Wellbeing Group (CAWG) offers fully accredited first aid training conducted by our fully qualified trainers.

It is a legal requirement for an employer to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, necessary facilities and trained personnel in the event of an employee needing immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work (Health and Safety First-Aid Regulations 1981).

This applies to all workplaces irrespective of company size and number of staff and is an essential company obligation to its employees.  Our courses can be tailored to suit individuals or groups of any size and are fully certified by NUCO.  A certificate is received upon completion.

We offer the following course options:

  • 3 Day First-Aid at Work (NUCO accredited):  This three day course includes both theory and practical sessions and is ideal for anyone within the workplace that is required to be a First Aider in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.   Each participant will receive a NUCO registered certificate upon successful completion of the course.

  • 2 Day First-Aid at Work (refresher):  This 2 day course is suitable for anyone who is looking for a refresher and allows the participant(s) who have previously taken the 3 day First Aid at Work course to be recertified.  It is an ideal way to focus on refreshing skills and being brought up to date on changes to current laws and guidelines.  Each participant will receive a NUCO registered certificate upon successful completion of the course.  

  • 1 Day Emergency First-Aid at Work:  This one day course focuses on the minimum standard for first aid work  set out by the HSE.  It teaches real lifesaving skills that can be used in and out of the workplace, providing valuable knowledge and confidence to the participants.  Each participant will receive a NUCO registered certificate upon successful completion of the course.  

  • Basic Life Support (3 hours):  This simple but valuable course is designed to offer participants useful, practical and potentially lifesaving information and guidance on basic life support.  This includes resuscitation, recovery position and airway management.   Each participant will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.  

3-hour Student First Aid Course

The new 3-hour student first aid course has been designed for key stage 3 and key stage 4 students (11+ years) and fulfils the requirements of the Department for Education in respect of first aid training.

The Government announced that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education will become compulsory from September 2020 across all state-funded schools in England and this includes basic first aid training. However, due to school closures, schools that are not able to implement the changes will now have until Summer term 2021 to do so.

Canine Assisted Learning have developed our new 3 hour Student First Aid Course to help with this valuable training ensuring these basic potentially life-saving skills are communicated with this key audience in a concise and effective manner.

Our courses can take place at your school or establishment and can be conducted with varying group sizes.  We are taking bookings for the new term now.  Please contact us for more information.


School Dog Training


The CAL Affiliate school dog training programme is designed for any and all establishments that would like one of their members of staff to work with their own dog.  This would involve a detailed assessment to establish the best way to implement a bespoke training plan for the staff member/team and dog to work together to provide homegrown support to the people in and out of their organisation.  

Here at CAL, we have extensive experience working with schools and educational organisations who have wanted to have their own affiliate dog to work with their staff and students.  Over the years we have extended this service to include a similar set-up in care homes, mental health settings and for individuals – most commonly counsellors/mental health practitioners who would like to involve a dog in their own personal practice and work.

For more information please take a look at our Affiliate School Dog page

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“Just like physical health we all have mental health. Every one of us will face setbacks in our lives. And every one of us will face challenges with our mental health as a result. The consequences of this silence, confusion, stigma and even shame have reached a crisis point in the UK”  

The Duke of Cambridge