Generation Kind's Paws for Change - self study course

The Paws for Change self-study course helps young people and their dogs learn together and bond with each other through dog training.

Along with the practical dog training activities, the self-study course includes articles and games that focus on what animals need to be healthy and happy.

Who this course is for:

  • Young people who are 14 years of age or older
  • Young people who want to learn more about animal care
  • Young people who have a dog at home
  • Dogs who need help learning 'Sit', 'Down', and 'Stay'
  • Dogs who need help learning to walk nicely on lead 
  • Dogs who need help learning to come when called

What you┬┐ll need:

  • A dog that you live with
  • Dog collar, lead, and bags for walks
  • Treats and toys to use as rewards 
  • A diary to track your training - this can be a place to write or draw, or you can record your own video or audio diary
  • Your parent or guardian's help and permission to go through the self-study course

How long does it take?

There are no set number of weeks or timeline for the course, as each dog and young person is unique. Practicing 'little and often' works best, a few minutes a few times a day will go a long way towards lasting progress.

What if my dog needs more help?

If your dog is struggling, they may need a break from training, or to try a different activity. Sometimes, you may need the help of a dog trainer - please read more about how to find an appropriate dog trainer here

Self-study course - keeping a diary

Before you begin, please set aside a diary to reflect on what you felt before, during, and after each session. 

This helps to see how your dog changes through your training, and to remind yourself of any important or surprising facts that you learn through the articles and games. 

Your diary is your own to make and keep - you can write, draw, record audio or record video.


If you are now ready to begin, please start with Part 1:


Part 1

Article: Training Your Dog

Training activity: How to train your dog to come when called

Online game: The Smiley Face Game


Part 2

Article: Understanding your dog's behaviour

Training activity: How to train your dog to walk nicely on a lead

Online game: The 5 welfare needs


Part 3
Article: Helping your dog to stay healthy

Training activity: How to train your dog to sit 

Online game: Meeting their needs


Part 4

Article: Appropriate company for dogs

Training activity: How to train your dog to lie down 

Online video: A day in the life of an RSPCA Inspector


Part 5

Article: How does the Dangerous Dogs Act affect my dog?

Training activity: How to train your dog to stay 

Online game: Protected by the law

After you complete the course: please complete this survey to let us know if you enjoyed the course, and to apply for a certificate.