Excellence in training and Certification for Animal Assisted Intervention Professionals

WellPaws Dogs For Wellbeing

Experts in the human-animal bond

Our Services

AAI Courses

Since 2006 we have been training professionals in the art and science of animal assisted interactions. Continually refined and developed, our courses bring together Australia’s leading experts to provide you the most sought after therapy dog, school dog and visiting dog training and certification in the country.

WellPaws Dogs for Wellbeing

This unique programme assists individuals or families to train their own dog to provide them with emotional support or assistance. The WellPaws programme is a unique combination of therapeutic sessions and supported therapeutic dog training provided by our specialist team of mental health professionals and dog trainers.

Dog Training Classes & Workshops

Group training classes for therapy dogs, school dogs, and visiting dogs run on Thursday evenings. Classes support teams training for Certification to prepare, maintain or extend their skills. Online and in person options available.

Professional Development

Our highly qualified expert team provide a range of professional development services including workshops, conference presentations or seminars, organisational consultancy, mentoring/coaching, and clinical supervision in the field of the human animal bond and animal assisted interactions.

Access the online learning portal

Browse Lead The Way’s online courses, and access your online resources here.


Just some of the benefits of AAI:

An inviting and warm environment

Increased feelings of relaxation

Improved mood and reduced depression

Improve the body’s response to stress

Increase self-worth and self-esteem

Help children and teens to feel safe in counselling

Learn by doing, not just talking

A comforting presence during tough times

Flexible Support in a Changing World

Now, more than ever, we feel like we’re living in a world of rolling crises. Life changes quickly and people are struggling. We are experiencing professional burnout and overwhelm at astonishing rates and struggle to provide the support our clients, students and patients deserve. Waiting lists surge, children and young people are disengaging from schools and communities, and adults are re-thinking their life trajectories. Helping professionals and dedicated families are exploring new ways to provide hope and support. In a complex and difficult world, the unconditional love and connection provided by a visiting or support dog may just be the balm we seek!

Lead The Way’s team of professionals have developed a suite of flexible options to assist both people and animals to benefit from their unique and special bonds. Including classes, individual supports, professional mentoring groups, Certification courses for Therapy, School, Visiting, Emotional Support and Assistance dogs our team can support you to achieve your goal – to make the lives of people and animals better! Explore our online and in person options via our services links above, and contact us if you would like more information.


Schools Mental Health Menu Fund

School Dogs and Therapy Dogs in Education – Evidence Based Training & Support

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended that government develop a fund to support schools to select the most suitable evidence-based mental health initiatives for their school. As a result, the Victorian government invested millions to create a new Schools Mental Health Fund. Underpinning the Fund is the evidence-based Menu. The Menu is a list of evidence-based programs and initiatives across three tiers on intervention designed to give schools confidence in identifying programs, staff and resources that will improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for their students. Schools are required to spend their Fund allocation on Menu items or qualified mental health professionals (Vic. Gov. Education Dept. (2022) Schools Mental Health Menu. A guide to providing evidence for your program).

Lead The Way is delighted to have been accepted as an approved provider on the new Menu. We are approved to provide training and Certification for therapy dogs / school dogs to work with school staff, and to supply group therapy programmes delivered by mental helath professionals with their own therapy dogs.

Dog-Handler Certification

We have designed a number of training packages specifically for schools which take advantage of our range of flexible training and support options. Packages are offered at a discounted rate and will assist schools to develop and deliver their own on site school dog / therapy dog programmes by training school staff to work with their own dog(s). Contact us for a copy of the packages available.

Clinical Programmes & Group Therapy

Lead The Way has a range of group therapy programmes which can be delivered to schools under the Menu. Our qualified Animal Assisted Therapists can also provide individual treatment under the Menu. For more information, please see our clinical site here.





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