Lola - our School Dog

Why have a school dog?

The value of pet therapy is widely accepted as a powerful aid to communication and motivation. Research has shown that companion dogs can improve the well-being of children reducing their anxiety levels by making the school environment happier and a more enjoyable place to be. A school dog is also a benefit for staff morale and staff well-being.

Dogs are a great comfort to children who are upset in any way and in need of calm, consolation, comfort, breathing space or a distraction before being able to tell an adult what has upset them. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally; a dog can motivate and encourage their participation, increase their understanding of responsibility, develop empathy and nurturing skills and improve their behaviour and self-esteem.

Children cannot fail in any way in their relationship with a dog; they do not judge or condemn and offer unconditional affection.

Children will learn the principles of good pet ownership and be taught how to handle dogs safely and responsibly; they will take great enjoyment from interaction with the dog.

The rationale to make the decision to have a school dog was as follows:

  •          For the school to have a dog that is able to live as naturally as conditions allow.
  •          For the dog to be properly cared for.
  •          To have a dog that the children could learn how to care for, interact safely around and also benefit their social and emotional development.
Lola came in to school during the Easter holiday, to visit the school building and get used to the sounds and smells of school.