Benefits of Dogs in Schools
There are many benefits to having a dog in school:
- A greater enjoyment of being in the school environment, improved attendance and a greater willingness to learn and participate.
- Improved behaviour, social interaction and sense of responsibility in the classroom.
- More effective therapy sessions. For example, we see students reaching their physiotherapy goals in a shorter space of time. Pupils also achieve more complex goals when the school dog joins their sessions.
- Increased knowledge of dogs and how to behave safely and appropriately around them.
- Students have greater access to the community with a school dog. For example, the presence of the dog can give them the confidence to go out on short trips outside their school.
- Pets can encourage a child’s learning needs, especially in reading, communication, observation and speaking. This is a useful tool when teaching all children but can be particularly helpful for those with special educational needs (SEN).
- They can help children with behavioural needs as time with the pets can be used as a reward.
- For many children, it will be their only contact with a pet as they don’t have them at home.
- Learning, including reading and literacy and some curriculum involvement and benefits.
- Self-esteem and interest for all students, especially for some of our most vulnerable groups.
- Anger management, bereavement and reducing stress.
- Developing responsibility.
- Love and support for groups of students.
- Knowledge and understanding of animals.