As a school we are always looking for ways to help our children access their learning and build on life skills. Our school therapy dog, Lulu, is a Labrador who will be highly trained. Follow her blog and training diary on how she is doing. Lulu will be starting puppy socialisation classes in November and then moving onto puppy classes. In January 2016 she will be going with her handler/owner, Charlotte Roe up to North Devon to start the training with DHK (Dogs Helping Kids). This charity provides training carefully selected dogs to work with children and teenagers in a school environment; there is a link to their website on this page.
Lulu will provide affection, a calming atmosphere and comfort to the children at Courtlands School.
One example of the use of therapy dogs in school is the building of self-confidence. Some of our children have difficulties reading. As a result, they can develop low self-esteem when reading. By reading to a dog, children relax and focus on the dog and 'the reading', therefore building self-confidence.
Children can also benefit from playing with dogs, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a dog can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance.
Studies have also shown that dogs can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Dogs are also known to ease loneliness, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Other benefits of having a school dog include:
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the school.