School Therapy Dogs
"The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children, is to have at least one dog in every single school in the country," said Sir Anthony Seldon.
Research from National Institutes of Health shows that Therapy Dog programs provide significant benefits for students – both physical and emotional.
Dogs are friendly, great companions, good listeners that make no judgements – children bond easily with them helping them feel more connected and confident.
Having a dog present in the classroom promotes a positive mood and provides significant anti stress effects on the body, reducing anxiety and depression which in turn enables the children to focus on learning.
“The presence of a dog in an educational setting seems to support concentration, attention, motivation, and relaxation reflecting reduction of high stress levels which inhibit effective learning and performance”.
We already have successful partnerships with 6 schools in Devon, with more wishing to join our programme.
The majority of our schools have their own full time dedicated Therapy Dog.
The process starts with an initial consultation, followed by a full assessment of both setting and handler (who is normally a teacher at the school) to gain an understanding of needs and options.
If successful, we source a puppy from one of our trusted Portuguese Waterdog breeders. We use Portuguese Water Dogs due to their hypo allergenic coat, to avoid aggravating any pupil's/staff allergies.
The puppy will join the handler's family and after vaccinations training begins.
Training takes approximately 2 years with weekly sessions and reports. The Bale's Buddies team are always on hand to answer queries and progress is measured with regular feedback and assessments.
If your school is unable to commit to your own dedicated Therapy Dog, Bale's Buddies can offer hourly or daily Animal Assisted Therapy Sessions.
For more information please feel free to contact us using the form below, by phone, email or via our Facebook page we are happy to answer any questions. We can also put you in touch with one of our current Schools who would be happy to share their experiences and the benefits they have seen from having a Therapy dog.
“In a recent Education Health Care Plan review, a student when asked what was important to her, responded that she saw Scout as a ‘friend’, and that training him was one of her achievements this year. The student has substantial communication difficulties, however clarity of speech has improved through work with Scout. Shy by nature, the student will request time with Scout daily, providing frequent opportunity to communicate with another, aiding confidence and self esteem.”
Simon Payne, Mill Ford School, Plymouth