Dolly Our School Dog
What are the benefits of having a school dog?
Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of dogs in schools. Dogs have been working in schools for the past 5 years across the UK. However, they have been commonplace in schools in the USA and Australia for many years.
Evidence indicates that benefits include:
- Cognitive – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving and game-playing. Reading to dogs has been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect the dog’s presence has on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical
- Social – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing
and focused interaction with others
- Emotional – a school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often
provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as
well as relieving anxiety.
- Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists
with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
- Environmental – a dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above