Meet Willow the School Dog
Willow, is a beautiful golden retriever puppy who lives with Miss Everett and her family. She was born on 7th February 2023 and cared for by a lovely breeder and family until she came to live with Miss Everett at 9 weeks old.
Willow loves meeting people, especially children and is very happy to sit and be stroked – most of all she loves a belly rub! People often comment on what a calm and gentle temperament she has.
Willow works very hard in training and does well at her puppy classes. She also loves to explore and play – just the right kind of dog to become part of our Benhall family.
Benefits of having a school dog
Dogs teach children responsibility. Having to remember to feed, provide water and show support for a dog can give children a sense of importance and satisfaction. The relationship that develops can become a great support system as they themselves continue to grow and develop.
Dogs teach children patience. Dogs do not always do as they are told first time!
Dogs teach children compassion. Just like humans, dogs feel emotion and pain. They are prone to injuries and the infirmities of age during their relatively short lives.
Dogs teach children about socialisation. Like most of us, dogs are social animals who enjoy and need attention and affection. By learning how to interact with a dog, children can learn how to better socialise with other children. If they can learn the social cues of a dog, this can help them learn to interact with humans.
Dogs can encourage a child’s learning needs, especially in reading, communication, observation and speaking.
Dogs are fun. They greet you with a wagging tail every day and can cheer you up even on your worst day.
Dogs aid human wellbeing. Extensive research has shown that the presence of an animal can have a positive impact on body and mind and so help to reduce stress levels. Stroking a pet for example, has been shown to lower blood pressure and the heart rate, bringing a calming effect.
Guidelines to interaction with the School Dog
Under no circumstances will children have close interaction with the school dog unless the school has permission from parents/carers. Once permission has been given no child shall be forced into interaction with the school dog if this makes them feel unhappy in anyway.
At all times interaction with the school dog must be controlled and safe for adults, children and Willow.
The following guidelines must be followed when interacting with the school dog. These guidelines apply to all adults and children.
- There must be an adult present during all interaction, and this adult will take a leading role in interacting with the dog
- Always approach the dog calmly (voice and movement)
- Always approach the dog slowly
- To start interaction offer the back of a hand for the dog to sniff
- Keep noise levels low during interaction with the dog
- All interaction must remain calm with the adult staying in control at all times
- Only adults can move any of the dog’s resources, including food and treats
- Visiting children and adults can only handle equipment if an authorising adult gives permission
- Leave the dog to eat her meals and snacks in peace
- Wash your hands after interacting with the dog
- When interacting with the school dog all children must remain on their feet and not kneel unless guided to by the adult leading the interaction.
When interacting with the dog outside:
- No children will ever be asked to pick up faeces
- If walking the dog, an authorised adult must be present at all times. Children may hold the dog’s lead if they are confident to do so. The authorised adult remains in charge of the situation at all times and will take back the dog’s lead if necessary.