Buddy - Our School Dog
Mr Jones, our headteacher, and his family have a Cavapoo named Buddy who is an important member of the SJS staff.
A Cavapoo is a King Charles Spaniel/Poodle cross.
Cavapoos are extremely good with children, intelligent, easy to train and are extremely low shedding and therefore classed as a hypoallergenic breed of dog.
He is a friendly and loving dog who is very clever and loves being around his humans!
He loves to play fetch and really enjoys having his belly tickled.
Buddy was born on April Fools' Day (1st April 2022) and lived with his mum, a toy poodle, until he was 8 weeks old when he came to live with the Jones family.
What are the benefits of a school dog?
Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of therapy dogs in schools. Therapy dogs have been working in schools for the past 6 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. Encouraging expression, participation and shared attention.
Social: a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing and focused interaction with others. Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers.
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. Improved behaviour, attendance and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem
Physical: interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, gives motivation to move and stimulates the senses
Obviously, bringing any animal into school is not something to be approached lightly, both for the animal’s sake and for the sake of the children and adults in the school.
Mr Jones has taken advice from fellow Headteachers, who have school dogs and completed risk assessments.
He is also fully insured to be in schools.
How has school planned for this?
Buddy’s role in school is varied.
He listens to children read and provide fun and love. Dogs give unconditional acceptance, as they are non-judgmental, which is especially crucial to struggling, emerging readers. He is an amazing listener, providing the children with a sense of comfort and love.
Buddy spends a proportion of his time in the office areas. He understands where he can go, when he can play, when he needs to be calm and quiet and what to chew (and what not to chew!).
He visits classrooms, sitting in assemblies and is part of general school routines.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Jones if you have any concerns or worries or you would like to meet Buddy yourself.
He will often be with him at the school gate.