Say hello to Winnie. She is 3 years old and a Golden Doodle breed. She is the much loved member of Mr and Mrs Tanner’s family, and she will soon become part of our team as a well-being dog after half-term. We will ease her in gently for a day or two a week and then build up her time as she gets more accustomed to the hustle and bustle of school life. She has a wonderful temperament and is already very ‘chilled’, the lucky thing.
The advantages of a well-being Dog
There are many benefits to having a well-being dog in a school setting, the main one being the health and well- being of both Pupils and Staff alike. A dog has an immediate calming effect by just being near. The role of well-being dogs is to react and respond to people and their environment, under the guidance and direction of their handler. For example, an individual might be encouraged to gently pat or talk to a dog to teach sensitive touch and help them be calm.
Having a dog in school has the potential to help young children to develop in a range of academic, personal and social areas.
The Risk Assessment
A comprehensive Risk Assessment for Winnie will be published on the school website and she will have her own page. Winnie will have a handler at all times and she is a hypoallergenic dog (low shedding of her coat) and will be kept in areas away from children with any allergies. Any contact with her will be optional, with hand washing afterwards, and children being told in advance about what to expect and how to behave.
Our Promise to Winnie and Her Promise to Us
We will promise to treat Winnie with respect, be calm around her and think about our noise. We will love and care for her, give her space if she needs it and not eat around her.
Winnie will promise to love and care for the children, help support their emotions and school work. She will listen and not judge, and she will be your friend if you are happy, sad or nervous. If you are nervous, she will want you to feel calmer around her.