Therapy dogs visit first schools

Therapy dogs from Tweedmouth Middle School have been visiting feeder schools.

Thursday, 8th June 2017, 10:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 2:31 pm
Therapy dogs in school.

Each school had a different aim: confidence building, improving communication, developing reading skills and enhancing team work.

“We’ve done a couple of one-off sessions but most schools have signed up to a five-week programme of free activities led by myself and my four bulldogs,” explained Haley Garland, the school’s community co-ordinator.

“For me, I get to teach the children about the laws applying to dog owners, give advice on buying a puppy/introducing a rescue dog into their home and teach the kids how to interact with dogs safely and appropriately. It also gives me the chance to promote the friendly, laid-back nature of the bully breeds, when they are correctly socialised, as many people are afraid of bigger dog breeds. I hope my sessions encourage these children to be responsible pet owners in the future.”

She added: “Some children ask questions about behaviour issues they have with their own dogs at home so I often give hints and tips on how to modify these problems - I’m also a qualified canine behaviourist.

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“The sessions also give me a chance to show our future pupils the unique activities we have to offer at TCMS. And, as an added bonus, my dogs are happy but tired after a day at school.”