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School dog

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lauren_Young, May 25, 2019.

  1. Lauren_Young

    Lauren_Young New commenter

    I'm getting a puppy that will belong to the school so in September it will come with me every day (I've seen online a few schools do that). I feel it can't be that easy. I will of course get it trained, but honestly even advice on that will be helpful. We are currently looking at golden retrievers but if you have another breed that you know works well please let me know.

    Can anybody give me any guidance? What insurance do you have? How did you introduce it? Any other process?

    Thanks :)
    reddevil likes this.
  2. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Not all children will have had contact with pets before so lessons on how to treat one will be needed before the dog is introduced into school. You'll need a plan or some kind of rota to make sure the dog doesn't get overwhelmed by the attention of lots excited children.

    Some of your pupils are going to be very happy about having a puppy in school but others won't be so keen. Do you have plans for what to do to make sure that the children (and adults) who dislike dogs or have a fear of them are not upset by your new pet? Also bear in mind that many Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean so encourage their children to stay away from them. Another thing to consider would be checking if any pupils/staff have allergies to dog fur.
    nomad likes this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    what happens when you leave the school?
  4. Lauren_Young

    Lauren_Young New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies. They do make you think things through.

    I have been at the school for 11 years, minus 1 year I was in Dubai and then came back to the same school, so although possible it seems very unlikely.

    I’ve spoken to my class (11 of which are Muslim) and they are all very excited. The children who were initially concerned (only a couple were Muslim) I spoke with. I think that’s a gradual thing. We will get permission letters signed but I don’t agree with keeping children away. I think we should tell the parents the positives and then let the child decide so if they ever want to stroke them then they can. I was thinking an assembly with photos to show how to take care of it, choose a name, etc and then introduce the dog to children on an individual basis at first, then it can come into my classroom when we think it’s ready and progress on from there.

    Thoughts? Does this sound ok? Did anyone do anything different? Anyone any idea about insurance?
  5. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Are you a member of any teacher FB groups? They tend to have far more active members and this topic comes up reasonably often.

    Where will the dog spend the day?
    Is there some kind of cage type thing, where it can go for a sleep and to signal to children that s/he is to be left alone?
    Who will clear up the messes and when?

    Think through the day and work out how the dog will fit in to each activity.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Please be alert to the possibility of allergies, particularly if you teach younger children. If they've not had much contact with dogs, they may not know if they do have an allergy, and they may not link their symptoms to the dog. My main symptom is headache, which wouldn't be obvious to anyone else, either.
  8. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    Allergies came to my mind, as did dog poo. I don't really think a boisterous puppy is the greatest idea really either - you want a well socialised older dog, ideally one who's completed things like the Canine Good Citizen awards or is PAT trained. Even kids who've grown up with dogs can be nervy when they act unpredictably - my daughter, who has been around greyhounds her entire life, still gets unnerved if the dog woofs optimistically at a cat walking down the street (my dog's not a general barker so it's quite a rare event but really spooks my kid... mind you a fly on the window can spook my kid on the wrong day).

    School near us has one and the "dog" has a twitter account which mainly consists of which teacher's sandwiches he's snaffled that week.

    https://petsastherapy.org/ - I'd see if they have a volunteer near you who could bring their dogs (who have really solid behaviour standards and training) for a few visits to see how the reality of it actually works within your school before making a huge jump in. I know of a few people in the greyhound community (happens to be my dog of choice) who have their dogs qualified as PAT dogs who have dogs who come in and the children can read to them and generally confide all their woes/news/what Paw Patrol dog is the greatest one ever etc (helps when you're the laziest dog breed on the planet).
  9. stanley4shoes

    stanley4shoes Occasional commenter

    Is this your first dog? The benefits of dogs to learning, mental health, life, are without a doubt, in the right circumstances. but a new puppy in the class room with a ?new dog owner is a recipe for a stressed dog and potentially injuries and unhappiness all around.

    As an example Pets as Therapy dogs have to have been owned by their current owner for at least 6 months and to be behaviourally assessed. Therapy dogs and I think Pets as Therapy won’t register dogs who go to work with their owners because of concerns about being at work all day, whilst the owner has work responsibilities, and meeting the needs of hte dog in that situation. A new puppy needs lots of attention and stimulation, they chew, pee and poo all over the place.

    If you do go ahead please consider a rescue dog, but not taking it to school all day everyday and certainly not straight away.
    bonxie likes this.
  10. Admin Princess

    Admin Princess Occasional commenter

    I'd suggest that any dog should be at least two years old before it comes into school. It needs to be fully house-trained, socialised and trained before it interacts with a school full of children.
    Trekkie, bonxie and bevdex like this.
  11. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    Coming to this a bit late but, having had a puppy four years ago I too would be concerned for the puppy! Puppies aren't toys and schools are noisy, busy places - a recipe for disaster :-(

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