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Buddy - Our School Dog


Buddy is an apricot Cockapoo, a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle and when he isn't at school, he lives with Mr Tarrant. The little pup loves playing with his toys, especially one that looks like a broccolli! He likes cuddles and enjoys nibbling on Mr Tarrant's beard!

He is a busy dog as he is doing some specialist training with local charity, Dogs for Health, and in time he will be able to support the pupils of our school. There will be a strict training programme led by an experienced puppy trainer, Ann, who will help Buddy get ready to work with the children on an individual or small group basis.

Once fully trained, Buddy will spend his days visiting the classrooms and listening to readers from across the school. Sometimes he will even help us out by looking after anyone who is feeling a bit sad. Buddy has a quiet space where he can chill out and enjoy his food and a little nap.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to having a school dog, including:

  • a calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties
  • improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem
  • encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children
  • fostering a sense of responsibility
  • motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals
  • encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other and adults
  • teaching children to nurture and respect life
  • helping work undertaken with children who need a boost with their learning
  • helping children build confidence in reading

How will this work?

We are aware that some parents, teachers and children may be unsure around dogs and Dogs for Health lead assemblies so that all members of our community are aware of what to do and more importantly what not to do around a dog.

While the dog’s main place of residence will be in the office area, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children will be able to interact with the dog under strict supervision at certain times of the week as long as parental permission has been given. The dog will not be given access to other visitors without supervision or mutual consent.

Please understand that we will do everything we can to reassure children who are fearful and that under no circumstances will they be forced to meet with the dog.

Whilst moving around the school, Buddy will be kept on a short lead and will always be with an adult. The breed has been carefully selected because of its ideal temperament and because it is used widely in the field of therapy and support (e.g. hearing dogs). Cockapoos are also used successfully in other schools as they are, by nature gentle and friendly creatures. Cockapoos are particularly good for allergy sufferers due to their low-shedding coats.

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