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Buddy The School Dog

At Poverest Primary school we have school dog called Buddy - if you imagine the world’s most loving dog – multiply that affection by 100 and you’ve got Buddy! Buddy qualified as a Therapy Dog in April 2021 and supports pupils and staff in our school.

He is a miniature labradoodle who lives with Mr Haylock and his family, but will come into school on most days. As he is still a puppy he will have limited interactions with children. Training can take around 18 months so at the moment he is a ‘School Dog in Training’ while he settles into the school community and is trained to meet the high standards expected of him. We expect him to be fully trained by September 2021.

Buddy is based in the Deputy Headteacher’s office, but will often be seen on a lead with Mr Haylock around school. Eventually, Buddy will be used as a dog to provide therapy, motivate and read with children in both the main stream and specialist autistic provision.

Buddy was specifically chosen to be a ‘School Dog’. Labradoodles are a breed of dog that is known to be good with children and have the correct temperament to work as a therapy dog. Labradoodles are a low-shedding breed of dog and considered allegy-friendly and hypoallergenic, they are also considered to be good with helping humans and are great dogs for people with autism, depression, or physical disabilities. Buddy is a sweet, attentive and friendly puppy. His auntie is an experienced therapy dog working in Essex schools.

It has been proven that working and playing with a dog improves children’s social skills and self-esteem. Many studies have been undertaken that give credit to the benefits of dogs in school. There is no better place to educate our children on how to treat animals than that of the school environment. Animals in schools can encourage children to respect all life, teach responsibility, motivate those children who are often not that attentive, help calm children down and improve academic achievement.

In addition to this, if children are wary of dogs, they can be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fears, through the presence of a specially trained dog in school.

Buddy has been fully risk assessed but if you have any questions, concerns or reservations then please do contact the school for further information.