Bringing the love and benefits of Therapy dogs to your school, university or workplace, Australia wide.
Here are some responses to our most commonly asked questions about Therapy Dogs and Animal Assisted Intervention.
Yes, potentially! But you can't implement a successful Therapy Dog program or engage in Animal Assisted Intervention without proper planning and certification.
It is important for the safety and wellbeing of your beloved animal, as well as the students and staff at your school, that you engage in appropriate planning and training before you commence working with your dog in a school, university or other facility.
After all you wouldn't be ready to be an Accountant just because you had a calculator, similarly, you won't be ready to facilitate a successful Therapy Dog program in a school just because you have a dog. Let us help you prepare so you, your dog and your school can enjoy the experience!
Fortunately the industry continues to grow and develop, and we now have access to National and International standards and guidelines to inform our planning.
Unfortunately pleading ignorance is not a great legal defence if something goes wrong. There is really no excuse for not meeting your students' duty of care. If you choose to increase the risk to your students by having a dog at school, you are also responsible for putting appropriate planning in place to reduce and/or mitigate these risks.
We are here to help you navigate these guidelines and set up a successful arrangement at your school.
Therapy dogs aren't simply 'bought'. They are usually the family pet of a dedicated (school) staff member who has recognised the benefit of using animals to support student coping and engagement, and they believe their dog has a suitable temperament. This person needs to be committed to undergoing relevant training, assessment and ongoing re-assessment to maintain certification.
Therapy dogs need to have an appropriate temperament. There are services who can support you to determine if your dog would be suitable to train with you as a Therapy team.
There are many reasons why schools should not purchase dogs as 'school property'. Please contact to discuss this should your school be considering this arrangement.
If you are keen to embark on the journey of introducing Animal Assisted Education into your school, you may need support to convince others.
As consultants we can support your discussions with your school leadership team, by alleviating any concerns, answering questions they may have and supporting their understanding of the benefits, as well as the careful planning and strategies which can be implemented to minimise risk and introduce a successful and safe Therapy Dog program to your school.
When it comes to the wellbeing of children and animals it is always best we avoid unnecessary mistakes or mishaps when introducing a new Therapy Dog program.
Learn from those who have gone before you and have navigated the complexities of introducing an animal to a school environment. Have your questions answered and have success from the start!
We would like you to feel fully supported and confident in your new role within the school whilst ensuring that your school community and animal are happy and comfortable as you navigate the new world of Animal Assisted Intervention in schools.
Like any new activity or skill, it is important you appropriately prepare for it, especially an activity which poses a risk to the safety and wellbeing of both people and animals.
There are significant consequences to your dog (or animal) as well as for you and your school community should something go wrong. So you want to ensure you can engage in Animal Assisted Intervention in a safe way to ensure it is a success from the start! Thus planning and training your Therapy Dog is a must! Rest assured there is support available. We are here to answer your questions and help you along the way.
It is strongly advised that you do not take your dog to school until you have completed careful planning as well as demonstrated your competence in handling your dog in a manner which is safe for a school context. This includes understanding your dogs stress signals, managing their energy and enthusiasm, as well as managing and understanding the expectations others hold for your dog in the school context.
It is your responsibility to minimise any risks or negative impacts to your dog and school personnel (including students) and you can't do that without appropriate planning and training. Implementing a Therapy Dog program is serious business and requires careful planning.
No, Therapy Dogs in Education is focused on supporting the planning and implementation of Therapy Dog programs in Australian schools. We do explain the training options available in our workshops so you can find a solution which is best suited to your circumstances and team goals.
It is important that we all stick to what we do best. We can provide you with the details of some training providers who offer specialist training and once you are ready, we can assist you to plan and implement your school-based program.
Although I may be able to assist your school to navigate requests for Assistance, Service or Companion dogs for students at your school, this is not our core business. We are focused on supporting the planning and implementation of Therapy Dog programs in Australian schools.
Please get in contact and we will endeavour to assist you directly or point you in the right direction for further guidance.