Across the country more and more schools are inviting specialist therapy dogs into their classrooms. Studies have shown that there are many benefits for students. In this blog post we explore more about therapy dogs...

What is a therapy dog?

There's often confusion that service dogs and therapy dogs are the same but they're not. A service dog is trained to aid those with specific disabilities or visual impairments whereas therapy dogs provide comfort and support. Therapy dogs are taught social skills and to use their social instincts in order to provide a number of benefits to individuals in their company. 

 

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What are the benefits of a therapy dog in the classroom?

Research has shown that having a therapy dog visit your classroom on a regular basis can help to improve concentration and problem-solving skills while reducing feelings of anxiousness, stress and depression. Just by being in the presence of a therapy dog increases oxytocin and helps to lower stress hormones, like cortisol. Therapy dogs are loveable creatures so it's also said that they can help pupils to develop and understand their emotions too.

The classroom can be an overwhelming environment for students, particularly those who are autistic, studies have shown that having a dog in the classroom will create a calming and relaxing atmosphere for pupils.

 

 

Therapy dogs are not for everyone

?While therapy dogs are specifically trained to do their job it's important to remember that not all students like dogs, and some may even have a fear of them due to past encounters. You may also have students who are allergic and evidently won't be able to be present in the therapy session.