Dogs have been referred to as man’s best friend for the longest time, and even those who do not own or live with them love seeing them around or playing with them. They provide support, companionship and love, and evidence shows their presence has numerous other benefits. These benefits have led to therapy dogs being introduced into schools in different capacities. Let’s learn how having them in schools benefits students.
They Reduce Stress
Research has shown that having dogs in schools can provide emotional, physical and social support for the students who interact with them. Further, their presence can reduce cortisol levels. Less stress supports better overall well-being, while also improving memories and the ability to remember information. The result is better learning outcomes.
Schools and teachers can also use therapy dogs to improve engagement while reading and learning. The right canine assisted learning programmes lead to better literacy levels and improved confidence.
They Reduce Absenteeism
Missing school for significant periods can do a lot of harm to a student’s prospects and learning outcomes. By making learning more exciting, therapy dogs can reduce absenteeism. The reason is that younger and older learners alike will want to go to school because they know their furry friend will be there.
Besides helping with absenteeism, their presence also reduces incidences of bad behaviour and student aggression.
They Improve Social Interactions
Pets are excellent icebreakers and often bridge the gap between those who love them. They also do the same in schools by creating an environment that boosts student interactions. This has the added benefit of improving student self-esteem as they learn how to interact with each other and share their experiences.
Teachers are also using them to enhance teamwork among students and improve their problem-solving skills, especially when playing classroom games. Companies like The Dog Mentor can help schools and teachers incorporate and embed therapy dog programmes into their classes and curriculum. You can visit The Dog Mentor to learn how to make this possible and available for your students.
Therapy Dogs Can Improve Student Moods
Another benefit that cannot be understated is the dogs’ ability to improve students’ moods. Their role is critical for students with special needs who may struggle with anger or social anxiety. In doing this, they also help improve relationships between students and those between students and their teachers.
They Improve Class Attentiveness
Many people think having dogs in schools would be disruptive, and it is easy to see where they are coming from. However, they receive special training to remain attentive and encourage students to do the same, too.
These dogs listen attentively and might be involved in other activities that improve attention. For example, some schools ask students to read to them, helping them learn to read faster and easily and to understand the material in front of them.
Therapy docs create a supportive, welcoming, and interactive school environment. They help students see better learning outcomes, learn to interact with others, and find an outlet for their stress. These dogs are also trained to provide support and assist students in being attentive in class.