As a school community we pride ourselves on our ability to finding innovative ways to maximise student engagement. For many students, including those with disabilities and/or trauma backgrounds, a therapy dog can provide a comforting and calming presence.
Our Therapy Dog is called Snoop. Snoop is owned by our Head of Student Support, Lara Collingwood. Lara and Snoop have completed Therapy Dog training with Positive Response Dog training (organisation that trains Mater Hospital dogs).
What is a Therapy Dog?
Therapy dogs are not Service Dogs. Service Dogs are trained to provide specific support for individuals with disabilities such as visual or hearing difficulties, seizure disorders, mobility challenges, and/or diabetes. They should not be touched or handled by anyone other than their owner.
Therapy dogs provide comfort and companionship to many. They are temperament assessed, complete advanced training with their owner and are required to have an annual review to maintain accreditation. The role of a Therapy/Education Support Dog is to react and respond to people and their environment, under the guidance and direction of their owner/handler. For example, an individual might be encouraged to gently pat or talk to a dog to teach sensitive touch or help a student to calm.
More information about Snoop Dog and Therapy Dogs