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School dog - frequently asked questions

School Dog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q Who is the legal owner of the dog and who pays for its costs?

A The legal owner of the dog will be Mrs Noon; she will bear the costs associated with owning the dog.

Q Is the dog from a reputable breeder?

A Yes. The dog is from a home where both parents were seen and has been specifically chosen for its temperament.

Q Will the dog be a distraction?

A The dog will be kept in the Deputy Head Teacher’s office. The office is separate from the classrooms / playground area to ensure it only comes into contact with children who are happy to have contact and have parental permission for this, under strict supervision.  The dog will also have a space to spend time in the library where children can interact safely.

Q Has a risk assessment been undertaken?

A Yes, we have carefully considered having a dog in school and sought advice from many sources, including three consultations with an APBC Advanced Canine Behaviour Practitioner (reports available on request) and other schools that successfully have a school dog.

Q How will the dog be toileted to ensure hygiene for all?

A In the interest of health and hygiene our school dog will be toileted when taken out for short walks outside of the grounds or on the grass area behind the car park. Only staff members will clear this away appropriately. Our policy of no dogs in the playground is still applicable as we are unable to put effective control measures in place that guarantee temperament and safety when children come into unsupervised contact with unknown dogs.

Q How will the dog’s welfare be considered?

A The dog will only be in school on certain days; he will be walked regularly and given free time. The dog will be kept in Mrs Noon’s office and will only have planned and supervised contact with children and visitors. Stanley will wear a red harness to indicate that he may be available to work with children, this will be removed if he is taking a break. Signs for children will indicate this. He will have unlimited access to water. We will work carefully to ensure the dog’s welfare is always considered.

Q How will this be managed where children have allergies?

A Children will not need to touch the dog, which will relieve the possibility of allergic reactions. We already manage a number of allergies at school and this will be no different for children and adults that are allergic to dogs. Individual needs will always be met and we are happy to work with parents to put additional control measures in place for individual allergies.

Q My child is frightened of dogs; how will you manage this?

A Access to the dog is carefully managed and supervised and children do not need to have close contact with it unless permission for this has been given. We hope to work closely with parents of children who are fearful of dogs to alleviate their fear and to teach them how to manage this.