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Primary and Nursery School

The School Dog - Joey

My name is Joey and I am a Cockapoo. My owner is Ms Pugh (I call her mummy), but during the day I stay at school. At first I was shy but now I am getting to know lots of the staff and children, and getting lots of cuddles.

I will be a regular visitor to classrooms and some children will also be working individually or in small groups with Joey to support their learning.

On this page I will post pictures of me and my adventures, so be sure to visit regularly to see what I've been up to...

Here is some more information about me


How does Joey help the children?

The value of pet therapy is widely accepted as a powerful aid to communication and motivation. Research has shown that companion dogs can improve the well-being of children reducing their anxiety levels by making the school environment happier and a more enjoyable place to be. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally; a dog can motivate and encourage their participation, increase their understanding of responsibility, develop empathy and nurturing skills and improve their behaviour and self-esteem. Children cannot fail in any way in their relationship with a dog; they do not judge or condemn and offer unconditional affection. Children will learn the principles of good pet ownership and be taught how to handle dogs safely and responsibly; they will take great enjoyment from interaction with the dog.


The rationale to make the decision to have a school dog was as follows: to have a dog that the children could learn how to care for, interact safely around and also benefit their social and emotional development. Joey is the Headteacher’s dog. He lives with Ms Pugh in her home, at her own expense, and he is kept up-to-date with his immunisations. Joey is a Cockapoo a mixed-breed dog that is the cross between Cocker Spaniel and a poodle, which makes him hypoallergenic. It also makes him very sociable, well-tempered and clever.


Benefits of having a School Dog


Some of the benefits of having a school dog include:

  • a calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties
  • encouraging expression and participation in quieter children
  • teaching children to nurture and respect life
  • motivating children to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals
  • fostering a sense of responsibility


The school has carried out a detailed risk assessment which will be reviewed annually and the impact of a school dog will be evaluated by the Senior Leadership Team and reported to the Governing Board.