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Therapy Dogs

Following a vote, where 93% of pupils were in favour, the use of therapy dogs have been introduced to Woodlane High School. 






What is a therapy dog?

  • A dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, hospices, disaster areas, mainstream and special schools.
  • The aim of a therapy dog is to release stress and tension.
  • Some young people also read to therapy dogs, building their confidence in reading.

What are the essential personality traits needed for therapy dogs?

  • Exceptional tolerance of handling by strangers.
  • No sensitivity to rough stroking or petting.
  • Excellent obedience levels.
  • The ability to walk on the lead without pulling.
  • Tolerance of unusual smells and sites, such as wheelchairs, medical devices.
  • No fear of unsteady movement in humans.
  • A calm disposition.
  • Tolerance of other animals.
  • Complete lack of food or toy aggression and guarding behaviours.


Therapy dog handlers

  • A handler must also be suitable for the role.
  • When dogs are training to be therapy dogs, their handler is also assessed.
  • The handler must control their dog in a positive manner.
  • The handler must be able to recognise any signs of fear or stress in their dogs.

What happens in a therapy visit?

  • Patients or young people are invited to stroke, play or spend time with the dog.
  • Some may choose to simply watch the dog play.
  • Some may read to the dog.

Please navigate the links to meet Pandora and Otis Woodlane’s therapy dogs.