Our School Dog
Blisworth School has a school dog called Daisy, born in 2016, and she is a Labradoodle which is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle. She is loved by all the children here and is an integral part of school life. She has been a school dog since she was a puppy and received much training to ensure she is very well behaved with good doggy manners She loves children and has the perfect temperament for school life. Having been in school since she was 11 weeks old, she has grown up in this environment and is happy, calm and settled.
Daisy is also a PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog. PAT dogs have all passed an assessment and are able to visit many settings to give comfort and support to the people who use those settings. Daisy currently visits some local preschools and nursery and she enjoys every minute - as do the children! Information about PAT dogs can be found here.
At Blisworth, she spends much of her day in the offices, visits classrooms on the lead and attends Friday assemblies. Children can choose to visit her at break and lunchtimes and help in her training. With written parental permission, older children can come and walk her at lunchtimes.
Daisy often reads with children, sits with them if they are upset or quietly sleeps in her bed (or on the settee with the children!) when they visit Mrs Reed's office. You will find her listed amongst the staff on the Who's Who page as she contributes to the experience children have at Blisworth.
All children at school are taught how to approach dogs and how to respond to unwanted behaviour. They are taught that they must ask if they wish to pet Daisy and know how Daisy is trained to greet people. This is an important life-lesson for the children.
We understand that it is not possible for all families to have a family dog and therefore we hope this is an opportunity for children to have a ‘share’ in a dog and gain from the relationship and contact on a regular basis.
By googling 'our school dog' you will see how many dogs there are in schools
Who is Daisy’s legal owner and who pays for her costs?
Daisy's legal owner is Mrs Reed who will bear the costs associated with her. The school budget will be unaffected.
Is the dog from a reputable breeder?
Yes. Much research into breeders was completed and Daisy came from a reputable source. The litter was living within a home and not kept in kennels during their early weeks. Daisy’s mother is a gentle, relaxed dog and all this has ensured Daisy has had a good start in life.
Will the dog be a distraction?
Daisy is based in the office/head’s area. The office is separate from the classrooms/playground area to ensure she only comes into contact with children who are happy to have contact under strict supervision.
How will you ensure the dog remains an asset to the school?
A well behaved dog is a joy to have around a school and brings a sense of calmness and community. This is what Daisy provides. Daisy was brought into school from a very early age so that she could be moulded and trained. With professional guidance from an experienced dog trainer, Mrs Reed has trained Daisy to a high level.
Has a risk assessment been undertaken?
Yes. We have carefully considered having a dog in school and sought advice, including from other schools that successfully have a school dog.
How will the dog be toileted to ensure hygiene for all?
In the interest of health and hygiene Daisy is toileted off site and is not allowed outside onto the school grounds. She is fully toilet trained.
Will Daisy be allowed on the school playground?
The dog will not go onto the school playground or school grass at any time.
How is the dog’s welfare considered?
Daisy is walked before school and in the local area at least once during the school day. Daisy has a bed and free access to water in the Head’s office. Children can only approach her after asking permission and staff know what signs to look for if Daisy is uncomfortable or stressed. If Daisy is unwell she will not come into school.
How will this be managed where children have allergies?
One of the advantages of labradoodles is that they are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs; this means they are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction in humans. Daisy does not shed and so has an ideal coat for a school dog. However, children will not need to touch her, 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.
My child is frightened of dogs; how will you manage this?
Access to Daisy is carefully managed and supervised and children do not need to have close contact with her. 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.
"I love reading to Daisy - she lays her head on my lap and really listens hard!"
"Daisy is funny in assembly. I watch her chew her Kong and she watches us all when we sing."