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Educational Support Dog

What is an Educational Support Dog?

Educational Support Dogs can be a fantastic addition to any learning environment.The dogs can provide support to students in a number of ways, including offering emotional support, recognising signs of anxiety, and helping improve concentration and communication skills as well as reducing the incidence of antisocial behaviour and bullying.

The Benson and Lake Illawarra High School Story

Martin Moore, Head Teacher of the Support Unit at Lake Illawarra High School applied for an Educational Support Dog in 2012. 

He is so pleased with how Benson is doing at the school.

''[He is] positive in many ways, helping students to socialise, to accept responsibility, be a calming influence on the students, and give an incentive to attend school on a more regular basis, and to assist with their emotional and physical well-being, through bonding and caring for the dog.''

Benson helps out in four classes, helping students with a range of different disabilities and emotional needs. When the school day is over, he goes home with teacher Ryan Olender, who gives Benson a normal family life outside of work.

How can I get an Educational Support Dog?

Assistance Dogs Australia has a few requirements that must be met before an application can be accepted.

  • The facility must demonstrate the need for an Assistance Dog.
  • Applicants must demonstrate proof of support and commitment of facility management.
  • The facility needs to provide a safe environment, ongoing care and meet all future expenses associated with the dog’s care.
  • All staff within the facility must undertake a basic dog handling course (provided free of charge by Assistance Dogs Australia).
  • The facility must provide one or more staff carers who will coordinate day to day care of the dog and must provide monthly reports to an Assistance Dogs trainer on the behaviour, welfare and activities of the dog.
  • The facility needs to provide Assistance Dogs Australia with quarterly veterinarian reports on general health and weight of the dog.
  • Annual vaccinations and regular flea treatment, worming and heartworm control must be organised by the facility.
  • Any change of staff carer must be notified to Assistance Dogs Australia and new contract completed.

To enquire about an Educational Support Dog please contact us. 

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