Cowley’s Therapy Dogs

Cowley has two therapy dogs, Rolo and Gatsby. Both are very friendly Cockapoos who are an integral part of our school community.

Below we have set out the benefits of a school dog, and tried to address concerns you may have.

Evidence indicates that benefits include:

  • Cognitive – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving and game-playing
  • Social – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing and focused interaction with others
  • Emotional – a school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
  • Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
  • Environmental – a dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
  • Reading – reading to dogs has been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect the dog’s presence has on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical. This comforting environment helps to nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence to read aloud.

What are the benefits of having a school dog?

Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of therapy dogs in schools. Therapy dogs have been working in schools for the past 8 years across the UK. However, they have been commonplace in schools in the USA and Australia for many years.

What will the therapy dogs do each day?

Rolo and Gatsby will have a timetable and will spend some time in lessons. They will also support individual students and attend suitable trips, like Quinta, as well as attending parents’ evenings and open evenings.

Who will look after the therapy dogs?

Rolo and Gatsby will be looked after by a member of staff and their family at evenings, weekends and holidays.

What if I am allergic to dogs?

A risk assessment will be completed and you will not be required to spend any time with the dogs.

What if I am scared of dogs?

The dogs will be gradually introduced to students and no student will be required to spend time with the dog if they are frightened or worried

I still have questions

If you have any concerns regarding this, then please email with the heading “School Dogs”.