Meet Mabel, Our School Dog in training here at Maple Cross JMI and Nursery, she is an educational assistance dog in training. Her training last three years and won’t fully start until she turns one and is a less excitable puppy.
She is a ‘tri-colour’ Beagle who is owned by and lives with our Headteacher Mrs Trickett, but comes into school most days. Some days she goes to work with Mr Trickett in London or is looked after by Mrs Trickett’s dad! She has attended weekly puppy classes and 1:1 puppy tuition at home as well as a strict regime that Mrs and Mr Trickett are following. Mabel and Mrs Trickett are working with Jo Hinds.
Mable is based in Mrs Trickett’s office and has her own crate and set of toys, but will often be seen on a lead with Mrs Trickett in classrooms and around school after the children have gone home. She has a designated toileting area away from where the children learn and play to ensure everyone is safe.
Mabel will be used as a dog to educate, provide therapy and listen to children read. It has been proven that working with a dog improves children’s social skills and self-esteem. Many studies have been undertaken that give credit to the benefits of dogs in the school. We also place great emphasis on using Mabel to educate children about how to approach, act around and train dogs. There is no better place to educate our children on how to treat animals than that of the school environment. Animals in schools can encourage children to respect all life, teach responsibility, motivate those children who are often not that attentive, help calm children down and improve academic achievement.
In addition to this, if children are wary of dogs, they can be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fears, through the presence of a specially trained dog in school.
Mabel has been fully risk assessed but if you have any questions, concerns or reservations then please do contact the school for further information.