School Therapy Dog

School Therapy Dog

We are a mainstream primary school with 5 classes for autistic children and we now have two School Therapy Dogs: Alfie & Steve, from My Canine Companion- Autism and Therapy Service and Alfies' first day at school was Monday, September 20th, 2021! It’s was a BIG surprise for all our boys! An even BIGGER surprise came in September 2023 when we receievd our second dog Steve.

Steve is our puppy in training and is part of the charity’s new therapy dogs in school programme. Alfie we believe he was the first therapy dog in a mainstream primary school in Cork and we feel very privileged to have been chosen to be part of the programme. We are especially delighted now given the impact of Covid-19 and school closures on children across the country. Having Alfie and Steve in our school is going to cause a huge ripple effect of positivity across all areas of school life from social and emotional skill development, anxiety management, behavioural support and so much more. It truly will have a holistic impact on everyone with benefits that will far exceed anything we can imagine.

Up until now dogs from My Canine Companion have gone directly to families and the benefits to the specific child who receives the dog and their families have been amazing. Now we have the potential to see and effect that level of change across more than 200 families in our school community and that is an absolutely fabulous feeling! We just cannot wait!

Training for the puppy and our school team will span 2 years per dog with regular classes for puppy training, constant access to group chats with dog training experts, and meet ups with other schools involved in the programme.

We, as a school truly believe in the benefits of school therapy dogs and that Alfie and Steve are going to be of massive support and assist to our school team throughout the school.

Listed below are just some of the positives to be gained:

• Lower people's blood pressure and stress levels.

• Increase levels of dopamine and serotonin.

• Improve physical well-being.

• Decrease anxiety.

• Dramatically increase positive mood.

• Ease social isolation and help children learn social skills.

• Help young readers gain confidence.

We also have setup two pages on social media to help highlighted Alfie’s, and now Steve's journeys and raise awareness around the potential benefits of therapy dogs. These pages were launched on Monday, September 21st, 2021 to coincide with Alfie's first day!

You can follow Alfie’s adventures on his own Facebook and Instagram page:

• Facebook:

• Instagram: @mccschooltherapydogalfie

This adventure started for our school over 3 years ago, like with all good ideas, it started over a cup of coffee in the office! Our school dog committee have been working away behind the scenes every since and we cannot wait to start the next part of our journey!

21 2024
Summer Holidays: 12 Noon Finish
28 2024
First Day of School
28 2024
October Mid-Term Break
20 2024
Christmas Holidays - 12 Noon Finish
23 2024
Christmas Holidays
Midleton CBS Primary School,
Co. Cork,
P25 EK13,

021 463 1419

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