Teasel meets year 6 - first day as a dog helping kids dog.

Here is the letter sent to parents: 

Dogs Helping Kids: Changing Lives – One child at a time


Dear Year 6 Parent,

Today your child was visited in class by Teasel a DHK dog in training.  Teasel is a six month old black Labrador.  Before Teasel came into the classroom the children heard a talk about what they could expect from Teasel at this stage in his training (He is six months old and right at the start of his formal DHK training although he has attended socialisation classes sine he was 12 weeks old).  The year 6 children were asked to ignore him and continue with their lessons as normal so that he can become accustomed to the classroom environment.  Every year 6 listened really well and followed the instructions.  As time goes on Teasel will spend more directed time with them and begin to hear them read, support them in developing their values and give them someone to listen to as they approach transition to secondary school. Some children had the opportunity to take Teasel for a short walk in our playing fields today under full supervision and others will also be given this opportunity at other times.

The DHK School Dogs

  • Training for each DHK School Dog takes up to and over 2 years. Each dog has to pass 6 very difficult assessments – 4 training assessments, one library/classroom assessment and one read assessment.
  • Before a dog starts on our DHK training programme they have to have already reached a very high standard of training and they are tested on training and temperament before they start the programme.
  • Each Certified DHK School Dog wears a special orange harness and coat, a special lead, a collar with their name & DHK on and their owner carries identification of their School Dog on them at all times.
  • Each Certified DHK School Dog is trained to work in 4 roles within the educational environment:-

1) Classroom Canine – these dogs will chill out in the classroom whilst the children are having their lesson helping to motivate and encourage the children.

2) Listening Canine – these dogs will help children with their reading on a one-one basis providing unconditional acceptance and a sense of comfort and love.

3) Reward Canine – these dogs spend time teaching children about training, grooming and other similar activities, whilst helping a child’s social skills and self esteem.

4) Therapy Canine – these dogs work on a one-one basis with children who have been bullied, abused and have emotional issues, or are even scared of dogs.

I hope your child enjoyed finding out more about Teasel and how he may help them at school. They were all fantastically well behaved and really lived the school values.