Therapy Dogs in Educational Settings: What do they do?

Is it even beneficial to have therapy dogs in educational settings? Well, dogs are incredible pets. Affectionate, playful, full of energy, and good vibes, dogs can turn an awful day into an excellent one. It seems that they sense when their owners are not feeling well or are stressed and their only goal is to make you feel great. Dogs have been present in humans’ lives for a very long time.

Pets have become more and more numerous around the world but dogs are more than pets. They come with huge benefits and they contribute positively to your wellbeing and mental health.

A lot of dogs are trained to become service dogs, while many works as therapy dogs. The difference between these two is easy to make. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks that help people with disabilities. On the other hand, therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort and support in demanding moments, thus helping owners cope with stress. But nowadays you can see more and more dogs in different places such as hospitals, disastrous areas, memory care centers, as well as, educational settings too.

Which dog breed is the best for educational settings? There are various breeds that could be ideal for you to keep as a therapy dog in educational settings such as Poodle, Bichon Frise, Golden Retriever, Doodle dogs, Border Collie, and many others. On the other side, there are many lovely breeds that are not meant to be therapy dogs such as Siberian Husky, Lycan Shepherd, Rottweiler, Cane Corso, and a few others.

Students who are learning in college also get therapy dogs. So, what do these dogs exactly do? How can they help students who are getting an education? Let’s find all the answers below but first, check this video featuring a full-time therapy dog in a Portland school.

Combine therapy and your assignments

Student life can sometimes become overwhelming. Essays and assignments can pile up and they can begin to stress you. Stress can be helpful in low quantities because it helps you prepare for what follows. However, students usually feel high quantities of stress, which can affect their mental health and functioning and may lead to unwanted results.

Reducing Stress Levels

Studies have proven that therapy dogs are associated with lower stress levels. They are especially helpful in moments or situations that might be perceived as extremely stressful by the owner. The presence of the dog lowers cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Thus, you will feel calmer and more relaxed which improves your academic performance and educational experience. Increased stress levels can affect your health badly if not treated on time.

Positive Emotions and Attitudes

What is another benefit of having therapy dogs in school? Well, they foster positive emotions and attitudes. This is especially important in an educational setting that might be stressful to the student. Anxiety and depression are two of the most met mental disorders students usually have. They might feel overwhelmed, lack self-confidence, and put a lot of weight on them.

Thus, a therapy dog makes you feel better, especially in stressful situations such as a visit to the hospital, being in the classroom, and so on. Having a positive attitude towards a specific setting could change your entire experience. By boosting positive emotions and attitudes, they boost your well-being too.

Higher Learning Outcomes

Some might not see the connection between therapy dogs and high learning outcomes. Yes, dogs can make you feel good and let you put your problems aside when you play with them. But they are great in educational settings too.

As they boost positive emotions and well-being, a chain reaction is triggered. Wellbeing leads to higher performance and better results in school. It is also associated with a high level of academic engagement which promotes learning. On top of this, therapy dogs come with another benefit that leads to higher learning outcomes.

We all know reading is important. However, some children and people have a hard time reading aloud coherently. Studies show that therapy dogs can help students read better and improve their reading skills. Even though research still needs to be done, the results we have until now are promising.

Final Thoughts

Dogs change your life. Whether you adopt a puppy or an old dog, it will be a decision that will surely change your life. And if you adopt a dog from a shelter, it will not only benefit you but you’d also be saving a dog’s life. Along with that, caring for a dog comes with a lot of benefits. They alleviate loneliness, promote social interaction, and are great in educational settings.

They can help students perform and focus better just by being there in a stressful situation. It may be the support many of them need. A therapy dog will make you feel more relaxed which fosters creativity, engagement, positive emotions, and attitudes.

Make sure you get the right dog that suits your timetable and the school premises or the outcome may be the opposite.