The school is getting a school dog

(559 Posts)
Worriedaboutthedoggy Fri 10-Jan-20 23:27:50

The school had sent out a newsletter today that they are getting a school dog. The letter has all the positives mentioned - they are getting it from a reputable breeder and good bloodlines, it is a hypoallergenic breed (labradoodle), it will be staying in a family environment when off duty (presumably with a member of staff), it will teach the children about the importance of caring for someone - but I still am feeling a bit weird about it, can't put my finger on why exactly.

I am not sure about the impact on the dog - won't it be stressed by the usual playground ruckus? What if it turns out to be wrong temperament?

I am also ashamed to admit that one aspect that concerns me is financial. The average lifetime cost of keeping a dog in the UK (according to google) is around £18K, and I can't help feeling that there are better ways to spend these money (the school is currently fundraising for quite basic things).

Please do tell me I am BU and a total killjoy, and please do tell me your positive stories.

OP’s posts: |
CactusAndCacti Fri 10-Jan-20 23:30:55

My children's senior school has a school dog, she is quite lovely. We don't hear much about her day to day though.

Stompythedinosaur Fri 10-Jan-20 23:31:00

When I've seen schools with a dog before it has basically been the pet of a member of staff that they brought in to work, and was funded by the person who owned the dog.

OnTheEdgeOfTheNight Fri 10-Jan-20 23:32:32

I don't like it either.
They could ask the schemes that visit care homes etc to visit the school.
As you say, who's looking after it? What if that staff member leaves, will the dog go with the family it knows (hopefully) or will it be looking for a new home.
Who's looking after the dog during the school day? Which member of staff has time during the school day?
How will they ensure the dog can retreat to a quiet area when the dog wishes?
Add you've said, dogs are a large financial commitment too.

There'll be a hundred other things to consider too.

BrickTop999 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:33:36

You are being totally unreasonable
Total killjoy
...... introduce some “save the planet crap” that MN’s usually troll out and you’ve hit the jackpot !

Comefromaway Fri 10-Jan-20 23:34:44

Ds’s school has a school dog. She’s so cute. Also a labradoodle and being specially trained. She has her own twitter account!

In the day she “lives” in the SEN/behaviour support departments but was bought by and belongs to a member of staff so costs the school nothing.

No negatives I can think of, only positives.

EduCated Fri 10-Jan-20 23:37:01

I worry that it’s something of a fad - there seems to be schools doing this left right and centre. Whilst I’m sure some have sensible plans in place, I do wonder whether most have truly thought through the implications of having a dog for the next 15 years or so, and what will happen when it isn’t the latest ‘thing’ to do.

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Comefromaway Fri 10-Jan-20 23:39:37

As you say, who's looking after it? school bursar,

What if that staff member leaves, will the dog go with the family it knows (hopefully) or will it be looking for a new home.

I don’t know what the plan is there.

Who's looking after the dog during the school day? Which member of staff has time during the school day?

SEN staff mostly.

How will they ensure the dog can retreat to a quiet area when the dog wishes? dog lives in SEN department and is taken to various classes/groups. School time was built up gradually.

Sonichu Fri 10-Jan-20 23:41:32

" it is a hypoallergenic breed (labradoodle)"

They do know there is zero guarantee that this dog will be "hypoallergenic" right?

Wildthyme Fri 10-Jan-20 23:41:33

My DS's SEN school had 2 labradors and they were brilliant at helping the children calm down. If a kid needed time out from class they could take a dog for a walk around the playing field alongside a TA. The dogs used to wander from classroom to classroom and were never much of a distraction to the children. Their dog bed and other dog things were in the head teacher's office.

GreenTulips Fri 10-Jan-20 23:42:15

Whilst I think it’s another good idea, I can’t help but think this is another thing parents should be teaching that school now need to.

Kids lack empathy etc so schools get a dog to address it.

What also concerns me is most charities won’t allow adoption with kids under 7/8 more for the dogs sanity. So how would it fair in a school full of kid poking and prodding it.

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Fri 10-Jan-20 23:42:22

Someone did this (or tried to) were I used to work (not a school)

Tried to make their Dog the Office Dog.

Except they didn't care that other people might not want that, were extremely intrusive and imposing with the dog, and often it prohibited them from doing their job, or the dog created inconvenience for others such as shitting in the building.

When it started they tried to dress it up as an altruistic act for everyone's benefit but it was blindingly obvious it was to satisfy their own needs and convenience and was in fact extremely selfish.

Separately the person themselves was an absolute horror, thankfully has left and I hope never to lay eyes on them again. A truly nasty individual.

Needless to say their Office Dog strategy didn't last. I hate things like this because they are basically an imposition dressed up as a nice thing, and you are the Fun Sponge if you dissent.

Not everyone likes dogs, and for some reason a certain kind of dog owner is really obtusely blind to this.

NYnachos Fri 10-Jan-20 23:44:46

We have this, it belongs to a member of staff. I can see the advantages, but I've known a couple of children who are extremely allergic to dog hair - even if the whole house is hoovered and deep cleaned, they get very wheezy - what happens if such children join the school? Would they get rid of the dog? Or the child?

Ifonly86 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:45:55

My children’s school has a dog, he lives in the library (goes home with the caretaker overnight) and children can have quiet one on one time with him if they’re feeling down etc, he brought so much progress in children who need extra support and they all love having him around. I agree about the costs and how a pet is a luxury, but they do say animals bring the best comfort and stroking a dog relieves stress.

Chihaha Fri 10-Jan-20 23:45:58

I would ask what their insurance plans are - normal pet insurance doesnt cover it for your place of work.

isittheholidaysyet Fri 10-Jan-20 23:47:48

If someone had put a dog in school when I was a kid, they would have had me in tears and scared and on edge all day.
No more learning, I would have been too worried about making sure the dog was nowhere near me.

SpruceTree Fri 10-Jan-20 23:49:03

Dog ownership is very bad for the environment. We are in a climate emergency - no one should be buying dogs except for service dogs. Dogs are a nice luxury but one we should do without for the sake of the planet.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/nypost.com/2017/08/04/your-dogs-carbon-pawprint-is-really-big/amp/

elephantoverthehill Fri 10-Jan-20 23:49:10

We've got a school cat. We don't own it, it just likes wandering in. Maybe a better pet solution?

Icequeen01 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:49:58

I work in a special school and we have a little dog. She is owned by one of the teachers and was not bought specifically for the school. She is a darling little thing and is fabulous in calming our children down when they are struggling. The children are not allowed to pick her up (she is small enough for them to easily do this) but they often come and lie with her and stroke/talk to her. She is not allowed to roam around the school and she stays in the offices so always has someone with her and is always supervised.

She is a total gem of a dog and I know no dog is 100% bomb proof but this one is as near as you will ever get to it. She is therapeutic not only for the children but also for the staff when they have had a tough day.

Stonerosie67 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:53:51

Dog ownership is very bad for the environment. We are in a climate emergency - no one should be buying dogs except for service dogs. Dogs are a nice luxury but one we should do without for the sake of the planet.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Oh wait, you're serious??????? Noooo 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Worriedaboutthedoggy Fri 10-Jan-20 23:56:10

Thank you all. I understand that it is the school who is getting a dog and not a member of staff with a permission to bring it to work - but I might be wrong, it is not very clear from the letter. In the area we live (quite villagey), it looks like all families who wanted a dog already got one (or more).

I am probably just not that much of a dog person, also from a culture which is not too keen on dogs as house pets.

OP’s posts: |
HeddaGarbled Fri 10-Jan-20 23:56:23

Yet another example of humans treating pets like toys whilst claiming to be animal lovers, IMO:

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dogs-get-stressed-out-by-young-children-k9t8c6qzn

Stonerosie67 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:57:20

We don't have a dog at our school (yet) but having seen the effect they have in a couple of other local schools, it's something we're giving serious consideration to.
When you see a child in a total meltdown calming down at the side of the dog, or watching children who never pick up a book normally clamouring to read to the dog, you see the positive effect and it's tremendous.

Elderflower14 Fri 10-Jan-20 23:57:49

@SpruceTree 🍪

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Fri 10-Jan-20 23:58:54

*If someone had put a dog in school when I was a kid, they would have had me in tears and scared and on edge all day.
No more learning, I would have been too worried about making sure the dog was nowhere near me.*

Quite.

Yet The Entitled Dog Owner would say :

"Oh, my dog is soft he wouldn't hurt a fly"

"Oh, he's only playing"

"Oh, he's just being friendly"

And look at you like you are evil incarnate for not being happy to jumped on, barked at, sniffed, licked or otherwise have your personal space and boundaries violated.

I don't hate dogs, far from it, I've known lots of lovely dogs.

I loathe Entitled Dog Owners with a PASSION.

And I did before I met Horrendous Colleague but she amplified it times 100

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