St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School "Together, through our words and actions, our work and play,We point towards Christ, each and every day"

Bailey - Our School Dog

A School Dog


School dogs and Animal-Assisted Education is becoming very popular in schools across the country. 

Research shows that benefit’s of having a school dog include the:

  • Cognitive development- companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving, game- playing and can improve reading skills
  • Emotional development- a school dog improves self-esteem, and acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
  • Physical development- interaction with a pet reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, and gives motivation to move, walk, and stimulate the senses.
  • Environmental benefits- a dog in school contributes towards the creation of a home-style environment, with all the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
  • Social benefits- a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, well-being, developing social skills, and focused integration with others

Bailey - our school dog

Bailey joined the headteacher's family when he was 8 weeks old and has been raised around children young and old in a very busy household. He has spent the first few months of his life mastering his basic training and graduated to more advanced training with Mullenscote Training Centre in Quarley. Bailey has now been accepted onto the PAWS Therapy Dog certification programme the UK's first comprehensive programme that will equip Bailey with everything he needs to know and do to deliver safe and effective animal-assisted education in school.


Bailey has spent the last 12 months getting to know the sights and smells of the school during the school holidays, and with his enrollment onto the therapy course, is now ready to begin coming into school during term time. Initially, Bailey will be learning to meet and greet the staff after the children have gone home so they will not see him very often. This helps Bailey to slowly acclimatize to the busy working environment of a school so he can successfully support our children as a school dog.


Things to know about Bailey:

  • His visits will start small - 30 minutes, building up slowly over the coming year to half days then possibly full days
  • He will always be on a short lead and in the company of an adult
  • He is crate-trained and will have quiet time in his crate throughout the day to rest. But also, if a child/adult doesn't want to interact with him, he will happily lie in his crate with a toy.
  • He will not be allowed around the children when they are eating
  • He has been trained to go to the toilet around the back of the staff carpark away from all spaces the children use.
  • Bailey has full public liability insurance and a comprehensive risk assessment


I hope you are as excited as we are in school - it feels like such a long journey since we started looking for a dog to deliver animal-assisted education. If you have any questions, as always, catch Mrs Whatley on the playground.

How do I greet Bailey?

How will I know if Bailey is in school?