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Mentor Dogs

Many of our learners at Gretton School really enjoy walking and playing with dogs and find it an effective way of calming and regulating.

To that end, in May 2021, we collected Sherlock Bones (pictured below with the blonde fur) and joined forces with The Dog Mentor and set about successfully integrating Sherlock into our school.

What about allergies?

The Dog Mentor continues to work closely with us, they have great experience of working with schools to help get this right, particularly where learners might have a fear of dogs or allergies. The great news with allergies is that both school pups are hypoallergenic cockapoos so this can mean that their hair may not trigger allergies. However, we will ensure that people with allergies have the choice to not be with the dogs (some people who normally have allergies have been able to have doggy cuddles without being affected by their fur). 

A year on, in May 2022, we decided to have a dog on each of our sites to accommodate more of our learners who would benefit from time with them. Sherlock is mainly based at The Rectory site and Skyler (pictured below with black fur) is part of our Behaviour & Welfare Team on our Manor Farm site.

How do our learners benefit from time with our dogs?

Our learners can enjoy sessions with our pooches, on a referral basis. This could be by;

  • taking them for a walk with a member of staff

  • reading to them or just having some cuddle time

  • join a whole class and spend some lesson time with them


Sherlock will sometimes join in with English lessons (although he has to be reminded not to eat any work!)


Many of our learners really benefit from this calming intervention.

What if a learner is scared of dogs?

Any learners who may be nervous about dogs will be informed of their whereabouts and, over time, they may receive postcards and letters from the dogs to start to build a relationship with them. Learners will never be forced to spend time with our dogs, but we hope we could begin to alleviate any anxieties they may have.

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions document here for further information and please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about our charming canines.

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