Canine Comprehension offers dog-assisted programs which aim to support students' mental health and well-being. A Canine Comprehension handler (tutor) and their Animal Assisted Therapy dog attend the school as an incursion and deliver one of the four programs offered: Communication on the inside and out, Friendship and Responsibility, Beyond Lockdowns, and Grief and Loss. These sessions explore strategies to assist with anxiety, mindfulness techniques, and interpersonal and social skills, including listening, team building and verbal communication skills. The presence of a therapy dog is intended to calm students, allowing them to open up about their difficulties and experiences and discuss them with the tutor.
Who are the programs for? We successfully engage students P-12 with a broad spectrum of needs and personalities. We welcome special needs schools and adapt curricula to support their needs.
What we do: Each program has specific learning criteria, workbooks, mindfulness resources and a rigorous evaluation process.
How many students: Each program booked works with the same group of 8-10 students for 50 minutes per week (or a flexible version) for eight weeks in the term. We will work with you to accommodate the school's needs if a loose version is required.
Where and when are programs held: In consultation with your school, we will find the best time and location to fit the school and students' needs. We usually require a classroom-sized space where tables can be moved and access an outside area.
We expect: Permission forms to be submitted to the tutor via the school by week 2 of the program at the latest. A school representative is to be present in each session.