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The Dogs Trust warns dogs should not be used in schools as they might get ‘tired and stressed’

Do NOT use dogs in schools, animal charity warns after Education Secretary backed classroom pets

  • The Dogs Trust says classrooms might be a stressful environment for dogs
  • Damian Hinds praised the growing number of schools adopting ‘wellbeing’ dogs
  • He said dogs were ‘uplifting’ for children but not every school had to use them
  • Sir Anthony Seldon, a university vice-chancellor, called for a dog in every school 



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An animal charity has attacked the Education Secretary for backing schools which have classroom dogs, saying that it is not good for their welfare.

The Dogs Trust said animals may get ‘tired and stressed’ in schools because they are ‘noisy and unpredictable’.

It comes after Damian Hinds praised the growing number of schools adopting ‘wellbeing dogs’ to help children’s mental health.

Handlers at Dogs Trust Leeds, West Yorks, who provided round-the-clock care until these pups found their feet. The Dogs Trust said animals may get ‘tired and stressed’ in schools because they are ‘noisy and unpredictable’

Speaking at the University of Buckingham Ultimate Wellbeing conference on Thursday, he said dogs can be ‘uplifting’ for children – although he added that individual schools should decide whether to use them or not.

Sir Anthony Seldon, vice chancellor of Buckingham University, went one step further and called for a dog in every school. He said: ‘The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children is to have at least one dog in every single school in the country.’

However, the charity hit back at the suggestion, saying: ‘While being around dogs can have huge benefits, having a dog in the classroom needs to be equally enjoyable for the dog too.

Speaking at the University of Buckingham Ultimate Wellbeing conference on Thursday, he said dogs can be ‘uplifting’ for children – although he added that individual schools should decide whether to use them or not

Speaking at the University of Buckingham Ultimate Wellbeing conference on Thursday, he said dogs can be ‘uplifting’ for children – although he added that individual schools should decide whether to use them or not

‘A classroom can be noisy and unpredictable and could stress any dog who visits. Having a dog in every school is not something we’d recommend and not likely to be in the best interests of dog welfare.’

Many companies and universities – including Buckingham – are already giving employees and students access to dogs to enhance wellbeing. The Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK and cares for over 15,000 dogs each year through a network of 20 rehoming centres. 



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