St. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus


Welcome toSt. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus

Meet Cara, our School Dog



Hello, meet Cara our lovely School Dog.  She has received specialist trained from The Dog Mentor and will soon be working with our children up to 3 days per week.  She achieved her 'Gold award' within 9 months of starting her training! Well done Cara! 


She is a calm and gentle dog and School Dogs have been proven to help develop children's reading skills, improve behaviour, attendance and academic confidence as well as increasing children's understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills.


Sometimes she will go into class and work with large groups other times she will work with children individually. 

















Frequently Asked Questions


Q Who is the legal owner of the dog and who pays for its costs?

The legal owner of the dog is Mrs Moran who will care for the dog out of school hours and will bear the costs associated with it; the School will not pay for any additional costs that may incur as a result of the dog being in school (e.g. a high level of training).


Q Is the dog from a reputable breeder?

A Yes. We have researched breeders and chosen a reputable breeder.


Q Will the dog be a distraction?

The dog will be kept in the Office Area. The Office is separate from the Classrooms/ Playground area to ensure that it only comes into contact with children who are happy to have contact and parental permission for this under strict supervision. We will be careful to ensure that the time spent with the dog is shared among the children fairly. We will also ensure that the children who do not have permission for direct contact with the dog are still able to participate in a number of ways, should they wish.


Q Has a risk assessment been undertaken?

 Yes, we have carefully considered having a dog in School and sought advice from many sources, including other Schools that successfully have a School Dog. There will be a School Dog Policy, available to view on the website.


Q Who is responsible for training?

A Mrs Moran is the legal owner of the dog and as a result, will be responsible for her training. Appropriate training has been sourced and started to be implemented through the ‘Dog Mentor – Building Characters’. Mrs Moran, Mrs Hykin and Mrs Hailey have all received training.


Q How will the dog be toileted to ensure hygiene for all?

A In the interest of hygiene our school dog will be toileted at regular intervals with a member of staff and any faeces will be disposed of hygienically to ensure that children do not come into contact with this. Our policy of no dogs in the playground is still applicable as we are unable to put effective control measures in place that guarantee temperament and safety when children come into unsupervised contact with unknown dogs.


Q How will the dog’s welfare be considered?

A. The dog will be walked at regular intervals. The dog will be kept in the Head Teacher’s office and will only have planned and supervised contact with children and visitors. The dog will be carefully trained over a period of time and will have unlimited access to water. We will work closely with other professionals to ensure the dog’s welfare is carefully considered.


Q How will this be managed where children have allergies?

A. Children will not need to touch the dog which will relieve the possibility of allergic reactions however small. We already manage a number of allergies at School and this will be no different. Individual needs will always be met and we are happy to work with parents to put additional measures in place for individual allergies.


Q My child is frightened of dogs; how will you manage this?

A Access to the dog is carefully managed and supervised. Children do not need to have close contact if they are not happy with this. We hope to work closely with parents of children who are fearful of dogs to alleviate their fear and to teach them how to manage this.


Q My child must not be licked by the dog because of our religious beliefs. How will the School manage this?

A We will try hard to ensure that the children do not come into contact with saliva, but if they do, we will contact parents as soon as possible to let them know that their child will need to wash before praying. We will continue to encourage regular handwashing in school also.

A Day in the Life of Cara.

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