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Dogs in School

 Dogs In School 


 The Austen Academy has two dogs that visit the school regularly.

  Milo    Rusa

             Milo                           Rusa


Milo is a 10-year-old Cockapoo and is a very gentle soul.  He loves being stroked and has a very calming way with the students. He also has non shedding hair.

Rusa is a 2-year-old working cocker spaniel and is lively but very gentle. She comes in 2 or 3 times a week as she is still young and learning to be in school.  Both dogs have had character assessment from a dog professional.


 We believe that having dogs in school have the following benefits: 

  • a calming effect on pupils. 
  • improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem. 
  • encouraging expression, participation and confidence for all children 
  • fostering a sense of responsibility. 
  • motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals. 
  • encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers.
  • teaching children to nurture and respect life.
  • helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children.
  • helping children build confidence in reading.
  • improving attendance.
  • further promote our students looking after their mental health and well-being


 The dogs spend most of the time in Ms Cooper’s office where they have beds and have a feeling of security. They also go out and about in the school building and grounds visiting students and have students visiting them.  


Parents are asked to complete a permission form to allow their children to participate in activities with the dogs. 


Read this piece in the Basingstoke Gazette about the benefit of therapy dogs at our school: Therapy dogs bring joy to staff and students at The Austen Academy | Basingstoke Gazette