Dogs are helping kids overcome many behavioral issues.  I absolutely love writing articles that involve the community taking advantage of the many abilities that dogs have to offer; the phrase “mans best friend” isn’t always thought of in broader terms than companionship and protection in the home.

Dogs are so smart and there’s so much more to these furry teachers than the obvious benefits that we know and love about them. Many people aren’t aware of all the things that dogs are doing within our school system.

I’ve been fascinated by dogs since my first dog as a young girl. I’m constantly observing and studying their behavior and learning just what makes them tick.

Dogs In The Classroom

Many schools across the country are now implementing programs that include the use of helper dogs aka specially trained dogs who assist volunteers by teaching children the importance of kindness, consideration and virtue. Most of these dogs are rescue dogs and what could be better than giving a dog with little chance, a chance for a good life and a chance at helping children as well! 😮

Hey, check out the book on the right if you really want to know how smart dogs are –>

We already know the benefits that dogs have on older adults such as lowering blood pressure, stress levels, etc. Well, studies now show that dogs have this same calming effect on children.

The Results Of One Amazing Study on How Dogs Are Helping Kids

A student of The University of South Carolina College who was studying for her doctoral degree decided to base her thesis upon a program called Healing Species and the influence that the program had on elementary students.

With HealingSpecies, dogs are helping kids by directly going into the classroom with the students. The program targets elementary children in an effort to teach the kids while still young and it also targets middle school students and teenagers. The program works well for kids who are or have been in abusive situations. Healing Species is designed to teach young people how to handle anger and control their behavior.

Here’s some of the amazing results of her study:

  • Suspensions due to violence dropped 55%
  • Aggressive acts across the board dropped 62%
  • Decision making choices involving compassion increased by 42%
  • Teachers assessment of students displaying violent behavior dropped 66%

Teachers and counselors seen incredible improvement with:

  • Kids walking away vs fighting
  • Students learned how to better handle bullying issues
  • Taking responsibility to help others in need
  • Better concentration in the classroom
  • G.P.A.’s and test scores improved

I absolutely LOVE this program and I hope to see more schools across the country and around the globe implementing this wonderful curriculum.

Mutt-i-grees® – A Curriculum of Social And Emotional Skills For Kids

Mutt-i-grees® is another awesome program teaching children how to distinguish and handle their emotions. This particular program doesn’t necessarily require an actual dog in the classroom and in fact they often use puppets.

The curriculum teaches children about empathy and teamwork, decision making, awareness and feeling and cooperation. As of 2011, field tests were done with students in preschool through grade 6. Field tests will be bone on grades 7 through 12 in 2012. So far 36 states and 900 schools are taking advantage of this excellent program.

Mutt-i-grees® is meant to help students become tranquil, confident and compassionate adults.

“Dogs are a product of their environment. It is our responsibility to teach children early on that dogs and all animals have feelings.” Janie Knetzer

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  • Larry
    Reply

    Loved this article Janie, so much so that I’ve linked to it from my Squidoo lens “Pets are good for you”! I hope you don’t mind.

    What a wonderful way to teach children.

    • admin
      Reply

      Hey Larry:
      Glad you liked the article and it really is an awesome way to teach children some of the very basic principles of “life”.

      Do I mind you linking to the article? Are you kidding???? I had no idea you had a Squidoo lens! It’s nice and I wanted to leave a comment, but I couldn’t. I guess you have to have your own lens first.

      Thanks buddy!

      Janie 😮

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