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PAWS in Schools ™

Specially Trained Animals For Any School Environment

Promoting mental health, wellbeing and effective intervention strategies within school communities.

Support for all students, from Foundation to Year 12 and Undergraduate University Courses.

Develop social skills, re-engaging with onsite learning and understanding boundaries and consent.

PAWS in Schools Overview

Why use Therapy Dogs in schools?

Strategic use of Therapy Dogs in a school setting can contribute towards improving the overall wellbeing of students. Our PAWS in Schools Program provides a framework for schools to incorporate meaningful opportunities for social and emotional learning that are authentic and relevant for all students.

Tailored Programs to suit specific needs

Our specialised educators recognise that each school setting is unique and has its own set of guiding principles, philosophies and values. PAWS in Schools (by Therapy Animals Australia) specialises in tailoring programs to suit specific needs. Our programs are designed to set students up for success.

Therapy Animals Australia will work closely with you to explore possible applications of our PAWS Model, supporting you with implementing the program in a way that best matches your school’s specific needs.

Spend time helping you to decide on your objectives, the type and scale of program that will suit your school, as well as giving our advice on how to best manage a Therapy Dog within your school.

Support you to integrate a Therapy Dog across your school and/or we can bring our Therapy Dogs to you if that is the direction you would like to pursue.

PAWS In Schools Model




Assess, Adapt,





Therapy Dogs in specialised environments

Therapy Animals Australia has developed our PAWS Model for the successful integration of Therapy Dogs into specialised environments such as school settings. The concept originated from a literal pause to reflect on relevant theory and the key elements of success that are driving our own Therapy Dog programs across a number of settings.

Training Programs for student success

We use our PAWS Model as a framework to guide our training programs in schools. Implementing a variety of proven strategies for using a Therapy Dog to meet basic needs and set students up for success.

Positive Interaction

Animal Therapy PAWS - Positive

Assess, Adapt, Achieve

Animal Therapy PAWS - Assess, Adapt, Achieve

Working Together

Animal Therapy PAWS - Working Together

Social Inclusion

Animal Therapy PAWS - Social Inclusion

How It Works

PAWS in Schools educators can come in with our animals and teach students and run sessions for schools.

Work with you to train a Therapy Dog to be used in your school.

Providing professional development and information for teachers and the wider school community.

Working with teachers to develop and implement suitable programs that actively promote wellbeing and the effective use of a Therapy Dog across the school community.


Student Welfare

Facilitate student wellbeing through our unique approach to social and emotional learning.

We can bring our animals to you to run interactive sessions that meet the specific needs of selected individuals or small groups. More than just spending time with our lovely animals, specific goals are identified and set (with teachers and/or parents).

Ideal for all students and for students who need…

  • Support re-engaging with onsite learning and the demands of daily school life
  • Social skills groups
  • Emotional regulation
  • Understanding boundaries and consent
  • Coping strategies
  • Support with recovering from a traumatic experience
  • Help coping with a health problem or mental disorder (such as a developmental delay, emotional and/or behavioural disorder, high anxiety levels, autism spectrum disorders)
  • Mindfullness and growth mindsets

Having a set task is an important part of each session, helping participants feel a sense of achievement. It may be feeding animals, creating a piece of artwork, making a toy for an animal to play with, or assisting handlers with the training of an animal.


Connecting to Curriculum

Our PAWS in Schools’ educators are highly experienced in engaging and supporting learners to achieve their individual learning goals.

Animal assisted learning adds an element of fun that is conducive to creating a low pressure, relaxed learning environment.

Ideal for students in need of literacy & numeracy assistance…


  • Phonics skills
  • Sight words
  • Reading strategies
  • Reading comprehension
  • Handwriting
  • Supporting reluctant writers
  • Speech delay/ oral language skills
  • Language disorders


  • Number recognition
  • Counting skills
  • Number sense tasks
  • Tables
  • Problem solving
  • Extension activities

Reliable, well-trained animals are crucial to the success of Animal Assisted Learning.

We can bring our animals to you and run interactive sessions that meet the specific needs of your students (support within the classroom, or as separate sessions for individuals and/ or small groups).


Interactive Presentations

An engaging, “Hands On” approach to learning that can be applied to a wide range of curriculum areas.

Having animals in your school provides endless opportunities to teach students about real world concepts in meaningful ways.

Ideal for all students & teachers across all year levels, from foundation to Year 12 and undergraduate university courses…

  • We can bring our animals in to give talks to student groups about the many different science topics that you might wish to cover.
  • Work with us to discover ways that you can incorporate the use of animals into your school to assist students learning and motivation levels.
  • Presentations to explore VCE Biology and Psychology concepts using our animals as a reference point/ context for learning.
  • Work with us to develop specialised projects and S.T.E.A.M. activities that incorporate our animals.
  • Motivational talks, presentations about learning and how to manage stress and exam preparations.
  • Mental Health awareness and the role of service dogs and therapy animals.

We pride ourselves on being able to tailor these sessions to suit your needs. Between our staff, we have experience teaching across all levels from Foundation to Year 12, as well as Undergraduate University Courses.


Training & Incorporating Your Own School Therapy Dog

Work with our highly experienced staff to train your own school therapy dog and incorporate your dog in a manner that meets your school’s specific needs and requirements.

Having a trained Therapy Dog in your school provides endless opportunities for students, staff and the whole school community. Also have the peace of mind that goes with knowing your dog is trained to meet the Service Animals Australia Essential Standards for Therapy Dogs.

Ideal for all schools, from Early Learning to Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions…

  • Expert support with managing the logistics from what breed is right for your school to developing the appropriate daily routines for your school therapy dog.
  • Support with necessary paperwork (risk assessments, parent communication, training logs).
  • Designing and implementing a training program (on and off site).
  • Support in designing animal assisted learning programs across the school community
  • Professional development for staff in the effective use of a therapy dog in the classroom.
  • Parent information nights.
  • Formal assessment that ensures compliance with the Service Animals Australia Essential Standards for Therapy Dogs.

Work with our staff to train and incorporate a Therapy Dog into your school community and wellbeing programs.

PAWS in Schools Online Enquiry

    PROGRAM A - Student WelfarePROGRAM B - Connecting to CurriculumPROGRAM C - Interactive PresentationsPROGRAM D - Training your own school therapy dog

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