Written by on 26th February 2024

In a school in Cork, one very special staff member arrives at 8am every morning where his first job is to greet students who might otherwise have anxiety coming in. Deano the labrador has improved school attendance, literacy and behaviour as part of an innovative Community Dog programme run by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Principal Daniel O’Connor said that Deano has been a hugely beneficial addition to the school, and helps reduce stress and increase the learning potential of the students.

“There are moments throughout every day that some children will get very stressed or anxious, he has really helped them with that. He also is great when we are teaching about social skills,

“You can ask questions like, how would Deano feel if you did that to him?”

Deano has also helped children improve their literacy too, with teachers saying that children feel more comfortable to read aloud to the dog because he doesn’t judge or correct mistakes – it’s unconditional acceptance.

When things are busy, Deano has a bed in the principal’s office where he takes a little break.

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