The Benefits of Having Habit Dogs at School


Did you know that dogs can release stress? Image from Two Little Cavaliers

Dogs are one of the most loved animals in the world. Dogs make a great friend and pet. They are cute, sweet, protective, and loyal! What’s not to love? Not only do dogs make great pets, but they also help people emotionally, physically, and mentally. Some dogs have even been trained to be therapy dogs! They must be well behaved, and love people. Farragut High School actually has therapy dogs come to the school every couple of weeks in the library, and has a puppy in training to be a full time habit dog for the school. 

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This is my dog Jazz! He is very silly and so friendly! Whenever I have a hard day, Jazz is always there!

The benefits of having a therapy dog at a high school are tremendous. Studies from “Alliance with therapy dogs” have shown that therapy dogs can help in four different areas: Physically, Socially, Cognitively, and Mentally/Emotionally. Habit dogs can help physically by reducing blood pressure, assisting pain management, and providing physical stimulation. Habit dogs also help socially by promoting greater self-esteem, and focused interactions with other students and teachers. Habit dogs also help cognitively by stimulating memory, and problem-solving skills. Finally, habit dogs help mentally/emotionally by reducing anxiety, reducing stress levels, and lifting moods in the classroom. Therapy dogs offer friendship for students, and a shoulder to lean on. 

At Farragut High School, we have multiple therapy dogs, and some dogs that are in training. Mrs. Case, who teaches Agriculture Science, has a habit dog named Hartley. Hartley brings so much joy to the classroom and all the students love having her around. 

“I think that they just bring a really nice environment to the classroom, and make the students feel comfortable and calm. It provides people with stress relief. People come by my room all day long just to see her and pet her,” said Case. 

“At first I was worried that the students would not be able to concentrate with her in the room, but it actually made the students more focused on what was going on in the classroom.”

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This is Heidi! She is currently in training to be a habit dog at Farragut High School.

Another teacher at Farragut High School loves the idea of having habit dogs in the school. Mrs. Blankenship just got a new puppy, and is currently in the process of training her dog Heidi to be a habit dog. 

“Because I see the value in how a dog can calm kids, and at this time when everything is so uncertain, it would be a good idea. We have seen how good it has gone with the dogs in the library, and I thought it’s time to get a new dog anyway and how cool it would be to bring my pet with me to work everyday that would benefit students and faculty members,” said Blankenship. 

“I just think that she could calm the students and help to not be as stressed. Sometimes students will come into my room and say they have a test next block and just need to pet Heidi to calm their nerves.” 

The benefits of having a habit dog at school is proven to help students physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. Just another reason why habit dogs should be present at all high schools! Students if you are ever stressed out, overwhelmed, or just need a smile, make sure to go visit one of the many awesome dogs in the halls of Farragut High School!