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Rockmount Primary School

All Can Achieve

Our School Dog - Sonny

This is Sonny, our school dog. Sonny became a regular visitor of Rockmount in January 2021 before becoming a valued addition to the staff team. Sonny is a Foxy Jack Russell and is owned by Rebecca who works in the school office. When Sonny is not in school,  he lives at home with Rebecca and other members of his family.


Sonny was born on September 26th 2021 and loves coming to school.  Since completing his training to ensure he is safe around children, he spends more time with the children, which is his favourite part of the day. His favourite subject at school is reading; he enjoys going to the Wellbeing Room and snuggling up on the sofa and listening to the children read. He also likes going into the hall and playing ball games, which is a lot of fun and sometimes he'll get a special treat for his hard work at the end of the day! When Sonny is not with children, he's in the office with Rebecca & Sharon, where he likes to help welcome our visitors. If you're popping in, please do say hello!


Sonny's most important role is supporting the wellbeing of the children, especially if someone is not having a great day. Sonny is always ready and happy to spend some quiet time with children or adults; a bit of tail wagging and having his tummy rubbed usually seems to help put a smile on everyone's face.

Benefits of a School Dog


The value of pet therapy is widely accepted as a powerful aid to communication and motivation. Research has shown that companion dogs can improve the wellbeing of children reducing their anxiety levels by making the school environment happier and a more enjoyable place to be. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally; a dog can motivate and encourage their participation, increase their understanding of responsibility, develop empathy and nurturing skills and improve their behaviour and self-esteem. Children cannot fail in any way in their relationship with a dog; they do not judge or condemn and offer unconditional affection. Children will learn the principles of good pet ownership and are taught how to handle dogs safely and responsibly; they will take great enjoyment from interaction with the dog.


It is accepted that interacting with animals is not appropriate for all children but that for some it has the potential to provide many positive benefits. 


Some of the benefits of having a school dog include:

  • A calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties
  • Encouraging expression and participation in quieter children
  • Teaching children to nurture and respect life
  • Motivating children to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals
  • Fostering a sense of responsibility

Risk Assessment