Canine Assisted Learning

Canine Assisted Learning (CAL) provides an opportunity for students to spend time and learn with trained therapy dogs.

The therapy dog can work with small groups or on a 1:1 basis.

It has been proven that within educational settings, the presence of a therapy dog within the classroom, can reduce blood pressure, promote physical healing, reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression, as well as provide emotional and academic support.

Arbour Vale School is an affiliate partner with CAL. They provide us with professional training for the team of handlers working with our therapy dog. CAL provide a bespoke package based on our specific needs and visit us termly.


Meet Pepper our Therapy dog

Pepper is our Therapy dog in training at Arbour Vale School. We hope you enjoy reading her fact file and looking at her photos.

Pepper has been coming to school since she was just 9 weeks old. She loves school and has been slowly getting used to the environment and school routine. Pepper is currently visiting classes, meeting pupils on a 1:1 basis and helping with small group interventions. This will increase as she gets older and more confident.

Pepper loves lots of fuss and attention but please remember she is still a puppy and in training so take the lead from the adult with her for interactions and activities.

Pepper's Fact File

  • Name:  Pepper
  • Breed: Labradoodle
  • Colour: Black (but getting lots of white bits!)
  • Role: Therapy puppy in training
  • Favourite activity: Meeting the pupils and seeing other dogs
  • Favourite toy: My grey bear
  • Favourite food: I like all food but love treats when I’m being a good girl

Pepper's Reviews

Thank you so much for bringing pepper to come and see our class this year. She is always so calm, gentle and loving having such a positive effect on the students.

N has laughed and smiled, tracked her across the room and really enjoyed her company. She never tracks anything / anyone but Pepper for that long!

A is the calmest and most engaged with Pepper! Pepper has helped A develop her communication by requesting more and listening to our questions. She has also developed her physical skills, using her hands / fingers to grip treats and then stretch her arms to give them to pepper! She also helps A to calm when she is in pain or distressed.

Pepper is not only a lovely pup, but a real asset to our PMLD pupils. Thank you for sharing her time with us this year.