Kristen Cutting

Our Wellbeing Dog

In a few more weeks, we will gain a brand new staff member, a four legged one in fact. We are very excited to introduce our very first Wellbeing dog, Alfie! When he is not dressing up as 'Bat Dog', he likes to hang out with his family, play with other goldens, eat everything in sight and loll around looking cute.

In addition to these TOUGH jobs, he is now going to be our PMPS Wellbeing dog. There is lots of learning to be done but mostly by us and the students, not Alfie! Unlike a therapy dog that goes through an intensive training process, a wellbeing dog still gets to be a normal dog. We train the students, teachers and the community how to interact with Alfie and to make his environment and interactions nice and calm. 

How can a wellbeing dog help PMPS?

There is increasing evidence about how a wellbeing dog can help in a whole range of settings. Scientific evidence shows that being near a dog can reduce stress and anxiety and decrease the heart rate.


For children, animals can help with emotional regulation, social connection and communication. They can help engage students in many curriculum areas by supporting children in feeling less self-conscious than they may feel around teachers and peers.

In adults, dogs can help with trauma, anxiety, the escalation cycle, leadership and communication. They can build empathy, awareness of others and self, increase social regulation and decrease reactivity.

The Dogs Connect Program

We work with Dogs Connect to train our core team, our students and our PMPS families. Dogs are trained ‘on the job’ so it allows staff, students and the community to learn and grow alongside Alfie.

Want more information?

Stay tuned for the next newsletter for more information about Alfie. You might even see Alfie out and about walking with Miss Kristen!