Digby the Junior School Reading Dog


Benefits of Dog Therapy 

  • Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives the motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
  • Social – a visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and well-being, and focused interaction with others
  • Cognitive – Canine companionship stimulates memory, problem-solving and game playing
  • Emotional – an adorable four-legged visitor improves self-esteem, acceptance from others, calming effect, lifts mood often provoking laughter
  • Environmental – a dog in a facility decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, lifts mood and this continues after a visit (Source: Delta Society Therapy Dogs)

Introducing Digby

  • Loved family pet of Mrs Jan Alexander - SGPS Reading Recovery Teacher
  • Four-year-old Cavoodle 
  • Temperament is friendly, affectionate, playful, eager to please and intelligent
  • Regular vet health screenings, physical assessments, vaccinations and parasite controls
  • Regularly groomed – coat clipped and nails trimmed
  • An accredited Delta Society Therapy Dog. Mrs Alexander and Digby also volunteer weekly at Uniting Age Well Strath-Haven in Bendigo

Junior School Reading Dog Program

  • The program aims to motivate, encourage and improve the capabilities of students with reading difficulties.
  • Reading aloud to a ‘reading dog’ as a ‘non-judgemental’ audience has shown to give students extra confidence and motivation, especially those who struggle with reading.
  • A bond is encouraged between the children and Digby by having the same children read to the same dog each week.
  • Digby regularly listens to Reading Recovery and selected Prep students weekly
  • Digby provides dog therapy to the whole school community by accompanying Mrs Alexander on yard duty, visiting classrooms, supporting any student if they need some extra ‘tender loving care’ and staff love to pat him too!