Luna the golden retriever poodle cross to join Rotherhithe primary school as autism therapy dog

Josh Salisbury (17 December, 2018) Health

She's currently visiting the school three times a week to get used to the children and surroundings

27075The therapy dog will help pupils with autism ©Clive Totman 2018

Pupils at a Rotherhithe primary school will be welcoming an unusual classmate next year – Luna the golden retriever poodle cross.

Luna will be joining Redriff Primary School on Salter Road next year to work as a therapy dog for pupils who have autism.

The one-year-old pooch is currently undergoing puppy training before starting her role – and visits the school three times a week to get used to the children and surroundings.

Jack Gibbs, Luna’s owner and assistant head-teacher at Redriff Primary, said: “At the moment Luna visits the school three times a week allowing her to get familiar with the children and the school’s surroundings.

“She lives with me at home when she is not working.

“While she is here she goes on walks with children and is being trained to stand, sit and fetch.

“Her training to be a therapy dog will start in a few months’ time where she will be trained by professionals to gear her up to support the children through various activities.”

Luna will be joining the school next year and is currently undertaking puppy training ©Clive Totman 2018

Therapy dogs are trained to have a calming effect and can help children with their social skills.

Luna, the first therapy dog for the school, will undergo training with a charity that specialises in training dogs to work in schools.

Mr Gibbs added: “We hope that Luna is able to be a loving companion for the children and encourage them emotionally, physically and socially.

“She will help the children reach their full potential.”

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