Dogs – environment

Housing requirements for dogs.

Section 14 of the Companion Animals Act (1998) prohibits dogs on schools grounds except where the principal gives permission. With the exception of working dogs, dogs must be kept on a leash in school grounds.

Any dog that has been declared dangerous under section 33 of the Companion Animals Act must not be allowed on school grounds. Local councils retain this information.

If a working dog does live on the school farm, then shelter from the sun, rain and wind must be provided.

Dogs that visit a school regularly, must be provided with a quiet and safe area away from students, that they can retreat to, as required.

Image: Dogs are pack animals and enjoy playing and interacting with each other

All dogs require regular exercise and a safe, comfortable place to rest, that offers protection from the sun, rain and wind.

When dogs come on a visit to the school, every effort should be made to make the dog feel comfortable and reduce stress. The internal classroom may be unsuitable as floors may be slippery and hanging objects and unfamiliar smells may cause stress to the dog. Outdoor areas may be more suitable for observation.

When dogs come to school for a visit, particularly for a news item, they should be present only for the duration of the class time. Care needs to be taken to reduce the impact of a whole class on one dog.

When a service dog (guide dog or assistance dog) visits a school, the handler or owner is responsible for its welfare. The supervising teacher is responsible for providing appropriate facilities if they are required and assisting students to understand the animal and its needs.

If a school decides to be involved in a program that involves a dog being regularly in the school, such as puppy walking, student incentive scheme or dogs for reading, then a staff member must be responsible for the dog and be the primary carer.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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