This quick post is for the special school teachers out there who will totally understand what I’m talking about. Other teachers are of course welcome to read but you might think I’ve gone slightly mad.

This morning I was thinking about Tuesday and the fact that I’m out of school on a course for a good deal of the day. I was mulling over what to do with Doodles, our school dog when our neighbour knocked on the door. Upon entering the house Doodles began leaping around like a 3 month old puppy. As of last week Doodles is 12 months old. This type of behaviour, cute as it is is becoming inappropriate. Don’t misunderstand, he is excellent with the children and his success has far exceeded what we hoped for. The children adore him and he is a real bonus for the school. I have written on this subject several times so I won’t go into it here. His behaviour around adults is another story altogether.

Doodles can leap around six feet up in the air. I’m so grateful that he chooses not to but he does like to pogo up and down until he gets an adults undivided attention. As he has been in school since he was 11 weeks old he has been very spoilt by most of the staff. When an adult sits down Doodles leaps onto their knee and showers them with kisses. he will remove scarves from around your neck and play tug of war with your gloves. Most of us are guilty of allowing him to behave in this boisterous way but really there comes a time when it is too much.

So, our neighbour came in to the house and Doodles’ behaviour was absolutely ridiculous! There is no other way to explain it because it was. Frank, our neighbour bent down and held the dog quietly and firmly in a strong hug position. Doodles visibly calmed down before my very eyes. Special school teachers think about deep pressure hugs here and proprioceptive feedback. I am not exaggerating at all, the dog calmed immediately and what’s more he stayed calm! Who knew that adolescent dogs would benefit from deep pressure hugs? I’m considering having him measured up for a weighted jacket. I am of course not serious about the weighted jacket but I’m very grateful to have discovered a way of calming the pup down.

Ironically, the course I am attending on Tuesday is for children with ADHD. I’m looking forward to refreshing and adding to my knowledge about strategies for helping children with ADHD. I wonder if the delegates will be interested to know that the same strategies work on excitable pups.

Thanks for reading.

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