Dogs Connect Program: Whole school approach to connectedness and wellbeing

This online program helps schools integrate wellbeing dogs to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

  • Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
  • Type of intervention: Animal wellbeing programs
  • Strength of evidence: Level 2: Supported by expert opinion or evidence for practice
  • Geographic location: Statewide

Program description

Dogs Connect is an online training program to help introduce a wellbeing dog into a school. A wellbeing dog has positive emotional and social impacts and supports mental health and wellbeing.

The program helps create an ongoing connection between a school, community and their wellbeing dog. The program includes12 modules covering a number of topics to integrate a wellbeing dog in their school. Dogs Connect can help schools source a dog on request if required.

Intended outcomes

  • Increased attendance
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved peer-to-peer and staff-to-student relationships
  • Reduced behavioural incidents
  • Improvement in social and emotional regulation
  • Improved capacity for empathy
  • Increased emotional literacy

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students - lower
  • Primary school students - upper
  • Secondary school students - lower
  • Secondary school students - upper
  • Capacity building for primary school staff
  • Capacity building for secondary school staff 
Program providerDogs Connect
Delivery modeOnline

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: School staff across primary and secondary schools.
  • Program adaptability: The content of the program can be adapted to meet the needs of participating schools, as determined through consultation with school staff prior to commencement.
  • Staffing: A minimum of 2 staff members are required to be enrolled in the program.
  • Training requirements: The time requirements are 12 hours for the on-demand modules and 12 hours of related tasks. This can be undertaken over a minimum of six months, averaging one hour a week.
  • Factors to consider: Internet connection and devices are required.
  • Australian context: The program has been developed and applied in Australia.


Item cost


Detailed cost

Dogs Connects’ online program is priced at $7,700 (inc. GST) and runs for a minimum of six months. Annual Accreditation Renewal and Refresher Training is priced at $770 (inc. GST).

Should Dogs Connect be requested to source a dog for the school, this additional cost shall be incurred by the school.