Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Meras, Patricia


Research has shown that incorporating the use of a therapy dog in a school setting can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, promote positive social interactions among peers, boost confidence, and increase motivation for learning in certain academic areas such as reading. The presence of a therapy dog generates an overall calming atmosphere in the classroom, resulting in students who are more willing to participate, engage in empathy, and display responsibility. The author of this thesis researched the social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of utilizing a therapy dog in the school setting with students with disabilities. A literature review was conducted to determine patterns of beneficial components of using a therapy dog in the classroom, recognize risks of using a therapy dog in the classroom, and to glean ideas for using therapy dogs effectively in schools for students with disabilities.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis