Mumsnet row erupts over school’s plan to get a pet dog... with some claiming owning a furry mutt is ‘bad for the environment’

11 January 2020, 11:16 | Updated: 13 January 2020, 11:00

School pets, yay or nay?
School pets, yay or nay? Picture: Getty

Taking to Mumsnet a concerned parent asked for feedback about her child's school getting a dog.

As children headed back to school this week after the Christmas holidays, one mum received news she found a "bit weird." The school had sent out a newsletter announcing it was getting a school dog.

"The letter has all the positives mentioned - they are getting it from a reputable breeder and good bloodlines, it is a hypoallergenic breed (labradoodle)," she posted on Mumsnet.

"It will be staying in a family environment when off duty (presumably with a member of staff), it will teach the children about the importance of caring for someone," she continued.

"But I still am feeling a bit weird about it, can't put my finger on why exactly."

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She explains that she's worried about the impact on the dog. "Won't it be stressed by the usual playground ruckus? What if it turns out to be wrong temperament?"

Then goes on to say, "I am also ashamed to admit that one aspect that concerns me is financial.

"The average lifetime cost of keeping a dog in the UK (according to google) is around £18K, and I can't help feeling that there are better ways to spend these money (the school is currently fundraising for quite basic things)."

She asks if she's being unreasonable and "a total killjoy," adding, "please do tell me your positive stories."

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Parents disagree on whether or not schools should have dogs
Parents disagree on whether or not schools should have dogs. Picture: Getty

While many commenters shared positive experiences with school dogs, including support dogs for SEN classrooms.

One commenter brought up climate change and called pet dogs a "luxury."

"Dog ownership is very bad for the environment. We are in a climate emergency - no one should be buying dogs except for service dogs. Dogs are a nice luxury but one we should do without for the sake of the planet."

In response one person simply said, "humans are far worse."

Read more: School plans to slaughter pet pigs to teach children about the food chain

Support dogs are often used in schools
Support dogs are often used in schools. Picture: Getty

Many others expressed concerns including allergies and children being scared of dogs, with parents sharing their own experiences growing up fearing them.

"If someone had put a dog in school when I was a kid, they would have had me in tears and scared and on edge all day. No more learning, I would have been too worried about making sure the dog was nowhere near me."

In response one impassioned posted


"Yet The Entitled Dog Owner would say:

"'Oh, my dog is soft he wouldn't hurt a fly'

"'Oh, he's only playing'

"'Oh, he's just being friendly'

"And look at you like you are evil incarnate for not being happy to [be] jumped on, barked at, sniffed, licked or otherwise have your personal space and boundaries violated."

Adding, "I loathe Entitled Dog Owners with a PASSION."

Other parents explained they themselves or their child had overcome their fear of dogs through exposure and suggested this is good for schools.

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