The vision for the Wellbeing Dog Program is to

enhance the support and wellbeing of all students and staff at Parklands School.


The key goals of the Wellbeing Dog Program are to:

● encourage positive social interactions across the school

● make explicit the language of self-regulation, empathy and wellbeing while caring for the dog’s physical, mental and emotional needs


● provide comfort and support to students who are overwhelmed, distressed or experiencing mental health challenges

● support learning and education both in class or in small groups, particularly for those experiencing learning difficulties


● facilitate specific therapeutic outcomes (eg: Mightier, Zones of Regulation, work alongside Allied  Health professionals etc)




Meet Ollie our animal assistant therapy dog in training. He is a much-loved member of West Coast Speech. Ollie has an important role within West Coast speech. He provides unconditional love and support, being an important part of therapy sessions. Ollie works with children and young adults who have anxiety, have poor self esteem, lack confidence, social communication difficulties, have experienced trauma, expressive language difficulties, stuttering, self-regulation difficulties and autism. He provides additional motivation to our clients who attend therapy.

Ollie has a soothing effect, helping clients to regulate their behaviour and reduce their anxiety. He takes the focus away from the child feeling self conscious and enhances the therapy session. When the client pats Ollie they release the endorphin oxytocin which has a calming effect. This helps our clients to relax, speak slower and lower their stress levels. During therapy sessions Ollie helps clients to regulate their emotions through the sensory action of stroking his coat and providing hugs. When discussing confronting topics i.e; bullying or how to join a conversation, Ollie is there providing support, assisting our clients to persevere with the discussion or activity rather than feeling overwhelmed.

Owner & Handler~

Pamela - West Coast Speech Pathology




One of our early cavoodle pups he was professionally trained with Assistance Dogs Australia. He even gets to fly in the cabin with his family while he's working.

Such a clever boy and so important to his family - we are so proud of him!

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the magic coat dog

Meet Monty the Magic Coat Dog.  Monty is our well-being dog sponsored by the Make A Difference Foundation and @PepperTree Lane who are the gorgeous breeders supporting our well-being program for children.

Monty will be travelling with the Magic Coat program to schools, refuges and hospitals to put an extra smile on children's faces as well as being there as a support for any child experiencing some anxiety or fear.

Owner & Handler - Di Wilcox

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My name is Joshua. I am autistic, have dyspraxia, a learning disability and ADHD.  My dog is called Mario and he is my autism assistance puppy in training. When I am with him I feel very grateful to Catherine from Peppertree lane for my little furry baby.  I feel extremely lucky to have him.  Whenever I am angry he looks at me as if he is concerned about me and that helps to keep me calm.  Playing with him helps me to feel better. He is loving and caring.   I play with him, take him for walks and he sleeps on my bed.  I am learning to look after him as well and I go with him and my mum to Louise our dog trainer.   It is like a duo arrangement where we are learning to keep each other calm and happy.    It is great to have my own dog. He gives me confidence.  I strongly recommend PPT and Katherine to other owners out there not only people with disabilities but those without disabilities too.

Owner & Handler - Joshua



The selection process in finding the perfect dog was extremely important. As an owner / trainer I was investing many thousands of dollars and hours. Much research and talking to experts in the industry convinced me I wanted a male Cavoodle. I would be taking the dog with me in public so definitely needed a non-shedding dog who would not affect those with allergies. After seeing my request on a Cavoodle Breeders group, Catherine here at PepperTree Lane contacted me with news of a pending litter.  Needless to say I feel so lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. The short wait for the perfect pup was well worth it.

Chilli has been a delight to watch grow into an intelligent, protective and very loving companion and helper. It is very evident he has come from good bloodlines and had excellent care during his first 8 weeks of life at PepperTree Lane. He is strong and healthy and has never been to the Vet apart from vaccinations. He is very agile and energetic, jumping on and off my lap with ease, god help me! He will scoff down anything and thankfully seems to have a cast iron gut (don’t tell his PepperTree Lane breeders, especially not that Vet Daddy David!) So all in all, he has given me no trouble and no additional expense health wise.

I should tell you I use an electric wheelchair for mobility and live in my own home. As it is just us at home, he is also very protective of me and very responsive to my needs, often detecting I need his assistance before I have a chance to ask. I have more confidence in my independence now than ever before. With the help of Assistance Dog trainers at Advance Behavioural Training here in Adelaide, there is so much Chilli has learnt to do to make my life easier. He loves to learn and I am continuously laying awake thinking up new tasks for him. So far, apart from passing his obedience skills classes Level 1 - 4, here is a snapshot of some of the assistance tasks he does with ease…

• Opens / shuts doors, drawers, cupboards, his crate door

• Open and closes the microwave and fridge 

• Shuts the front gate when we arrive home

• Collects the mail and brings it to me

• brings his lead and training vest to the lounge where I can reach him to put them on

• Wipes his paws on the outside mat

• Picks up anything I drop – t.v. remotes, keys, brush, cutlery, coins, wallet etc

• Picks up his small floor mat or “blanky” and gives it to me when we are leaving to go home 

• Finds my phone and brings it to me – all my benches are low for access reasons.  

- This is probably one of his most important tasks in the event my chair breaks down. 

• Puts washing in the machine and rubbish in the bin 

So, here we are two years on and Chilli is about to sit his 2 hour Assistance Dog exam with the SA Cat and Dog Board.


Thankyou Catherine and crew at PepperTree Lane for breeding such smart, healthy and amazingly switched on pups. 


school wellness dog


Bonnie has a very important job! She was donated by to Carey Baptist College in Forrestdale to be trained as their wellness dog.


Although she is only young, she brings joy daily to children from kindergarten all the way to Year 10. She has a very happy home in the high school assisted pathways classroom with Mrs V but gets to go around the schools bringing joy everywhere she goes. She has an integral job to make the children feel safe, calm and secure in their school environment.

When she isn't at school being an important staff member she gets to go to her human family at Mrs V's house and is spoilt rotten there.

Carey Baptist College will be forever grateful to Peppertree Lane for gifting them such an important pup and I think Bonnie is grateful for having the perfect home!