Golden Labrador, Smart Pup Laddie is the first Professional Support Dog to be placed in a Special Needs School in Darwin. Laddie is 13 months old and has been trained in many tasks to be an everyday help to the children who attend Nemarluk School.

Laddie’s training was funded by HPA CEO, Tony Burns who ran a 100km charity run to raise money for Nemarluk School. Laddie was placed on 13 October 2015 when trainer Ella Herrman travelled to Darwin from the Sunshine Coast to help train his handlers and foster family to manage him and show how he performs his tasks.

Laddie is trained to calm the troubled children by snuggling or nuzzle them, or allow them to hold a handle on his coat and walk with him. He is also trained to balance and brace and wears a special harness to support children who are unsteady on their feet. He can also pick up dropped items for children in wheelchairs. Laddie is already a huge hit with the children who love to see him visit their classrooms and do some cool tricks!

Day two of placement Laddie was already calming a little girl who was very upset and didn’t want to join the bus. It went from tears to smiles once she was allowed to walk with Laddie and hold his jacket.

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