The House Of The Good Shepherd has a successful therapy dog program that improves the culture for both students and staff at Tilton School.

As a new school year is underway, Max continues to do amazing, loving, and sometimes silly things as he learns and grows with the children at Tilton School. Max currently assists during individual therapy sessions and also supports managing the emotional needs of the students.

Max recently worked wonders with a student in crisis. Student Support Specialist, Mr. Fay, who was an eyewitness tells us the story

"Today, a student walked out of class and proceeded to walk right out of school. He was very calm, but his expression said otherwise. He was, in fact, quite upset. He walked around the building towards the playground where Mrs. Pavlicek and Max were with another student. The distressed boy walked right by, not noticing the dog. Max sensed something wrong and stood up, and barked twice to get his attention. At that moment, the boy walked over to Max and sat on the grass next to him. Max began coaxing the upset boy to pet him. It was incredible to see this young man's demeanor change so instantly! With just a few snuggles and licks from Max, the student in crisis was comforted and able to return to his classroom. Way to go, MAX!"

Max has recently graduated from his Advanced Training Class through Canine Sports Unlimited in Whitesboro, NY, and he will begin Advanced Training II later in September. Max is doing well and is starting to use what he's learned in his daily interactions with the children at Tilton School.


The program structure at Tilton School follows teachings by School Social Worker Catherine Richetti, LCSW-R, and author of “Dogs in School: Creating a Dog Program in your School.” There is evidence-based research that supports dog therapy programs and the effect they have on the learning process and emotional regulation.

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