There were tears of joy when Madison Pearson met two-year-old therapy dog Banjo for the first time on Wednesday.
The Year 11 Sapphire Coast Anglican College student will be working alongside Little Victories Dog Training's Vicki Dey during the dog's visits to the school with credits going towards her studies.
"I find that therapy doesn't work for me, so I want to explore different therapies and help people," she said.
"Dogs really help with my anxiety."
Therapy dogs can decrease anxiety and stress in students, as well as make them more excited about school activities and learning in general.
Studies have found interacting with animals influences social interaction between people and helps build trust, empathy and a positive mood.
Madison has been pushing the school for a therapy dog, and new principal Tracey Gray has jumped straight on board with the idea.
She said young people are facing anxiety issues connected the increasing pressures of society.
"There's so much expectation to live up to these days both social expectations and educational expectations. There's so much to live up to," Madison said.
Ms Gray said she has seen the benefits of therapy dogs during her time as head of the Duncraig Campus at St Stephen's School in Perth.
She said therapy dogs help students with a range of different needs and provide a "sense of calm".
"Some kids are reluctant to read, but if they read to a dog there's no pressure," she said.
"I had kids go to the library who normally would never go because they wanted to read to the dog."
Year 12 student Katlyn Scott said Banjo will be "the light" and "make everything so much better" through cuddles and play.
"He's what I thought he'd be. He's just so cheeky," she said with a smile.
Ms Dey said Banjo is at just the right maturity level to interact well with students of all ages.
"Really good manners are important," she said.
"You don't want a dog who jumps on kids.
"The most important thing is having a dog who really enjoys people."