The summer is slowly winding down. The sun is growing dimmer, the leaves will soon crisp, and in a few days our roads will get busy with school runs. As for the education team at Dogs Trust, that means an end to our summer tours.
Our library talks were nearly all booked up
Between us we visited nearly 100 libraries across the country, not to mention the many summer camps, youth centres and community groups. But once September commences, our team will start visiting primary schools again, delivering our large selection of workshops.
Primary schools are essentially the main focus of our educational mission. We believe that if we instil a sense of ethical dog values in the school children of today, then the dogs of tomorrow will have owners that treat them with responsibility and care.
When we visit a school, we try to deliver a workshop to every class in the school, therefore if a school has lots of classrooms, we will try to keep on visiting them until every class has had a workshop.
Naturally, junior infants and sixth class have different learning capabilities, so our team have created workshops pitched at every primary level.
Hands up for Dog Safety
Our workshops stick to two themes.
The first is responsible dog ownership. In these workshops, our aim is to demonstrate what a dog needs to be happy and healthy. Many of these requirements, such as food and exercise, are shared with people, yet these obligations must be provided daily, and all them require time, money or space, things that not every family in the country will be able to provide. It is our aim with our Responsible Dog Ownership workshops, that children realise that wanting a dog is not enough. A responsible dog owner gets a dog, not simply because then they will have a nice dog, but also because they recognise that they are the right family for the dog to live with.
The second theme we work with is in line with our “Be Dog Smart” campaign. We teach the children to be safe around dogs, whether in their own home, or out in the community. Children are more at risk than adults at getting bit by a dog, but so often it is because they approached the dog when it was eating or sleeping. If children recognise that dogs should be left alone during these activities, then we already have a safer environment for both child and dog. We also insist that no child should ever approach a dog who is not with their owner. This should be as intrenched in a child’s mind, as the commonly known, “Stranger Danger” phrase.
How do you go about booking one of our amazing education officers (if we may say so ourselves) to come out to your school and deliver our free workshops? (did we mention they are free)
Well, visit our workshops page on our main website, and contact your local education officer. We cover most of the country (and if we can't reach your school we can still send you resources) and next year we plan on visiting even more schools, and teaching more children than ever before.
We look forward to seeing you then.