Education Blog

Welcome to the Education Blog from the Education and Community Team at Dogs Trust Ireland!  This blog will keep you up to date with Education Officers Fiona, Audrey, Dawn, Heather, Paul and Aoife as they deliver fun, FREE educational workshops to primary schools and community groups around Ireland. 


  1. Bark To School

    Fri Sep 14, 2018 at 03:55 PM

    magic at crubany National school.jpg

    While every school across the country is now well into the new school year, the education team in Dogs Trust usually wait a week or so to let schools settle in before we start our visits.

    We’ve been so busy the past few months with our summer library visits and promoting our Be Dog Smart Week, that you may be forgiven for forgetting our main objective; visiting primary schools across the country and delivering workshops. These workshops have two main focuses. The first being Responsible Dog Ownership.

    Piper at school.jpg

    We are a nation of dog lovers. In fact, over a third of Irish household have at least dog one. That being said, we are also a nation that occasionally forgets how much work goes into looking after a dog. Every day Dogs Trust receives phone calls from people who have adopted a dog without thinking of the time, money or space that a dog needs. These dogs often end up in pounds or rescues across the country. We believe the best way to prevent this is by educating the future dog owners of Ireland, which we do with our wonderful and interactive workshops.

    Audrey and Lucy at school.jpg

    Responsible Dog Ownership isn’t our only theme however. We also educate about Dog Safety.

    Our Be Dog Smart campaign was launched to educate both children and adults alike on how to be safe around dogs, and we created interactive workshops full of tips and tricks, all with the aim of creating safe and calm interaction between children and dogs. Although our adult workshops are conducted in libraries and community centres, our Be Dog Smart children’s workshops usually (though not always) take place in schools.

    School photo.jpg

    We have multiple workshops pitched to every level in primary school, and each workshop targets a different area in the syllabus. Although there are schools across the country that have (shock horror) not yet had a visit from their local Education and Community Officer (and for those schools, please do get in contact), we encourage schools we have already visited, to contact us again after a year has passed. Each time we return to a school we build on the work we have done before and this is how we hope to create a brighter future for Irish dogs.


    With 6 education officers across the county, and 6 assessed education dogs trained to visit schools (please note not all our officers have a dog and some of us have more than one, yet we can never promise our dog will be able to come along to your school), we now cover 95% of the country.

    edu team schools.png

    We have educated 400,000 children since we started our mission and we are very much looking forward to the next 400,000.


    If you would like a visit from your local Education and Community officer, find out who your local officer is here, and send them an email



    We can’t wait to hear from you



  2. Be Dog Smart Week 2018

    Wed Aug 29, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    be dog smart week.jpg

    This week is our annual Be Dog Smart awareness week, a week where we promote safe interaction between children and dogs. As readers of this blog may already know, the education team at Dogs Trust provide free educational workshops for children and parents. These workshops are free, and available in 95% of the country-however this week we are particularly focusing on one aspect of dog safety; How to prepare your dog for the arrival of a new baby.

    be dog smart week baby and dog.png

    Plenty of couples adopt a dog before they have children, yet in the past 12 months Dogs Trust have been contacted by more than 130 new and expecting parents wanting to rehome their dog. We understand that having a baby and a dog can be difficult, so we designed our workshops to help out any families in this situation.

    In fact, next week our education team will be hosting five expectant parents workshops, and five parents of young children workshops across the country

     be dog smart poster 1.jpgbe dog smart poster 2.jpg


    If you are close to any of these venues please do come along and we can advise you through any issues or questions you may have. If you cannot make any of these workshops, then contact your nearest education officer on our website and we can try and arrange a talk.


    We have had a very busy start to the week so far, with Glenda Gilson fronting our campaign. Glenda, who is soon to be a parent herself, came to Dogs Trust on Monday with her lovely dog, Yazz, and as you can see from the clippings below, has been a fantastic help with the campaign.

    be dog smart newspaper 2.jpgbe dog smart newspaper 1.jpgbe dog smart newspaper 3.jpg


  3. Our Library Visits for summer 2018

    Fri Aug 17, 2018 at 05:02 PM

    Although not over yet, we are now in the winter of our summer, and the education team are winding down our summer projects, and starting to look forward to the new term. As of the publication of this blog, our 6 Education and Community Officers have visited a whopping 114 libraries so far this summer, and have another 7 still to visit.

    library piper.png

    "If I'm honest I was looking for a book with a bit more bite..."


    That makes 121 libraries in total. Wow! That is an awful lot of children learning about responsible dog ownership. I’m almost tired just thinking about it.

    This year we delivered our workshop “A Dog’s Life”, and discussed all the things a dog needs to be healthy and happy. We also went through how to safely greet a dog, and if we were lucky enough to have an education dog with us, library attendees got a chance for a meet and greet.

    Heather has toured the libraries of the South East before, but usually with her education dog Ted. This year however (as faithful readers of the blog will know), there is a new addition in Heather’s household, Jack the retriever collie cross.

    library heather jack and ted.png

    Jack of all trade paperbacks

    Heather brought Ted to some of her talks, Jack to others, and if you were really, really lucky…she brought both. She was also joined by the Waterford dog wardens a few times, who also spread their message of responsible dog ownership.

    Heather with Waterford Dog Wadens.png



    And Jack wasn’t the only new dog in the gang. Dawn, our Cork and South West Officer brought her new education dog Piper to her libraries.


    Piper library 3.png

    "Any Fairy Tails?"


    Paul, our Midlands Officer visited libraries in Cavan and Leitrim for the first time, and Leitrim county council were generous enough to supply all library attendees with a free book-they didn’t even have to return it. Now that’s generous.

     library magic.JPG

    "How does a book hear a bark? It uses its Dog Ears!!!"

    Audrey and Lucy also had a busy summer visiting the libraries across Dublin which always have large crowds with lots of interest…

     library audrey and lucy.jpg

    Lucy, feeling a tad bookish


    And on the other side of the country, Aoife had big crowds visiting her libraries in Galway and Connacht.

    library aoife.jpg

     Aoife was booked out in this library

    But, if you didn’t get a chance to see us, have no fear, you may be lucky enough to live nearby one of the later libraries we will be visiting.



    Aoife will be visiting…


    Ennis Library on August 20th at 11am

    Dunmore Library on August 22nd at 11:30 and Tuam at 2:30

    Shannon Library on August 23rd at 11

    And Claremorris at 11am, and Ballyahunis at 2:30pm on August 28th


    Audrey (and hopefully Lucy) will be visiting...

    22nd August @ 11 Dunshaughlin Library

    23rd August @ 11 Ashbourbe Library

    27th August @ 11am Duleek Library


    And Dawn and Piper will be visiting…

    Holyhill Library in Cork at 11am



    We have so much in store in the next coming months, so please keep an eye out. Until thern, Paws, think and Stay Safe


  4. Jack the Lad

    Mon Jul 30, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    We have some wonderful news to share with you. It wasn’t so long ago that we introduced you all to Piper, the newest addition to our Cork education team, and today we are very excited to announce that we have a new member on our South East team. Meet Jack, the beautiful retriever collie cross.

     Jack in uniform.png

    Hi Jack, how long have you lived with Heather and Ted, and where were you before you moved in with her?

    Heather brought me home 7 months ago. Before that I was surrendered to Dogs Trust with my 8 brothers and sisters because my owner did not have enough time, money or space to look after us all. Heather wanted to foster a puppy but when she met me she fell in love and never wanted to let me go so my mum and dad decided to adopt me and add me to their family.

     puppy Jack.png

    Your big brother Ted has been an Education dog for two years, has he given you any tips?

    Ted has told me it is an important job because we have to make sure children know how to responsible dog owners and know how to stay safe when they meet a dog. Ted says its great fun and that I’ll get to make a lot of new friends but I have to make sure they ask Heather before they pet me, and that they show me their safe hand so I can have a sniff. Ted has sniffed around 40,000 safe hands since he started working as an education dog! I can’t wait to make that many new friends.

     Jack and Ted.png

    Ted isn’t your only sibling, you also have Sweetcorn the cat for a big brother. How are you two getting along?

    I love Sweetcorn but when I first met him he really scared me. I didn’t know what he was? I thought he was a funny looking dog but then Ted introduced us. I was a bit rough with Sweetcorn when we played for the first time, but cats have really sharp claws—I learned that very quickly! I now have to play with him gently J

     Jack and sweetcorn.png

    What are your likes/dislikes?

    I like dinnertime, going swimming, my brothers and making new friends

    I don’t like flies and leaving the park

     jack in snow.png

    What do you think about your new job? And what are you most looking forward to doing?

    I’m so excited to start my new job, I had my first photo shoot today so Heather can send pictures of me to the schools before I arrive so they know not to run over to me because on my first day I think I’m going to be a little bit shy. I’m most looking forward to getting to see new places. Ted told me Heather brings him to local beaches and parks after they finish in school, I can’t wait to smell all the new smells! J


    Welcome to the team Jack. I’m sure everyone who sees you is going to instantly fall in love!

    Jack and Heather.png 

    If your school is based in Heather’s remit (the south east), and you would like Heather to visit with either Ted or Jack, you can email her at [email protected]  or follow her and her dogs on twitter @DT_Heather_Ted 



  5. Doggy Detectives 2018

    Mon Jul 9, 2018 at 05:38 PM

    Website DD18.jpg


    Calling all dog enthusiasts and amateur detectives. Every summer the Education Team call on YOU to help in there mission to remind ourselves the importance of Responsible Dog Ownership, and we need you to join us in our annual Doggy Detectives event. As one of our Jessica Fetchers, you will sniff out clues around our rehoming centre in Dublin and piece together the greatest puzzle of all, just how much does a dog need to be a happy and healthy companion? hint-its a lot.


    the evidence awaits...


    The hunt for doggy clues takes place during a behind-the-scenes tour of our rehoming centre in Dublin, but we have more detective work for our Sherlock Bones than a simple treasure hunt.


    We have concocted some state-of-the-art experiments to determine just how powerful a dog's senses are. We're pretty sure that dogs have better hearing than us...but how much better? And we're almost certain a dog can sniff out pongs that we could never detect with our nose...but how much better is their sense of smell exactly? And what about their sight? do they see the world better than we do? Well, come along to our event and we will finally get to the bottom of these doggy related mysteries.


    Have you a NOSE for detective work???


    But experiments and treasure hunts are not all we have in store for our doggy detectives, we also have a short inspector paws film to show you (there may be some snacks handed out here), and all attendees will be asked to design a special doggy toy, that takes advantage of all we've learned in our day of sniffing out secrets. The event takes place July 21st from 12:00 to 14:30 Single tickets cost €5 Family tickets (4 people) cost €18 follow the link here below to buy tickets.




    Book early to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you all there



  6. Dog Friendly Ireland Day

    Fri Jun 22, 2018 at 03:30 PM

    Today is Dog Friendly Ireland Day.

    Unfortunately, there are many places across the country that have certain restrictions for dogs. Dogs Trust aim to make Ireland the best country in the world for dogs and their owners, so our campaigns team launched Dog Friendly Ireland Day, as a way of encouraging establishments—be it restaurants, cafes, bars or workplaces—to allow people to bring their dogs with them. We believe that if Ireland became a more dog friendly country, it would encourage more people to go out and adopt a furry companion.


    The education team at Dogs Trust are blessed to have jobs that allow us to spend our working day with our dogs, and we thought we would use this day as an excuse to show off some photos of us at work, or out and about with our furry companions.


    Our South East Education Officer Heather had a workshop in Wexford library today. As you can see she brought her best buddy Ted along with her. Hopefully nobody told him to shhh

    Ted at wexford library.jpg

    I'm looking for Mansfield Bark, or anything by Margaret Atwoof


    And here’s a photo of him being the King of the Hill, at Queen of the Universe National School in Carlow last week.

    Ted queen of the universe.jpg


    Ted wasn’t the only Dog in a school this week of course.


    Here’s Lucy and Audrey at Rolestown National School in Swords

    Audrey and Lucy at school.jpg


    And here’s Magic at Crubany National School in Cavan

    magic at crubany National school.jpg



    And Piper at St. Mary's on the Hill in Cork

    Piper at school.jpg


    But of course, school is the natural environment for an education dog. Not every dog is going to be able to go to school (or wants to). Odie decided to stay in the office today with Dawn and help her with her summer bookings.

     Odie at home working.jpg

    Computer Lab? No, Computer Yorkie Cross


    Do you think Dawn's impressed?

    Pretty Dawn and Odie.jpg


    Magic hung out in Paul’s office today as well, but I think she’s trying to distract him with her tennis ball.

    Magic and Paul at office.jpg

    Why would you work when you could be playing with me????


    And Ollie is chilling out in our Dublin office this afternoon. You can’t deny it must be pretty relaxing having that lovely face watching over you while you work.

    Ollie at Office.jpg

    A ruff day at the office 


    And the office isn’t the only place that we’re encouraging people to bring their dogs. Ollie spent some time with Aoife, our Connacht ECO recently, and they hung out at a café in Dublin. It was a sunny day, so Ollie retreated from the sun by hiding out in the shade.

    Ollie at cafe.jpg



    The majority of people claim that having a dog around can boost productivity and team work, and studies have shown that dogs reduce stress levels, and improve mental health.

    So from all of us on the education team (both the humans and the dogs) Happy Dog Friendly Ireland Day



  7. Pipe down, Pipe down!

    Fri Jun 1, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Yes yes, we have some exciting news for you- so Pipe down for a minute so we can tell you!

    Our South West ECO, Dawn, has added a new member to her pack- Piper- who has proven herself to be perfect to accompany Dawn to schools, having passed her assessment with the Training and Behaviour team here at Dogs Trust with flying colours! Lets meet Piper and find out a little more about her....

     Piper colour

    Hi Piper, welcome to the team! Tell us a little about yourself

    I’m a lurcher, which means I’m a sighthound crossed with something else. Like most sighthounds I’m very chilled out. Although I’m super-fast when I decide to run, I’m actually quite lazy and love nothing more than snoozing on the couch! Dawn says I’m pretty much the opposite of my dog-brother Odie, who’s always on the go!

    How did you come to live with Dawn and Odie?

    I was picked up as a stray and went to a place called the pound, in Waterford. When no one came to claim me, a rescue in Cork (with a soft spot for us hounds) decided to help find me a home so I travelled across the country! I was in kennels for a little while then, and the rescue asked Dawn to foster me so I could get used to life as a pet dog, before a permanent home was found. Of course Dawn fell in love with me and decided she couldn’t give me back!

    What are your likes/dislikes?

    Sleeping is probably one of my favourite things to do- if I’m not going for a walk, or eating, then I can usually be found snoozing in the most comfy spots around the house- the couch is my favourite and I usually take it all to myself!Piper Couch


    I didn’t really know how to play with toys when I first came to Dawn’s, but I’m learning how much fun they are and I love to chase a ball! I also like squeaky toys now, I like the noise they make. I do love my walks, although I’m not a fan of going on long hikes like Odie, I much prefer easy going walks, especially if I get to meet lots of people as I LOVE getting attention from everyone I meet!

    I don’t like having a bath (who does!?), and that evil machine the ‘Hoover’ is out to get me I’m sure!

    What kind of training have you had?

    Well at first I had to be housetrained, I hadn’t lived in a home before and didn’t realise I was meant to go to the toilet outside…. But I know that now!  

    Since then I’ve learned how to sit; lie down; wait; on your mat; and twirl. I don’t know as many tricks as Odie but I’m getting there!


    What do you think about your new job, and what are you most looking forward to?

    I love it! I had my first visit last week to Holy Family National School, in Kerry. I got to snooze on a comfy blanket while Dawn talked, and then I got some rubs! I then got to visit Kilbarry National School in Cork to help Dawn collect a donation for Dogs Trust!

    I’m looking forward to visiting more schools and teaching children about how important it is to be a Responsible Dog Owner!

     Piper in Holy Family


     Welcome to the team Piper!

    Dawn and Piper visit schools, community groups and libraries in Cork, Kerry and Limerick. If you would like to arrange a visit you can email them at [email protected], or call 0879239221.


  8. And The Big Scoop Poster Winner Is....

    Fri May 18, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    Last week we revealed the four finalists for our Big Scoop poster competition, and the education team have spent the past few days debating, arguing and discussing who should win the top prize and get used in our 2019 campaign.


    Well, we examined the finalists in dozens of categories; originality, concept, campaign references and of course, artistic merit. And in the end, there was one clear winner, so, drum roll.....


    The Winner of the Big Scoop poster competition, 2019 is.....


    Aoife's incredible entry, from Dualla National School, Tipperary

    Dulla NS%2c Tipperary.jpg


    We felt Aoife's stunning poster really conveyed the message of our campaign. It included a buggy, a rubbish bin, and lots of positive messages on why we should keep our streets free from dog fouling.


    Well done Aoife. We can't wait to send your poster out to schools across the country next year. Your ECO, Heather will be in touch with your school presently.


    And as for our other three finalists, please don't be disappointed. You all did incredible jobs and made our job of picking a winner very difficult. Each of you will get to name a puppy litter in Dogs Trust, and in the next few weeks your ECO will send on a photo to your school of your litter.


    Of course, the Big Scoop Campaign is not over. It will not be over until our streets are completely clean from Dog Poop, so remember guys. keep scooping that poop!


  9. The Big Scoop Poster Competition, 2018

    Fri May 11, 2018 at 04:54 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Hounds and Terriers!

    As you may know, back in March, we launched our Big Scoop campaign nationwide. The education team distributed "Scoop Packs" to schools all over the country reaching 28,500 children-all with the aim of tackling dog fouling.

    In each of these packs, we asked children to put their creative talents to use, and design posters, that spread our message-Scoop the Poop. The winner of this competition will have their poster used to front the campaign next year, and indeed last year's winning poster was seen in every corner of the country this year


    scoop poster 2018.jpg

    Ruby from Wexford Educate Together was our winner from last year's competition



    Well, the education team have spent the last few weeks sifting through all the amazing entries, and we have whittled them down to four finalists.  Each finalist will get to name a litter of puppies in our Dogs Trust centre in Dublin (Is there any better prize than naming a litter of puppies???). 


    So, enough stalling, its time to announce the finalists....


    Dulla NS%2c Tipperary.jpg


    Our first finalist is Aoife from Dualla National school in Tipperary. Aoife's Poster is chockablock with Scoop information and facts. She tells us that to leave a poop on the ground will result in a fine and that its not healthy. We also have a lovely illustrated example of why its better to clean up after our dogs. Well done Aoife.


    Scoil Mhuire gan smál%2c Graignamanagh%2c Co Kilkenny.jpg

    Our second finalist is a group effort by the Green Schools committee at Scoil Mhuire in Graignamanagh, Co.  Kilkenny. We presume the committee is made up of school children, but the quality of this entry is so high that it could very well be a team of fine art graduates. We have a globe, a Dogs Trust logo (always a nice touch)-actually we have two Dogs Trust logos, one printed, one drawn with freehand, a photo of a real poop (not sure that's the prettiest thing we've ever seen but hey, we never said it had to be pretty) and an actual scoop bag attached with directions on where to get these. Wow guys. This is impressive, Well done.


    st Oliver Plunketts Malahide 2.jpeg

    We don't have an artists name for our third finalist (apologies, we'll update this as soon as we find out) but they are from St Oliver Plunketts School in Malahide, Dublin. This is a stunning illustration of the before and after of a careless dog owner. The owner is not willing to Scoop the Poop, and later on that day, some poor unwilling chap gets poop on his lovely green high tops. The beauty of this poster in in the detail. We love that the Dog is called Gerald (I wonder is that the artists signature planted in a clever location?) , and we love that the poop is labeled "censored". We also love that the first "O" in poop, is replaced with a poop emoji, complete with yucky flies. Well done mystery artist. 


    St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh,.jpg

    Our fourth and final finalist is Ella from St Colman's National School, Mucklagh, Co. Offaly. Ella's poster made us smile-She isn't taking any prisoners with her message-She'll send the Poop Busters after you if you don't scoop after your dog. We love the adorable dog with the mismatched ears. The positively evil looking poop with the green stink lines, and the team of eager Poop Busters gearing to clean up our streets. We love it all, well done Ella.


    So, that is our four finalists for The Big Scoop Poster competition 2018. Each school will be notified in the next few days, and the artists will be able to name a litter of puppies in the next few weeks. 


    And as for the overall winner, who's that then I hear you ask? well, we're still not quite sure and need a little more time to mull it over. Keep an eye on our blog, and the winner will be revealed here next Friday.


    Until then, Remember everyone, to Keep Scooping that Poop!



  10. Hounds Of Love

    Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 05:25 PM

    greyhound greywatch.jpg

    The greyhound is one of the most distinctive and well-known breeds of dog in the world, and has maintained this status for thousands of years-fun fact, they are the only breed of dog name checked in the Bible.

    Despite their celebrity prestige, they are unfortunately not one of the most sought after breeds for pets or companion dogs. The reason for this is a bit of a mystery to us here in Dogs Trust-and indeed anyone who has had the fortune to spend time with a Grey. The sad fact is that 53% of Greyhounds that end up in dog pounds are euthanized, and the Greyhounds that do end up in rescues spend an average of 50% more time waiting for their forever home.

    To tackle this, Dogs Trust launched our Greywatch campaign a few weeks back, to inform the world on the wonders of all things Greyhound. We decided to do our own bit of pooch promotion on the education team, so this week’s blog is all about the breed of the hour.


    Whippet, Whippet Good.

    magic in jacket.jpg


    First off, what is a Greyhound? And why are they not all grey? And sometimes I hear them described as lurchers…and is a whippet something else? And why are some of them Italian?

    Well dear readers, I’m glad you asked.

    The Greyhound is a member of the sighthound family. A sighthound is a dog that uses its keen eyes to hunt, as opposed to the scenthounds that use their sense of smell; bloodhounds and beagles are members of this family. Although popular literature places the origins of the Greyhound in Ancient Egypt, there is no scientific data to back this claim, and most DNA tests link them to herding dogs bred by the Celts. The name “Greyhound” derives from the old English word “Grighund”, and has nothing to do with the colour grey.

    greyhound etch.jpg

    A wood carving of a Greyhound from Medieval England


    The breed were bred to be fast, and thus were used to hunt game. In later years, they were used in coursing, and in modern times the breed is most well-known for racing. The early Greyhound tracks were built in the 1870’s, but the sport did not really catch on until the 1920’s, and remains popular-if not controversial-to this day.

    The term “Lurcher”, is an umbrella term to describe any greyhound cross, while Whippets and Italian greyhounds are smaller thoroughbreds that descended from the standard Greyhound.


    Grey Gardens

    So, how do greyhound fare as pets?

    Well, very well actually. Although they are often assumed to be highly energetic dogs, Greyhounds are notoriously lazy, often cited as 40 mile per hour coach potatoes. Nor are they a particularly vocal dog, preferring to whimper and whine than bark. They are very gentle, but sensitive creature that prefer a big comfy sofa, to a big mountainous hike. Those big chests contain big hearts, and this affectionate breed only wants to be loved.

    If you fancy one of our beautiful greyhounds we have listed here, click the link to our website, and come on down to our centre.

    And if you aren’t in a position to adopt a greyhound yourself, perhaps you could help in another way? For many years, Dogs Trust have been campaigning for a ban on the export of Greyhounds to countries that have poor or non-existent animal welfare standards and most recently we proposed an amendment to the Greyhound Industry Bill, due to be published in the coming months, that will help protect the welfare of exported Irish greyhounds.

    You can follow the link here, to find out how you can help stop this.


    greyhound cathy.jpg

     Can you catch Cathy?




    greyhound Jojo.jpg

    Jojo is no joke



    greyhound max.jpg

    Max is only mighty



    greyhound pippa.jpg 

    Can you p-p-p-pick up Pippa?



    greyhound rocky.JPG

    Rock on, Rocky!



    greyhound shadow.jpg

    Cast a light on Shadow



    greyhound sophie.jpg 

    Will you be Sophie's choice?



    greyhound winter.jpg 

    Is Winter coming (home to you)?



    greyhound ylam.jpg 

    I'm sorry, I can't think of any puns for Ylam...what even is a Ylam???



  11. The Big Scoop

    Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    scoop poster 2018.jpg

     The education team have been very busy the past few weeks with the launch of the Big Scoop campaign, so we thought we would use the blog this week to reflect on all the work we did to spread our message.

    But, first things first, what exactly is The Big Scoop?

    Well, the Big Scoop is a campaign that we launched to highlight the importance of cleaning up after our dog fouls on the street. The communications team in Dogs Trust conducted a survey and discovered that 53% of people say they have a problem with dog fouling in their area, and 43% of people have seen dog poop in their local children’s park. But we have to remember, this is not a dog problem, it is a human problem, so the education team decided to do something about it.

    We made up “Scoop Packs” that consisted of activities, stickers, posters and workshops, all designed to teach children the importance of scooping the poop. We also hosted a Scoop the Poop poster competition-more on that in later blogs. These packs were sent to over one hundred schools across the country, reaching over 28,500 children.


    Fiona scoop 2.jpg

    Fiona visited the pupils of Mary Mother of Hope JNS, Clonee to deliver our Scoop the Poop workshop


    On the week of the Big Scoop itself, all of the education officers visited schools in their districts, and delivered special Scoop workshops. We asked classrooms, how many of them had ever stepped in poop, and it was rare to find someone that hadn’t. We also asked them why it was important for us to clean up after our dog, and we got many different responses.

    “It smells”, “It’s not nice to have dog poop all over our lovely town”, “It’s against the law and you could get a fine”, and the answer we feel is the most important, “You could get very ill from handling dog poop”. It is estimated that there could be as many as 23 million faecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of dog poop. These are little germs that can make us very sick, and some dogs may even have tiny worms in their poop that can cause blindness. Now your average person can avoid dog poop, but there are certain members of our society that are more vulnerable to it. Babies and toddlers for instance, or wheelchair users and the visually impaired. Even people playing ball games in fields, or buggies and prams.

    dawn scoop.jpg

    Dawn visited Flemby National School in Tralee, Co. Kerry during Scoop week and as you can see, the student certainly learned how to Scoop the Poop


    We hope to run our Scoop Campaign again next year, and if you would like us to send your school a pack please get in touch with us.

    Until comrades, remember. Scoop that Poop.

    heather scoop.JPG

    Heather and Ted visited Ballindaggin National school in Wexford. I hope they scooped that poop!


    Paul Scoop.JPG

    Paul and Magic teamed up with Leitrim County Vet James Madden and Animal Warden Ciara O'Kelly to educate the children of Scoil Mhuire in Carrick-On-Shannon. Can you spot the puppies?


    aoife scoop.jpg


    Scoop Selfie! Aoife made this amazing #bagitbinit banner for this photo with the children from St. Johns National School, Roscommon 


    Audrey scoop.jpg

    Audrey and Lucy brought this amazing Scooper to school with them. We hope it's big enough



  12. Tea and Tales 2018

    Tue Mar 27, 2018 at 01:06 PM

    tea and tales 3.png

    Step right up, step right up. Come one, come all. Our Tea and Tales education event will be held Saturday, April 7th in our Rehoming Centre in Dublin, and tickets are on sale now.

    This annual event has grown bigger each year, and this year we promise it will be the best yet.

    What is a Tea and Tales event I hear you say? Well, I’m glad you asked.

     tea and tales 1.jpg

    At Tea and Tales we invite various people to our Rehoming centre who work with dogs. Working with Dogs isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation that requires passion, hard work and many skills, and these guests will deliver talks and demonstrations to all attendees. We have a vet lined up who will be discussing how they determine if a dog is healthy or sick, and how we can best take care of our dogs. We have a trainer, who will hopefully give us tips on making sure our dogs behave, and remain happy dogs. We also have one of our Canine Carers dropping by, who will tell us about what happens to a dog from the day they arrive at Dogs Trust, to the day they get rehomed.

    We may even have a visit from a certain four legged friend….but we won’t delve too much into that, we don’t want to spoil any surprises.

    We will have a few other fantastic guests, but once you’ve learned all there is to know about the different people who work with dogs, we will have a quiz to determine which doggy career you would be best suited to.

    After all this is determined, we will embark (get it, bark!) on a behind the scenes tour of our rehoming facility. Oh, and there will be cake as well. Lots and lots of cake (and tea for the grown-ups).

    tea and tales 2.jpg

    Tickets are limited to get them while they’re hot.

    A single ticket costs €5 and a family ticket (four people) costs €14

    We hope to see you there




  13. Feeling a bit Husky?

    Thu Mar 1, 2018 at 01:01 PM

    oscar 2.jpg 

    As the snow continues to fall outside, we thought we would use this week’s blog to highlight a breed of dog that many of us associate with the cold; the Husky.

    The Husky is one of the most striking and recognisable dog breeds, and they have seen a surge in popularity in recent years-perhaps due to the television show Game of Thrones using husky’s to play the mythical dire wolves. Yet husky’s can be a challenging pet with a deep and proud history. Are they really Siberian? Why do we then also associate them with Alaska and Canada?

    Well dear reader, we shall try and explain.


    Siberian Huskys were originally bred by the Chukchi people, who relied heavily on their dogs to support their hunter-gatherer culture in the Siberian Arctic. The husky’s thick coat protected them in the freezing conditions, and they would often share a bed with children to keep them warm (Dogs Trust must politely state that we don’t recommend this).


    Many year later, during the Nome gold rush (between 1899 and 1909), a Russian fur trader introduced them to Alaska to be used as sled dogs. They were smaller than the Alaskan Malamutes, and therefore far faster. It is thought that the name Husky derives from the word “Esky”, which was a nickname for the Eskimos, and thus transferred over to their dogs.


    They were used for transporting goods across the snow and were controlled by canine carers called “Mushers”. One husky called Balto, became somewhat of a national treasure, when in 1925 he led a team of sled dogs 600 miles across subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions, to deliver medicine to Nome. The town had been struck by an outbreak of diphtheria and were saved thanks to Balto and his brave team.


    A statue of Balto stands proud in Central Park, New York city today


    So it is safe to say that huskys are brave and resilient fellows, and we have a number of stunning huskys looking for homes at the moment in Dogs Trust. But wait, before you run out a declare you want a Balto all of your own, you must take into consideration the lifestyle they were originally bred for. Pulling sleds across the snow all day, or helping out your hunter-gatherer family takes a lot of energy, so when we try and mold these energetic dogs into house dogs, we must ensure they get plenty of stimulation. They need two long walks every day. A half hour stroll in the evening will not do, these dogs just love to run. They are also slippery fellows, and if they can escape, they will. Very high fences or walls are needed to keep a husky contained. Many husky owners will also tell you that they have an inherent wanderlust, and their recall isn’t fantastic, so no off lead walks for them unless you are in a secure area.


    Although not much of a barker, a husky does love a good howl, and can be vocal.

    But with their steely blue eyes (often mismatched) and that wise expression, we can’t blame anyone for falling deeply in love with such a majestic dog.



    Makenna is currently looking for her forever home in Dogs Trust. 



    Named after Balto's Musher, Our Gunner is a Husky X, and is currently looking for his forever home




    Benji is actually an Alaskan Malamute, but looked so lovely in the snow, we had to include him here 



  14. Adora-Bull Staffies

    Fri Feb 16, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    One of the most common questions Dogs Trust staff get asked is, “what is the most common breed of dog you get?”. This can be hard to answer, as sometimes we get a flurry of lab crosses, and other times it seems like we are full of collies and lurchers. But a breed that we consistently see come through our doors is the staffie, so we thought we’d use today’s blog piece to highlight the sturdy and reliable breed that is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

    staffie sidney.jpg


    Sidney the stunning Staffie, is currently waiting for her forever home in Dogs Trust


    The staffie is a very misunderstood fellow. Often regarded as a dangerous breed, yet for many years the staffie’s nickname was the nanny dog, due to their good reputation around children (it is worth noting that Dogs Trust insist no dog should be left unsupervised around children). The breed came about sometime after the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835, which was also called the Humane Act. The act was brought in to put a stop to Bear and Bull Baiting-a horrifically cruel pastime of the era, and the act also forbade dog fighting.


    Up until this point, the dog most commonly used for these activities were bulldogs. We all recognise the distinct appearance of the Winston Churchill bulldog, but back in the 17th and 18th century, the bulldog was a completely different animal; much larger and stronger. Once the Cruelty to Animals Act came into being, it became harder to stage these activities as they were pushed underground, so the bulldog was bred with the smaller terrier, and this is where the Staffordshire Bull terrier is believed to have come about. Yet it soon became apparent that these dogs were more lovers than fighters, and after years of campaigning, the breed was officially recognised in 1935 by the kennel club of Great Britain. Today they are one of the most popular pets in the UK, however they have never quite escaped their unwarranted reputation.


    Full of energy and affection, there are few creatures more sweet and loveable than a staffie puppy. Though they are a restricted breed, and Irish law states that they must wear a muzzle when going out for walks, in Dogs Trust we have a saying, that it is the deed, not the breed, and it is important to remain safe around all dogs.


    They are also extremely agile, and have been known to scale fences of six foot, or higher.

    And then there’s those jaws. Those massive, powerful jaws that love little more than chewing a shoe/slipper/skirting board until it no longer resembles its former self. Make sure if you have a staffie in your house, you provide them with lots of sturdy chew toys to keep them busy.

    And keep them busy you must, because the staffie just loves to learn. They are highly intelligent and adore being trained-especially when food is involved.

    Like all dogs, they take a lot of time, money and space (see last weeks post) to keep happy and healthy, but staffies make very rewarding and lovable pets. Perhaps we have one waiting for you to rehome them today?

    lexi the staffi.jpg

    Lexi is another Staffie at Dogs Trust, who is waiting for her forever home




    staffie x tyson.jpg

    And this is Tyson, the Staffie cross, who is also looking for a loving family



  15. The Pups of Christmas past

    Mon Feb 5, 2018 at 04:45 PM

    As we coast into February, Christmas seems like a long time ago. If you were to ask people now what did they get for Christmas, many people would pause, and have to hav a little think, before remembering what they exchanged with their loved ones.

    Of course, that’s assuming people exchanged presents that are a little easier to forget than a dog.  Almost 40 years ago, Dogs Trust coined the phrase “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, yet still we constantly hear of people who give dogs as Christmas presents, who can no longer look after them come January. Last month, we received 186 requests from people who could no longer take care of their dog after Christmas, which was a 22% increase from January 2017.



    This is PJ the Jack Russel who was cruelly abandoned at our centre in Dublin


    We can understand why people would want a puppy. Puppies are cute, and adorable and make us happy. Everyone wants to make their loved ones happy-especially at Christmas, but puppies do not make good presents-they involve a lot of hard work that can be overlooked in the excitement of Christmas, but when January comes around, the decorations come down, and everyone goes back to their routine; often there is no room for puppy in this humdrum.


    So….you want to get a new dog, what should you ask yourself?


    Well, for starters, this is a family decision, and everyone in the family should meet the dog ahead of time-no surprises please.

    Then you must ask yourself, is this the right dog for us? Do we have the space for it.





    wolf hound and chihuahua.jpg



    This dog park isn't big enough for the two of us....


    Puppies are small, but not all dogs are. In fact, many dogs are huge. Now, you don’t have to have a massive house and garden to be a responsible dog owner, and in face many good dog owners live in modest sized houses-but they do have to be willing the share the house with the dog when it is fully grown. There is no point in taking a puppy home, only to return it when it gets too big. If you can’t handle the dog when it’s fully grown, then you shouldn’t take them when they are small.






    Gentle Greta and energetic Joseph are two of our residents in Dogs Trust. Which one would suit your lifestyle?


    Dogs are social animals. Think of their wild counterparts; wolves and foxes. Do wolves live solitary lives? No, they live in packs with other wolves for company, and so when we have a pet dog, they will need to spend time with us. If everyone in the house is away for the entire day, and the dog spends 12 hours on his own, do you think this will result in a healthy and happy dog? No, of course not. This dog will get bored and frustrated, and will likely become very destructive and vocal.

    And spending time with your dog isn’t all about cuddles on the sofa. We need to walk our dogs-at least two times a day. For a lazier dog, like a lurcher or cavalier, then two short walks should do the trick, but if you have a more energetic dog such as a husky or a collie, then you will have to take them on much longer walks. If you haven’t the time or the energy to take your dog out for big long walks everyday, then you need to do your research, and match yourself with a more compatible breed.



    afghan hound 2.jpg


    I don't get out of my dog bed for less than 10000 dog treats a day...


    No one likes to talk about money, but the unfortunate fact is that dogs cost an awful lot of money to keep healthy and happy. Every dog will need to be fed, and we need to buy them toys, a bed, dog treats, a lead and collar, a license, a microchip, poo bags, flea treatment, wormer etc. I could write an entire feature on all the things we need to buy a dog in its lifetime-and that’s not even including the various medical expenses that we may have to fork out if Fido ever gets ill. When we see cute puppies, it is hard to remember how expensive they are, and it’s not until after they are brought home, many people suddenly realise…uh oh…I’m now struggling to pay my mortgage/rent/groceries, and they end up bring their dog back because they don’t have enough money. Before getting a dog, every owner should do the maths, and work out can they afford a dog. If the answer is no, then getting a puppy will be a mistake.


    Space, time and money are the three most common reasons a dog may get rehomed, and if an owner does not have all three, then it is irresponsible to get a dog. We recognises that not all surrender requests are made lightly, and that sometimes circumstances change, resulting in no other option but to surrender a dog. We would ask the public to try and anticipate any major lifestyle changes such as an upcoming move, or a baby coming into the home and consider how a dog may impact this before bringing one into your home.


    Until then, we will keep spreading our message that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, and hopefully next year, the number of post Christmas requests for taking in dogs will have decreased.


  16. Hotdogs or Pupsicles; Keeping your Dog Safe During Winter

    Fri Jan 12, 2018 at 03:03 PM

    magic in snow.jpg


    The past few weeks we’ve had snow, ice, storms, and even freezing fog. Winter is well and truly upon us, and the only time most of us spend outdoors is a brisk walk from house to car to closest building; apart from, of course, when we walk our dogs.

    Dogs still need their walks, even if we would rather curl up in front of the fire-our dogs would love to do that too, just after their walk.

    But even our furry companions need to be protected from the elements, so we have composed a list of ways to make sure our dogs stay safe this winter.


    Keep them inside-if possible

    The best way to keep your dog safe is simply to keep them inside. If you have to keep your dog outside, make sure they have a place to sleep that is raised from the ground, well insulated, and with a flap or curtain to keep them nice and sheltered from the rain and wind. When temperatures drop to below zero however, we really do advise that you bring them inside where they can be nice and toasty.


    piper in jumper.JPEG


    Protect them when out on walks

    Some hairy dogs, like huskies and St Bernards fare well in the snow. They have lots of body fat and heavy fur to insulate them, and will love the low temperatures. Greyhounds, whippets and lurchers however have short hair and slight physiques. They will need jackets or jumpers to keep them warm. Keep an eye on their paws, which can be vulnerable to snow and ice. If they start limping while out on a walk, check to see if they are ok. You can buy booties for dogs to wear, but make sure they fit, and are comfortable.


    Don’t leave your dog in a car

    In summer, a parked car becomes an oven. In winter, they become a refrigerator.  Don’t leave a dog alone in one for any length of time.


    Make sure their identification is up to date

    Winter is the time of year when dogs are most likely to go missing-many will panic during a storm and may escape a garden, or flee through an open front door. Make sure they are wearing their collar with an ID tag, and that they’re microchipped.


    Be careful when using Anti Freeze.

    Anti Freeze is sweet tasting for dogs, but highly toxic. Make sure your dog has no access to it, and if they do ingest any, contact your vet straight away.

    piper all snug.JPEG

    By following these safety tips, we hope you and your dogs enjoy the cold snap while it's here. Stay safe guys and dogs.


  17. 2017, Our Year in Review

    Thu Dec 14, 2017 at 04:16 PM

    2017 was a fantastic year for the Dogs Trust Education team. It was our first full year with six Education and Community Officers and we filled that year with events, workshops and our very first major campaign. The campaign in question was Be Dog Smart, which we launched in May.

    BDS Photo 61 - family on crossing with Jake and Lucy.jpg

    The campaign followed a survey we conducted that discovered that…

    • 40% of Irish parents would leave a child under 11 or younger alone with a dog

    • A quarter of Irish adults have let a child approach a dog they did not know

    • 1 in 3 parents have seen their child kiss a dog on the nose

    • Whilst 82% of Irish parents say they teach their child how to behave around a dog, over 96% don't know there are 21+ signs that a dog may be feeling uncomfortable or stressed.


    These worrying statistics led us to develop 4 Be Dog Smart (BDS) workshops that centre around the theme of safety around dogs. These workshops target children, expectant parents, parents of young children, and parents of teenagers, and since the campaign launched, we have delivered 349 of them to people all over Ireland.

    School photo.jpg

    Of course, the education team haven’t abandoned our traditional Responsible Dog Ownership (RDO) workshops, and we continue to visit primary schools to educate and guide the future dog owners of the country. In 2017 we visited over 400 schools and alongside our 349 BDS workshops, we delivered over 2000 RDO workshops. Phew. That’s a lot of children that now know how to safely approach a dog.


    Although most of the time the Education Officers visit the schools directly (often accompanied by their education dogs) we also offer a limited amount of tours in our rehoming facility, in Dublin. This year we provided 41 tours of our centre to secondary schools and youth groups.


    And those are only the tours in which we are visited by an external group. They aren’t including the tours we give at the various education events we host each year, and in 2017, we hosted four events.


    The first was tea and tales, which was in April of this year. Attendees of Tea and Tales (apart from getting yummy cakes and sweets to eat) were treated to the stories and experiences of various people who work with dogs. We had a former dog warden share his knowledge of what happens when a dog is abandoned, and we spoke with a vet nurse on how they help a dog get back to his healthy self. We also had dog groomers and canine carers and even trainers, and the event was a smashing success.


    Then in July we held our Doggy Detectives event, in which we explored how a dogs senses work, before undertaking a clue hunt all around the centre.

    Paul and kids with focus.jpg

    A personal favourite, in October we hosted our Howl-O-Ween event, in which we discussed how to keep your dog safe in the scariest time of year. We heard all about the Werewolf of Dogs Trust, and we even had some prizes for fancy dress.

    santa paws.jpg

    And then only last week we hosted our Santa Paws event, which is (as you may have guessed) our Christmas event. It was the biggest event we have ever held, in which attendees made up stockings for all our wonderful dogs in the centre. Everyone also got to meet the man of the hour, Mr Santa Claus himself.


    If you think they sound fun, don’t worry, we will hopefully be hosting them again next year (and who knows, perhaps a new event as well) and how can you keep track of them all? Well, this year the education team launched our own Facebook page, where you can keep track of all our events.


    And if you want to keep in touch with some of our individual officers, both Heather and Ted, and Paul and Magic, (our south east and midland officers respectively) have set up their own twitter accounts. If you are a twitter user, you can keep up to date with all their adventures, as they travel their district visiting schools and youth groups.


    paul and magic.jpg



    Heather and Ted Black t shirt in front of car.jpg



    2017 was a record breaking year for the Irish Education team in Dogs Trust, but we are hoping 2018 has even more in store for us. We can’t wait to see you then. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR-From the entire education team.

    dogs trust education team.jpg


  18. Santa Paws 2017

    Fri Nov 24, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Happy Howlidays everyone.

    That magical time of year is almost upon us, and children up and down the country are writing their lists to Santa. Occasionally we will meet children who tell us that they love dogs so much, that they have asked for a puppy for Christmas. As exciting as this may sound, puppies are hard work, and need lots of things to keep them happy and healthy. They aren’t toys to be picked off a shelf and returned once the holidays are over, yet unfortunately we receive hundreds of phone calls every January from people who bought dogs for Christmas, that are no longer wanted come January. So in Dogs Trust, we have a well know phrase that goes “A Dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas”. What this means is, if you are getting a dog, it is a commitment to care for them for the rest of their life. If you really want a dog for Christmas, then get a toy dog, but not a real one.

    puppy red xmas.jpg

    For those of you who already have a dog at home, we must remember to keep our dog safe over the busy holiday season. Make sure to keep any chocolate out of reach, as chocolate is poisonous for dogs, and don’t be tempted to give them any left overs from the Christmas dinner. There are lots of foods that we eat that can harm a dog, such as onions and garlic, and these may be ingredients in your dinner. You may also want to give your dog a bone from the turkey, but dogs can choke on cooked bones, particularly poultry bones, so best avoid this as well.

    Santa paws 2016.jpg

    Fear not however, if you are looking to do something doggy friendly for Christmas, we have just the solution for you. Join us on Saturday, December 9th for our annual Santa Paws event. Help us deck the halls with boughs of collie by filling a stocking with lots of doggy treats. You will be assigned one of our pooches in the centre and will custom make them a stocking that will be given to them on Christmas morning (That’s pretty impressive right?).

    As we mentioned earlier, Christmas can be a busy time for families, and sometimes our dogs might get a little overwhelmed, so we will also be hosting a Christmas safety workshop full of lots of tips on how to responsibly enjoy Christmas with your furry pal. You will then embark on a behind the scenes tour of our amazing rehoming facilities and see some of our wonderful residents. Once back from your tour, you will then get to meet another very special visitor.A certain Nordic gentleman, with a penchant for wearing red suits…that’s right, Santa himself has promised to dachshund through the snow to join us for the day and will meet and greet all our Santa Paws guests.

    Santa & puppy.jpg

    Each visitor will receive a little present, and there will be hot chocolate and goodies available as well. Don’t bark humbug! Buy your tickets via the link below.

    Single ticket for Workshop and Santa is €10 (10:30-12) Booking required

    Ticket to see Santa €5 (12-3pm) No booking required

    Fleas Navidad! :)

    Santa Paws 2017 Banner 2 (facebook).jpg


  19. Leitrim, Louth and Cavan, Oh My!

    Fri Nov 3, 2017 at 09:17 AM

    Hello all. We hope everyone has recovered from Halloween, and all your dogs remained happy and healthy.

    We have some exciting news for you. As you may know, the Dogs Trust Education Team have six Education and Community Officers that service most of the country. We visit primary schools, libraries and community groups and offer free workshops on responsible dog ownership and safety around dogs. Unfortunately, we cannot reach every school in the country, however three of our ECOs have recently expanded their districts.

     Audrey and Lucy.jpg

    Audrey and her education dog Lucy are primarily based in Dublin, however they now plan on visiting schools in Louth, an area that we have never been able to reach before. If you would like Audrey to visit your school, you can email her on [email protected] or phone her on 0861422381

     paul and magic.jpg

    Paul, and his dog Magic cover the midlands, and his district has also expanded. Paul can now visit schools in (most of) Cavan and south Leitrim. If you would like Paul to visit your school, you can email him on [email protected] or phone him on 0879042815


     dawn odie.jpg

    And finally Dawn, who covers Cork and South West Munster is now able to visit Limerick. Previously Dawn (who is sometimes accompanied by her dog, Odie) could only visit south Limerick but now can visit any interested school in the county. You can email Dawn at [email protected] or phone her on 087 9239221


    Our Connacht officer Aoife has also expanded her territory, and now covers most of Clare. If you would like Aoife to visit your school, you can email her at [email protected] or phone her at 086 832 3325

    Of course you don’t have to be from Louth, Leitrim, Cavan or Limerick to book us for you school. Check out our website to find your local ECO, and we’d love to come out and visit you.




  20. Howl-O-Ween 2017

    Fri Oct 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Halloween is such a fun time of year for humans. We get to dress up in scary costumes, go trick or treating, and eat loads and loads of goodies, but for our dogs, it can be a really scary holiday. This isn’t because of all the ghosts and goblins (although they can be frightening too), no, there are lots of reasons why a dog may find Halloween a scary time of year, and we’ve composed a list of ways to keep your dog safe and calm over the next few weeks.


    Fancy Dress?

    Dressing up is so much fun. Wearing costumes, putting on facepaint, wearing a mask…Everyone loves this part of Halloween-but remember that your dog isn’t a person. Never force your dog into a costume-they might be uncomfortable and get nervous. When you are dressed up, remember that you may smell like yourself, but you will look completely different. Your dog may not recognise you and get a fright. If you are putting up Halloween decorations, make sure your dog can’t reach any of them. A rubber bat or spider might look scary to you, but they may look like the perfect chew toy to a dog.


    Trick or Treating…

    Hopefully you will go knocking on doors on Halloween night asking for lots of sweets and goodies. This is a fun thing to do with your friends and parents, but don’t bring your dog with you. The streets will be very busy with lots of strangely dressed people, and they may be frightening to your dog. The sky often comes alive on Halloween night because of all the fireworks. These can be extremely loud to our dogs and very stressful. Perhaps you could find a quiet part of your house that night where your dog can go. If you turn the volume on the radio or the television a bit louder, it may drown out the sounds of the bangers. When trick or treaters are calling to your house, make sure your dog won’t run out the front door. You may think they would never do that, but they may panic when the strange sounds, and run as soon as they see an exit.

    Halloween puppies for blog.jpg

    Sweets and Treats…

    When you come back from your trick or treating, you will likely have loads of goodies to eat your way through. Don’t share of of this with your dog. Remember lots of human foods are poisonous to dogs, including Chocolate and grapes. Barmbrack is a traditional Halloween bread that you might be lucky enough to eat (or even find a ring within), but be careful not to give any of this to your dog. It contains raisins, which are deadly to dogs.


    Hopefully you will all have happy and safe Halloweens, but if you are looking for a way to celebrate Halloween in a dog friendly way, then why don’t you come to our Howl-O-Ween event in our centre in Dublin. Our annual Halloween event is fancy dress (of course) and there will be prizes for best costume. Anyone dressing up however, will have to be able to easily take the costume off however, as they will be embarking on a behind the scenes tour of our amazing rehoming centre, and we don’t want any of our residents to be frightened, do we? When we return from the tour there will be some goodies for everyone, before being told the scary(ish) tale, of the Werewolf of Dogstrust.

    Facebook Cover.png

    If you would like to attend, you can buy a single ticket for €5, or a family ticket (4 people) for €17. You can follow the link below to purchase your tickets.


    We look forward to seeing you there. Happy Halloween!!!!!



  21. Aoife's Gaeltacht Experience

    Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:12 AM

      Our Galway and Connacht Education officer Aoife recently spent one week in Oideas Gael, an adult Irish college. As Aoife covers many schools in the Gaeltacht region, she thought it would be beneficial to improve her Irish so she could deliver workshops through our native language. We caught up with her to ask her about the experience.





    Hi Aoife, well done on completing your course in the Gaeltacht, did you enjoy the experience?

    Bhain mé an taitneamh as ar fad! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The week in Oideas Gael really ignited my interest in the language. It has been 18 years since I studied Irish and I was amazed at how much came back to me when I was fully immersed in a Irish speaking environment.


    Did you go to Irish collage as a teenager? How different was the experience this time around?

    As a teenager I visited the Gaeltacht for a long weekend with school, but never did a full course during summer holidays. I imagine the experience to be quite similar tough. We did 35 hours of class during the week and spoke Irish amongst ourselves at lunch and break time and in the evenings. Every evening there were events organised to keep us entertained, such as traditional music or a ceilí. This was a opportunity to speak casual conversational Irish amongst ourselves.


    Many schools in your district teach through Irish. Will you be able to deliver all our workshops through Irish from now on?

    Well, all through Irish would still be a bit of a struggle, but I certainly feel more confident speaking Irish in front of a group. I would have to use cúpla focail as bearla, and I’m sure I can get some help from the students in schools I visit too! They will be my best teachers going forward, giving my new phrases and ways to say things and helping with my vocabulary when I’m stuck for a word!!


    Perhaps a visit to the Aran islands is in store for you?

    Yes, I would be delighted to visit schools on the Aran Islands - I’ve never been! It would be a real adventure taking the ferry across and experiencing island life. I might wait until the weather improves a little though!


    Do you think it is important for Irish people to be able to speak the native tongue?

    Yes, I think it’s a beautiful language and something we all learn at school so it is a shame not to keep it up. Having a second language is a great skill and helps to exercise our minds when we use it – so why not put your brain to work and try incorporate ‘cúpla focail’ into conversation.


    Well done Aoife. If your school is in the Galway and Connacht area, and you would like Aoife to deliver some of our workshops (either in Irish or in English), you can email her at [email protected]

    aoife in library in galway.jpg


    Of course, it wouldn’t be right to have a blog post of Aoife’s experience in the Gaeltacht without cúpla focail, so we thought we would give Aoife a final word on her experience.


    D’oscail an cúrsa teanga in Oideas Gael doras an tábhachtach do chultúr saibhir na tíre seo. Ní hamhain don teanga Gaeilge ach d’fhoghlaim mé alán faoi stair agus traidisiúin na hÉireann freisin. Sa taobh seo tíre tá an ghaeilge laidir, agus tá súil agam páirt níos mó a glacach sa phobal as seo amach. Táim an bhuíoch as an deis a fuair mé ó Dogs Trust an cúrsa seo a dheanamh. Thaispeáin said suim faoi leith i gcultúr agus teanga na tíre seo. “Beatha teanga í a labhairt”.



  22. Back to School

    Fri Sep 8, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    dogs trust education team.jpg


    Now that September is in full throttle, schools all across the country are settling into their new routines. For the Education team at Dogs Trust, that means taking our library posters down for another year, and getting stuck into our main focus; primary schools. Our Six education officers cover 95% of Ireland, and deliver workshops on responsible dog ownership and dog safety. Most of our Education Officers have Education dogs that may accompany them to schools, and all our workshops tie in with the curriculum. In 2016, our team reached over 56,000 children across the country, but since our education team was founded in 2006 we have taught over 12,000 workshops, reaching over 360,000 children. That’s a lot of children knowing all about a dog’s needs, and how to be safe around dogs. In May of this year, the education team launched our Be Dog Smart campaign, and we aim for 2017 to be our most successful year yet. If you would like your school to take part in our educational workshops, then find your local education officer here…

    …and book a workshop. We can’t wait to deliver the next 12,000.


    Education dog lineup.png

    Our Education Dogs



  23. Summer Colouring Competition 2017

    Fri Sep 1, 2017 at 01:40 PM

    It’s September 1st. Across the country thousands of children have gone back to school, their summer holidays nothing but a memory now, and the next thing to look forward to is Halloween, the spooky autumn holiday (and then suddenly it will be Christmas!).

    But us Education Officers at Dogs Trust are not quite finished with our summer duties. In fact we have one more, very important task to do before we move on to our Autumn agenda. We must pick a winner, for our summer colouring competition.

    As you may know, our 6 Education Officers (and our education dogs) all had very busy summers visiting libraries across the country, delivering our Be Dog Smart workshops. We met hundreds of young people, teaching them all the ways to be safe around dogs. We had a marvellous time, but one of the most exciting things about our adventures was our summer colouring competition. Anyone who attended our workshop was given a picture of Captain Canine, our safety hound, and they had to colour him in, and leave a photo of their artwork on our Facebook page. The photos are still on our page now. Please, if you haven’t already, have a look. We got some fantastic entries and picking a winner wasn’t easy. In fact, we still haven’t…but what we have done, is narrowed it down to 6 finalists.

    Each of the Education Officers has picked their personal favourite, which is posted below. We are going to spend the rest of the afternoon debating, and the winner will be announced tomorrow at 10am, on our Facebook page. The winner will receive a family ticket to our amazing Howl-O-Ween event in October, so the stakes are high!


    Aoife’s Choice

    Caoimhe Doyle no age (Aoife).jpg

    As a fan of the outdoors, Aoife was drawn to this beautiful depiction of Captain Canine standing by a river with a tree in the background. Or is it a road that Captain is helping us cross safely? Either way we all agree it’s a stunning job. The artist is Caoimhe, though we don’t know Caoimhe’s age, or which library talk she attended. Well done Caoimhe.


    Heather’s choice

    Ruby Kelly age 10.jpg

    Heather is a fan of a splash of colour, so this entry by Ruby Kelly from Enniscorthy (aged 10) was her obvious favourite. Apart from Captain himself who looks spiffing, the background looks like a chessboard from a magical rainbow land….or perhaps a tablecloth for a very sugary birthday. We love it. Well done Ruby.


    Paul’s choice

     paul entry for comp.JPG

    Paul’s choice was this entry by Kayleigh, age 11, who attended the talk in Moate Library. Paul liked the black outline, and the forced perspective that is going on here; like a Mondrian piece of art. Is Captain in front of a large corridor? But wait, that’s a sun in the sky? And that’s grass underfoot? Maybe that’s a Be Dog Smart sign hanging suspended in the air? Either way, this entry made us think and that is what art is all about. Well done Kayleigh.


    Audrey’s choice

    audrey winning comp entry.JPG 

    Purple, red, green, pink, orange, azure, ochre. Audrey’s favourite entry used every colour in the crayon box for this beautiful technicolour piece of art. The artist is Sadbh Hart, though we’re not sure which workshop Sadbh attended, or what age she is. What we are sure of though, is that Sadbh has an eye for colour. It’s not just Captain that got the rainbow effect. Our little blurb also got a multicolour makeover. Well done Sadbh.


    Dawn’s choice

    Saoirse Booth age 11 (Dawn).jpg

    You know those sport films, where two teams are battling it out, and it seems like it’s a close call, and then at the last minute a new player emerges and steals the show. Dawn’s favourite entry may follow that trope as this was a last minute entry by Saoirse Booth, age 11, who attended the talk in Portarlington library. Not that we blame Saoirse for the last minute entry. She clearly spent hours on this amazing piece of art. Not only did Saoirse colour in Captin beautifully, but she added some of her own art. Captain now has a Dogs Trust Harness (as sported by our own education dogs), but he also has an owner. It would have been easy for Saoirse to just give Captain any old owner, but the owner is wearing a Canine Carer uniform, worn by the staff of Dogs Trust. We’re blown away Saoirse. Well done.


    Fiona’s Choice

    fiona winning comp entry.JPG 

    Fiona loved this entry by Andrew Crean, Age 7 (though we suspect Andrew recently had a birthday), and we can’t blame her. Look at Captain’s lovely blue face, and look at the lovely tree in the background. But our favourite thing about this entry is the lovely ducks in the bottom right. We want to jump into this piece of art and join Captain and the ducks. Well done Andrew.



    The Education team are going to spend the rest of the day debating which of these six wonderful entries will be crowned the winner, and who will receive the family ticket to the Howl-O-Ween event. But we must congratulate everyone who entered. We were overwhelmed by the amount of amazing entries we received and whittling it down to 6 was no easy task. We also want to thank everyone who attended one of our summer workshops. It was our busiest summer to date, and we hope to revisit the same libraries again next year. The winner of the colouring competition will be announced tomorrow morning on or Facebook page. Until then, Best of luck!


  24. Library Visits 2017

    Fri Aug 4, 2017 at 05:37 PM

    ted in library.jpg


    We’re halfway through the summer holidays now, but there is no rest for our busy education team. As many of you know, we spend most of the year visiting schools across the county, but we don’t simply put our feet up when the schools are off. In fact, summer is probably the busiest time for our education team. We have spent the past few weeks doing workshops in summer camps, pre schools and all sorts of community groups. But the best way to catch up with the education team is by attending one of our many library workshops.



    odie echio newspaper.jpg

    Odie and his pal Namo even made it to the front page of the Echo Newspaper this week after his visit to Cork City Library.

    We have tied our library workshops this summer with our Be Dog Smart Campaign, and have already delivered talks to hundreds of children across the summer. But don’t worry, we still have plenty more workshops to deliver. Have a look at your local Education and Community Officer below, and see which workshops are closest to you.

    audrey and lucy in library.png

    Audrey and her dog Lucy cover Dublin, Louth and Meath. They will be doing a talks in...

    Dunboyne Library August 21st at 11am
    Drogheda Library August 22nd at 11:30am
    Oldcastle Library August 23rd at 3pm
    And Athboy Library August 24th at 3pm



    paul and magic.jpg

    Paul and his dog Magic cover the midlands. Catch up with them in...

    Mountrath Library at 11am, and Abbeyleix Library at 2:30pm August 8th
    Portlaoise Library at 11am, and Durrow Library at 2pm August 9th,
    Portarlington Library at 12:15pm and Stradbally Library at 2pm August 10th
    Athlone Library at 11:30am and Moate Library at 2:30pm August 14th,
    Mullingar Library at 11:30am and Kilbeggan Library at 2:30pm August 15th
    Castlepollard Library at 2pm and Ballynacargy at 11am August 17th,
    And Mountmellick Library at 11am and Kilcormac Library at 2:30pm August 24th,


    aoife in library in galway.jpg 

    Aoife covers Galway and parts of Connacht. She will be delivering her workshops in…

    Ennis Library at 11am on August 23rd



    PHOTO- Dawn, Odie -Blackpool Library.jpg

    Dawn and Odie cover Cork and South West Munster. They would love you to visit them at…

    Clonakilty Library at 11am on August 9th,
    Mallow Library at 11am on August 16th,
    Listowel Library at 11am and Tralee Library at 2:30pm on August 21st,
    Castleisland Library at 11am and Dunmanway Library at 3pm August 22nd
    Killorglin Library at 11am and Caherciveen Library at 2:30pm on August 23rd



    heather ted kilkenny County library.jpg

    And Finally, Heather and her little sidekick Ted who cover the South East will be delivering workshops at…

    Tipperary Town Library at 11am on August 8th,
    Callan Library at 11am on August 9th
    Graiguenamanagh Library at 11am on August 10th
    Templemore Library at 11am on August 21st
    Cashel Library at 11am on August 22nd
    Gorey Library at 11am on August 23rd
    Nenagh Library at 10am and 11:30am, and Thurles at 3pm on August 24th
    Waterford Library at 11am and Clonmel at 2pm on August 29th



    There are other libraries that we hope to visit, but we have not confirmed the exact dates or times yet, so if your local library isn’t on the above list don’t worry. Keep an eye on our facebook page where we will post all of our library workshops the week before. Unfortunately we cannot visit every library in the country, but if we are visiting one in your area soon, please come along.
    We can’t wait to see you, and remember, Be Dog Smart!



  25. Doggy Detectives 2017

    Mon Jul 17, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    We have a very exciting day planned for Saturday, July 22nd; our annual Doggy Detectives day.



    Every July we host a detective themed fun-day in our rehoming centre in Finglas, where we partake in a clue finding trail that takes participants around the centre on a behind the scenes tour, searching for answers for our doggy quiz.

    We also host some amazing experiments where we learn all about a dog's keenest senses; their sense of smell, hearing, and sight. Once we learn all about their incredible abilities we have a toy designing competition, where each participant designs a unique toy based on what they have learnt.

    We top off the day with a short doggy film, and of course, no film is complete without popcorn, which we will provide.

    Tickets for Doggy Detectives are limited, and always sell out fast, so don’t waste time. Follow the link below to purchase your tickets.


    The event is aimed for children between the ages of 7 and 13. We look forward to seeing you there 



    IMG_9301 (2).JPG

    Doggy Detectives 2016, all set up and ready to go

    IMG_9319 (2).JPG

    Yummy treats just waiting for some Junior detectives 

    IMG_9326 (2).JPG

    Last years sensory experiments. It's going to be even better this year!



  26. Congratulations Ruby

    Fri Jun 30, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    This week, our Education and Community Officer Heather visited Wexford Educate together with her education dog Ted, to present our Scoop the Poop poster winner 2017 with her prize.


    On our last blog update, we announced that the winner of our competition was Ruby Reynolds, from Wexford educate together.

    Heather, our South East Education and Community Officer visited Ruby’s school this week (together with Ted, the education dog), and presented Ruby and her teacher Laura Sinnot, with her Prize and certificate.

    ruby, heather and teacher.JPG


    Ruby’s amazing poster (pictured below) will be used for our Scoop the Poop campaign next year.


    south east winner.jpg



    Ruby also won a year’s correspondence with one of our sponsor dogs. Sponsoring a dog, is an amazing way to help one of our residents in Dogs Trust. If you would like to find out more about sponsoring a dog, you can follow this link.


    Well done Ruby, we can’t wait to see your poster across the country next year. And remember, if you would like your school to take part in next year’s Scoop the Poop competition, email your local Education and Community officer now, and ask them to add you to next year’s list.



  27. Scoop The Poop 2017

    Fri Jun 16, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    Poop the Scoop 2017


    We have had a very exciting Scoop the Poop week this year in Dogs Trust, that ran from May 8th to 12th.


    This year, we had 55 schools across the country take part, with an estimated 12,600 children learning the importance of cleaning up after their dog, or essentially, "Scooping the Poop".

    Dogs Trust sent out our amazing Scoop Packs to each of these schools, which included fact sheets on the health implications of dog fouling for our older participants, and fun activities for all, including a design a poop bag activity, and our Scoop the Poop poster competition 2017.

    Each of our Education and Community Officers had a difficult time, determining which poster was the regional winner, and then we all had an even harder time deciding which poster would be the overall winner. But decide we did, and below you can see our results.


    Firstly, we will announce the winners of the regional areas.


    The winning poster for Connacht is this wonderful entry from Harry Gilbert, in 3rd class in Scoil Iósaif Naofa in Galway. We particularly love Harry’s use of our Scoop the Poop stickers, in the word "Poop". Well done Harry.

    galway winnder.jpg



    Our winning poster for the South East is this spectacular entry from Ruby Reynolds, from 4th class in Wexford Educate together. Referencing Ghostbusters is a great way to catch our eye Ruby, well done!

    south east winner.jpg



    Our winning Poster for the midlands is this lovely entry by Anna Rogaczewska, in 6th class in Newtown National School, Laois. We love how this shows how dog fouling can ruin a beautiful Irish landscape. Well done Anna.

    midlands school 2.5.jpg



    Our winning poster from our Dublin/East area is Rosie Breivit, from 6th class, St Francis Xavier in Dublin. We love this thoughtful poster, with lots of colour and a strong message, well done Roise.

    Dublin winner.jpg



    The winner from our Cork/South West Munster area is Molly (We don’t yet know Molly’s surname or class, but will have the information shortly), from Rockboro Primary School in Cork city. We love that Molly’s poster was incorporated onto an actual poop bag. How clever is that!

    cork winner.jpg




    All five of our regional champion posters are fantastic and will receive certificates to congratulate them. In all honesty, every entry to our competition was wonderful, but we had to pick an overall winner. This winning poster, will be used to front out Scoop the Poop Campaign in 2018.



    We are proud to announce, our winning poster, is our Ghostbusters quoting, strong message giving, artistic extravaganza entry from Wexford Educate together in the South East.

    Well done Ruby. An artist in the making we’re sure.

    south east winner.jpg



    We had a very successful Scoop the Poop campaign this year, however we are already looking towards next year, and want it to be even better and even bigger. If you would like your school to take part, than contact your local Education and Community Officer and let them know.

    Until then, everyone remember to keep "Scooping the Poop"!



  28. Scoop The Poop

    Fri Jun 2, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Our Scoop the Poop Poster Competition is coming to a close, and our education officers are busy sifting through all the entries. If your school wants to enter, there is still time, and the winning poster will be featured on this blog, on Friday, June 16th.

    The winning poster will be used to front our Scoop the Poop campaign in 2018, and will be seen by thousands of children and dog owners across the country.


    We thought we might use our blog to showcase some of our wonderful entrees so far


    Below are two of our Dublin Entrees, using our education mascots Flick and Rex as models.

    Dublin School.jpgdublin school 2.jpg




    We have a wonderful entry from the South East

    South East school.jpg


    The midlands also has plenty of talented artists, some of which are depicted below

     Midlands School.jpgmidlands school 2.5.jpg

    And Galway has its own talents to display


    galway school.jpggalway school 2.jpg




    These are only a small selection of the wonderful entries, but remember, we are still taking entries.


    Email your local education and community officer with your school’s chosen poster, and you may be part of our Scoop the Poop campaign for 2017.



  29. Be Dog Smart

    Fri May 19, 2017 at 02:40 PM

    BDS Photo 61 - family on crossing with Jake and Lucy.jpg


    The past few weeks have been extremely exciting for the Education Team in Dogs Trust, and this week we are proud to launch our new campaign, Be Dog Smart. Our aim with this campaign is to increase safety around dogs, and comes off the back of some startling results we discovered in a recent survey we conducted.


    • 40% of Irish parents would leave a child under 11 or younger alone with a dog



    • A quarter of Irish adults have let a child approach a dog they did not know



    • One in 3 parents have seen their child kiss a dog on the nose



    • Whilst 82% of Irish parents say they teach their child how to behave around a dog, over 96% don’t know there are 21+ signs that a dog may be feeling uncomfortable or stressed


     safe hand in class.png



    Last year our Education Team carried out over 1800 workshops teaching just over 56,000 children about responsible dog ownership; this year as part of our new Be Dog Smart campaign we plan to increase this figure by 50%. Our Education and Community Officers will be delivering free Be Dog Smart Workshops, designed to keep children safe both at home and in the community in a variety of locations such as, libraries, community centres, antenatal classes and Montessori schools across the country. The interactive workshops will be aimed at anyone who has responsibility for children such as; parents, teachers, grandparents, child-minders, foster carers as well as the children themselves.


    Our Education manager Fiona, explains;

    "We wanted to keep the Be Dog Smart campaign message simple:  Paws; Think; Stay Safe. The campaign uses a Be Dog Smart Safety Code which mirrors a traffic light system to teach adults and children how to stay safe with dogs. We hope that our guidance will become as much a part of a child’s education as road safety awareness." 

    Fiona jake ollie.jpg


    The Dogs Trust ‘Be Dog Smart’ top tips:-


    • Disturb a dog while they’re eating or drinking



    • Disturb a dog while they’re in their beds



    • Approach a dog who isn’t with their owner



    • Tease a dog, even if you think it’s only fun.




    • Move calmly and quietly around dogs



    • If you’re uncomfortable around a dog, do the "x factor".



    • Remember, you can never know how a dog is feeling.




    • Ask the owner for permission before you pet their dog



    • Let the dog sniff your safehand before you rub them



    • Walk your dog with an adult



    • Treat dogs with respect



    • Ensure that a child is supervised when a dog is present.




    We have also introduced a new member to our education team, the amazing Captain Canine!

    BDS Captain Canine for tee shirt.png


    Captain Canine will help us convey our message of dog safety to hundreds of parents and children over the next few months.


    This campaign is the first time our education team are targeting adults, as well as children, and if you would like to book a FREE workshop, then email us at [email protected]

    dogs trust education team.jpg


    Our amazing education team pictured left to right; Dawn and Odie who cover South West Munster, Paul and Magic cover the Midlands, Heather and Ted cover the South East. Audrey and Lucy cover Dublin/East, Fiona, Ollie and Jake, who also cover Dublin/East, and Aoife, who covers Connacht.


    We can't wait to deliver our free workshops all across Ireland, and relay our message, for everyone to Be Dog Smart!



  30. Catching up with the team

    Fri Apr 28, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    Our education team has been so busy the past few weeks, meeting children and teenagers all across Ireland. We have met so many special people, that we thought you might like to hear about some of our adventures.


    Paul and his education dog, Magic, recently visited Abbyleix National school. The pupils of Abbyleix are a talented bunch, and made Paul and Magic some spectacular thank you cards. Aren’t they fantastic? Thank you Abbyleix N.S.












     Good Shepard National School also were very generous, and sent our Dublin ECO, Audrey and her education dog, Lucy, this wonderful card. They also Donated €50. Thank you Good Shepard N.S.

    And Saint Etchen’s in Kinnegad were also very generous. They donated a whooping €200. Thank you St. Etchens.

     collage-2017-04-28 (2).jpg

    Our other Dublin ECO, Fiona has also been working with some very talented dog lovers.  The 3rd Year C.S.P.E students of Greenhills College, Walkinstown have made a beautiful mural for our training barn, in our campus in Finglas. As you can see, it is absolutely gorgeous, and you can tell by looking at it how much work went into its creation. We want to send out a massive thank you to these wonderful artists and their teacher Julie Potter. It has brightened up the barn immensely.


     malahide community.JPG

    Another secondary school that have done incredible work for Dogs Trust is Malahide Community School. They hosted a bake sale, and raised an incredible €380 for our dogs. That’s a lot of cake and muffins! The students came to the centre to give us the cheque, and we gave them a behind the scenes tour of our facility for all their hard work. Thank you so much guys

     St James.png

    Dawn, our South West ECO would also like to say a big thank you to St. James' National School in Durrus for the lovely card they made for her after her visit! The school also did a collection on Shrove Tuesday and donated the proceeds to Dogs Trust :)


    As you can see, the Education team are very lucky to visit, and be visited by, some amazing schools and groups! If you're a primary school and you'd like to see if there's an Officer in your area, you can find out HERE. 


  31. All change in the South East....

    Fri Apr 7, 2017 at 04:05 PM

     There have been some big changes to the Education and Community team over the last year here in Dogs Trust, and we have another one to share with you today.

    We’re saying farewell to the Fantastic Foursome of Dee, Sadhbh, Cónán and Béibhinn in the South East! Dee and her gang have been with Dogs Trust since 2011, and in that time have educated thousands of young people on being a Responsible Dog Owner. In fact, Dee has educated approximately 75,000 young people during her time with Dogs Trust! That’s about: 2,500 workshops, 112,500 hrs of talking, and 75,000 rubs shared between her education dogs! We know that Dee has made a big impact on the children that she’s presented to over the years, and that her workshops will stay with them for a long time.

     Barntown 2.BMPLetters.png

    Dee Clareville 2.jpg

    Before she finished up, we asked Dee what she loved most about her time with Dogs Trust, and what she'd miss the most. This is what she said:

    "I'd love to say thank you to all the amazing schools in the South East for always being so welcoming to me and the dogs. I'll miss seeing the smiles on the children's faces every time we gave a workshop, and especially loved helping children overcome nervousness around dogs with a friendly paw from Sadhbh, Cónán, or Béibhinn." 


    Dee has been an integral part of the Education Team during her time with Dogs Trust, in fact she kick started this very blog that you’re reading – 3 years ago! We’re sure that the Education Programme wouldn’t be where it is today without her enthusiasm and passion for educating people on dog welfare and we’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to Dee for everything she has done for the programme in the last 6 years. We sincerely wish Dee (& her gang!) the very best of luck with all her future endeavours and plans, and we're looking forward to hearing about all her successes.

    We'd also like to say a massive WOOF to Sadhbh, Cónán, and Béibhinn for being such amazing representatives for Dogs Trust! You guys are the best !


    Although we are very sorry to see Dee leave, we’re pleased to tell you that Heather, who has been covering Dee’s maternity leave since last year, will be staying on as a permanent member of the Education Team. Heather and her canine pal Ted, have been doing a great job educating the young people of the South East the last few months, so we’re delighted that they’ll be staying on! Heather says:

    "Ted & I are delighted to be permanently part of the Education team, we are looking forward to visiting more schools and libraries in the South East. We want to wish Deirdre,  Sadhbh, Cónán, andBéibhinn the very best of luck with their future adventures!"



  32. I Love Lucy

    Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Over the past few weeks, we have interviewed some of the new education dogs, and today we are finally meeting the lovely Lucy, who belongs to our Dublin and East Leinster Education and Community Officer, Audrey.

    Audrey and Lucy.jpg



    Hi Lucy, tell us all a little bit about yourself!

    I’m a King Charles Cavalier and I’m 5 years old – that’s 35 years in dog years! My birthday is the 13th of June. I’m hoping my owner Audrey will give me a special doggy treat that day.



    You belong to our Dublin Education and Community Officer, Audrey. How long have you lived together?

    I have lived with Audrey since I was a puppy – she tells me I was 12 weeks old when I came to live with her and her Family. I was so tiny, I couldn’t climb the stairs and I fitted in the palm of her hand. I can’t imagine that I was that small! I also live with Finn and Grace – they are my human brother and sister. They play fetch with me and bring me for nice long walks.

     Lucy after the groomers.JPG


    What are your likes/dislikes?

    My hobby is chasing leaves on a windy day – it’s my favourite thing in the whole wide world! I collect some in my mouth and bring them home to Audrey for a present. I’m a little bit lazy though, and like to have a nap during the day – Audrey tells me I snore very loudly and sometimes I wake everyone up at night I’m that loud. I’m not sure that I believe her! I don’t like getting wet and if it rains when I’m out for a walk, Audrey has to dry me off with a nice fluffy towel! I don’t like going to the groomers – they cut my hair so short and make me all smelly! No I don’t like that at all!



    Have you had much training?

    When I was a puppy, Audrey brought me to training classes. I learned to sit, give the paw and roll over. I’m such a clever dog I can even spell! I know when Audrey is spelling WALK! I had to learn how to be an Education Dog because I have to sit for a long time on my mat and sometimes I get bored, but Audrey gives me my favourite toys and some doggy treats to chew.



    What do you think about your new job, and what are you most looking forward to?

    I used to feel very lonely when everyone went to school in the morning – I wished I could go with them. But now that I’m an Education Dog, I get to go with Audrey in the car everyday to school and I get to meet all the boys and girls. I’m very good at smelling the tasty lunches in all the schoolbags and last week I nearly ate a boy’s sausage sandwich out of his bag, but don’t tell Audrey – I don’t think she noticed! The boys and girls thought it was very funny!

     Lucy at school.JPG


    Audrey and Lucy visit schools in Dublin, and parts of Louth, Meath and Kildare. If you would like them to visit your school, you can email Audrey on [email protected] or phone her on 086 1422381




  33. A Dog's Dinner

    Fri Mar 3, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    We’ve all done it. You’re sitting at your table, having a snack, and your lovable sidekick gives you the puppy dog eyes. You cannot resist. You give him some of your food, which he happily snaps ups.

    Or, perhaps you can’t quite finish your dinner, but there isn’t enough to save for later, so you scrape the leftovers into your dog’s bowl. What could be the harm you ask?

    Well, dogs have completely different digestive systems to humans, and so, cannot process many of the foods we enjoy. Many dogs are lactose intolerant. This means they cannot properly digest anything with milk in it, such as cheese, yogurt, cream or ice cream. While these foods may cause your dog discomfort, we wouldn’t consider milk toxic for dogs. However, many other human foods are poisonous if consumed by a pooch. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to be aware what foods are dangerous, and should be kept out of reach from our pets.




    For whatever reason, it seems be a widely known fact, that chocolate is poisonous for dogs, yet still every year, we hear reports of dogs that managed to wolf down an entire box of milk tray or a whole selection box. This can be particularly dangerous at Christmas, when people may have boxes of chocolates wrapped underneath the Tree. Darker chocolate is worse, so be extra vigilant when you have these in the house.


    Grapes and Raisins.


    Perhaps a much more surprising toxin for dogs, are grapes and raisins. Vets are unsure as to why they are so dangerous for dogs, but what we do know, is that they can cause kidney failure. Raisins are present in lots of human breads and cakes, so we must be vigilant when we are serving these in our home.


    Unbaked dough


    Unbaked dough? How could unbaked dough be poisonous for dogs? Well, when ingested, the dough expands in the warm, wet environment of the dog’s stomach, and this can cause the stomach to bloat and expand, which can kill the dog. I’m sure not many people would willingly give their dog unbaked dough, but if you are making bread in your house, be very careful the dog is unable to snatch some for himself.


    Onions and Garlic


    I doubt very much that very many dogs would eat an uncooked onion, or a raw clove of garlic, but I wonder would many eat the left overs of a shepherd’s pie? Or a lasagne? I’m sure plenty of dogs would adore to get their teeth into such a yummy dinner, yet these human meals will contain onions and garlic, both ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs.


    It can be hard navigating through all the foods that are poisonous, and unhealthy for dogs. So, here at Dogs Trust, we have a very easy method to help you remember. The only food you need to give your dog food!

    magic dinner.JPG

    If the food is bought in a pet shop, and is for dogs (never give a dog cat food), then you can rest assured that it is perfectly ok for them to eat. Don’t give them snacks from the table, give them specially made dog treats. Don’t give them any cooked bones(these can choke a dog). Buy them bones from your pet shop. That way, you and your pet will stay happy and healthy and well fed.



  34. Puppy Love

    Fri Feb 10, 2017 at 05:14 PM

    With Valentine’s day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate, than to sponsor one of our fabulous dogs. Sponsoring a dog, can be a fantastic way to help Dogs Trust for those of us who cannot adopt or foster. In exchange for sponsorship, you will receive letters, cards and messages from your chosen pooch.


                                    bruno 1.jpgSparky 1.jpg


    Sponsoring a dog, also makes a fabulous gift, so, if you think you fancy one of our romantic rovers, have a read of the profiles below, and follow the links.



    Sparky was born in Dogs Trust, and as his name suggests, he is a real live wire. He is very popular with his carers as he is fantastic at doing tricks-as long as he is rewarded for his hard work with a treat. He loves his comforts, and sometimes gives us a fright when his kennel seems empty in the mornings. That’s because he loves to play hide and seek, and often burrows underneath his massive duvet. He loves getting scratches on his neck, and is one of the smartest dogs in the entire centre.

    sparky 2.jpg



    Bruno is one of our more mature residents, but don’t let that fool you. Bruno is no wallflower, he is a feisty terrier with buckets of personality. Unfortunately, Bruno has quite a sad origin. His owner passed away, and a heartbroken Bruno came to live with us. Bit by bit Bruno has overcome his loss, and is now one happy dog-as long as he gets his dinner—Bruno LOVES his grub. He was more of a people dog, than a dog dog…but now his carers are saying he is starting to meet some other dogs out on walks, and is getting on great with them.

    Bruno 2.jpg


    Mystery Dog

    If neither Sparky nor Bruno tickle your fancy (what’s wrong with you?), you can always opt for our third option—a mystery dog. It may be a massive mastiff, or a tiny terrier. A young puppy, or an elderly gent. Whichever dog you receive, know that your sponsorship is going towards improving the life of an animal greatly in need.

    Click on the link below to choose your dog, and from all of us at Dogs Trust, we hope you have a very happy and romantic Valentine’s day.




  35. That's Mad, Ted!

    Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    In our last update, we met with Magic, our midlands education dog. Today we meet with Ted, who works with our South East education and Community Officer, Heather.



    Hi Ted, tell us all a little bit about yourself!

    I’m a cross breed, I think I’m half Pomeranian and half terrier but I’m not sure.  I live in Co. Carlow with my mam, my dad and my two brothers; Sweetcorn the cat and Dougal the guinea pig. I am 3 years old in human years and 21 in dog years.


    You belong to our Education and Community Officer Heather. How long have you lived together?

    I have been living with Heather 3 years now! When I was a puppy I found myself on the side of the road. I can’t remember how I got there but a lady saw me while driving past and thought I was a teddy bear because I was so small and fluffy but when she saw me walking, she soon realised I was a dog and brought me to a rescue centre. They named me Ted because I looked like a teddy bear. This is where Heather and I met and she instantly fell in love with me. Who wouldn’t? I was so cute!


    What are your likes/dislikes?

    I love going for walks, especially on the beach. The rocks and shells and even the sand have interesting smells, but I don’t like the water. It is very loud and sometimes tries to get me. I make many friends at the beach as well. We run and play, but Heather is never too far behind in case I make a poop and she can pick it up with a poo bag so no one has to step in it.

    ted beach.jpg


    Have you had much training?

    When Heather first adopted me I learned how to sit, give the paw, lie down and roll over but I won’t do it unless she has a treat for me. When I started working for Dogs Trust I had to learn how to behave in classrooms and not to eat children’s sandwiches – I did it once, but have been very good ever since.


    What do you think about your new job, and what are you most looking forward to?

    I love my new job. I get to go in the car, meet lots of lovely children and best of all, I get to spend lots of time with Heather. One day I was even on the TV. I love going to schools near the beach because Heather always brings me for a walk there after we have finished.


    Welcome to the team Ted!

    Ted in car.jpg

    If your school is in Ted and Heather’s district, and you would like to make a booking, you can contact them at [email protected] or 0872965883


  36. Could it be Magic?

    Fri Jan 6, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Over the past few months, the education team have grown, and we have used the blog to introduce the new team to you all, but we have not properly given the new canine members of our team a formal introduction. We will start with Magic, our new education dog, for the midlands team.

    Magic 1.jpg


    Hi Magic, tell us all a little bit about yourself!

     Hi Guys, well I’m a lurcher, which is type of greyhound cross. Lots of people think lurchers and greyhounds need lots of walks, because they associate us with racing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m very fast runner but I can’t run for very long. If I go for a long walk I’ll need to sleep for the rest of the day, because I’m actually very lazy, but I’m very sweet as well. I love nothing more than a lap to sit on, and a person to cuddle. I don’t really bark either, though I do like to whine a bit. Some people have called me a diva or a princess in the past, but I don’t know what they are talking about.



    You belong to our Education and Community Officer Paul. How long have you lived together? 

    Well, I had lots of litter mates when I was born, and my brothers and sisters were all really excitable. Paul came to visit us in the shelter one day and sat on the floor of our kennel. All the other puppies were running around like crazy but I trotted over and sat in his lap and flashed my puppy eyes. It was really easy actually. He adopted me a few weeks later. That was nearly six years ago, and we’ve been best friends ever since, though recently we have moved to Westmeath which is great, because I have a much bigger garden now.

    magic cropped for blog.jpg


    What are your likes/dislikes?

     Well I love chasing ball, but the vet told me recently that I will have to stop doing this as often as sometimes my leg can get a bit sore. My favourite thing in the world is really just a soft bed or a fluffy blanket. Some dogs hate getting a bath, but I actually love it. I love the attention and afterwards everyone gives me lots of cuddles.



    Have you had much training?

    I’ve had some training yes, but I do like to do my own thing. I will sit and lie down if asked, but no matter how hard Paul tries I refuse to roll over.  I will give you my paw if asked but I’m not that bothered with it, I’ll just lift my paw a little bit. I was toilet trained very quickly however, and only went to the toilet inside the house once or twice. When I was younger I did like to chew things though. I chewed the mud caps on Paul’s bike, and I chewed my nana’s favourite pair of sandals. One time I found a bag of compost in Paul’s shed. That was a fun day because I pretended the bag was something that needed to be destroyed. I was quite dirty after, as was the shed, but I didn’t mind, because, as I said, I like getting baths. Nowadays I’m very chilled however, and don’t chew things any more.

     magic snout.jpg


    What do you think about your new job, and what are you most looking forward to?

    I love the new job. I’ve always been more of a people dog, than a doggy dog-though I do like dogs, but now I get to meet lots of children every day. Some of the classrooms have really interesting floors and sometimes I get to nibble on some fallen crumbs. Paul has a lovely big duvet in his car that I fall asleep on for the drive. Sometimes I fall asleep in class, and one time I woke up because all the children were giggling. Paul told me later I was barking in my sleep during his lesson. Oh well. 



    Welcome to the team Magic! :)  



  37. And the Winner is...

    Mon Dec 19, 2016 at 04:59 PM

    The Education team at Dogs Trust loves visiting schools, talking to the dog owners of tomorrow about what it means to be a Responsible Dog Owner. With the festive season upon us, we asked the children that we've visited over the last few weeks to help us spread this important message by designing a poster based around what dogs need to be healthy and happy- and of course to promote that 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas'©.


    The closing date for entries was last Friday (16th December) and the team were super impressed with the posters they received. Well done to all of those children who took part! However, there can only be one winner, and that winner is.. Avril Dooley (6th Class) from Tinryland National School in Carlow!

     Avril Dooley - Tinryland Carlow.jpg



     A huge WELL DONE and THANK YOU to Avril for creating such an amazing poster for us!


    With Christmas just around the corner- now is a perfect time to remind ourselves how to keep our dogs safe and happy this time of year. Follow this link to find out some useful information to help our furry friends enjoy the festive season.

    This will be our last blog post of the year, but we'll be back again in 2017!

    Merry Christmas everyone!


  38. Santa Paws 2016

    Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 03:29 PM

    A Dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas!

    cocker spaniel stocking.jpg


    There is a fairly well known saying, coined by Dogs Trust that goes, "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas", but what does this actually mean?

    In Dogs Trust, we believe that dogs are not commodities. They are not toys that can be simply tucked away in a cupboard once we are bored of them. They are not "things" that can be given as presents. Unfortunately, this view is not shared by a lot of people. The busiest month of the year in Dogs Trust is January, as we get a surge of people abandoning their pets; many people still exchange dogs as Christmas presents. The far too common story goes as follows; Once the decorations come down, and the kids are back at school, the dog is no longer wanted, and is abandoned. The main reason for this abandonment, is that when people give a dog as a present, they are not taking into consideration the amount of commitment a dog needs when it is welcomed into a family. There are three main reasons why a dog might end up abandoned after Christmas, and these are three things every person who adopts a dog must ensure they can provide, if they are to adopt a dog for life.

    The first is time. Dogs take up an awful lot of time. They need to be walked twice a day EVERY day, without exception. We often get phone calls from people, who complain that their new dog has destroyed a piece of furniture, or is howling all day long. The question we pose to them then is, are you walking your dog twice a day? And are you spending enough time with your dog. Dogs are social animals. They need love, and companionship, and if they are denied these things, their behaviour will change accordingly. Before adopting a dog, we must ask ourselves, do we have enough time to take care of this dog?

    The other thing a dog needs is space. Puppies are small, and they are cute. While you might argue that all dogs are cute, they certainly aren’t all small. Often when people see puppies, they forget that very soon, they will grow into large dogs. It doesn’t seem fair that a family will keep a dog while it is nice and small, but then rehome it once it outgrows their house, but this is a fairly common occurrence, especially after Christmas. If you are looking to adopt a puppy, you need to make sure you have enough space for it once it reaches his or her full size.


    puppy red xmas.jpg


    The third thing a dog requires, that is often forgotten, is money. The dog doesn’t spend the money itself of course, but there are lots of things a dog needs to remain healthy and happy. A dog will need a bed, and lead. It will need a collar, and a leash. It will need a license, dog training classes, bowls and a microchip-which is now necessary by law. Not to mention all the on going bills, such as food, vet visits, insurance etc. Many people don’t think about all these expenses when they adopt a puppy, and only after a few months, when the bills are piling high-especially in January, when everyone is a little tight for cash-do people sometime realise, that they can no longer afford to keep the dog anymore.

    Although these are the three most common reasons a dog might get abandoned after Christmas, there are many other reasons, as taking care of a dog is lots of fun, but it is also lots of work. We don’t think dogs should suffer, because people didn’t act responsibly over Christmas, so we say our motto loud and proud, "A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas."


    Santa Paws 2016

    SP 2016.jpg


    We are celebrating Christmas this Year in Dogs Trust with our annual Santa Paws Event in our centre in Finglas and are currently recruiting lots of little elves, to join us on December 10th, for a warm and cosy festive morning of Christmas activities.

    Any elves attending our winter workshop will help fill some seasonal stockings for our lovely resident dogs (It’s Christmas for them too!). We will also be putting our arts and crafts hats on by making some special posters, before going on a behind the scenes tour of our wonderful centre. Once back, everyone can tuck into some yummy (human) treats. We encourage all attending elves to wear their favourite Christmas jumper, and there will be a prize for best dressed. 

    We have loads more special treats in store for you, and we are also expecting a very special, white bearded guest. Yes, Santa himself has promised to visit us, and will meet every single elf that attends our Santa Paws event-he may even have a special gift for each elf he meets.

    Tickets are limited, so please, book early. We can’t wait to see you all.

    Ho Ho Ho!

    Date: 10th December


    Location: Dogs Trust rehoming centre, Ashbourne Rd, Finglas

    Cost: €10 per person (workshop, and Santa meet’n’greet)

    Ages: 5-12

    If you can’t make the workshop, worry not. You can still visit Santa, and receive your lovely Christmas present.

    Time: 12:30-15:00

    Cost: €5 per person

    You can buy your tickets by following the link below

    Any enquiries, please email [email protected]



  39. A Catch Up With our Education Team

    Fri Nov 25, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    The Education and Community Officers of Dogs Trust, are lucky enough to visit schools, libraries and youth groups all over the country, and deliver our message of responsible dog ownership to hundreds of children every week. Occasionally, the organisations we visit will give us extremely generous donations, and we wish to use this week’s blog post, to highlight and thank everyone who worked hard to raise money that will be used to provide a better life for all of our wonderful resident dogs, until they find their forever homes.

    Our first thank you goes to the Wexford libraries.  Our South East Officer, Heather and her best friend Ted, visited five libraries in Wexford.  We are only able to visit libraries when the schools are closed and Heather did her tour of the Wexford libraries over the summer time were she delivered our “Canine Carer Quiz”. Wexford county council were generous enough to give Heather a fabulous donation of €300. Pictured below, is Heather, Ted, and the children of Bunclody library. 


    Heather in Library.jpg



    Our midlands Officer, Paul, and his best buddy Magic visited Presentation Mullingar Jr school earlier this month. We roll out FREE workshops to primary schools throughout 95% of Ireland.  Paul had super feedback from this visit and the children made a lovely thank you cards, while Magic was totally spoiled. She received a bag of yummy treats, and a lovely high vis jacket but they didn’t forget our doggies back in Dogs Trust. Thank you for donating €50 to our charity. This was very generous. The picture below is Magic, looking spiffing in her new jacket.


    magic in jacket.jpg


    During the summer and mid-terms we also visit pre-schools around the country. Paul and Magic also visited Orchard Childminding in Errill. we would like to say a big thank you for their fantastic donations of €30.

    Dawn, our Cork Education and Community Office, and her sidekick Odie have visited St. John’s girls National School in Carrigaline the past two years in a row. We have a wonderful relationship with this school, as you might remember they were the winners of last year’s Scoop the Poop competition and we want to give them a massive thank you for their continued support, and their huge donation of €150, thank you! This will again help all the doggies in our care here in Dogs Trust until they find their forever homes.

    Finally, Our Dublin Officer Fiona, and the handsome Ollie visited Lusk National School last month. This was a repeat visit and the school helped Dogs Trust by allowing us to film with two first classes so we could create a video all about safety tips with dogs.  Stay tuned to the Dogs Trust FB Page as this will be released early January.  We were shocked to receive a huge donation of €600 – wow!! Thank you Lusk National School. This will make a big difference to the lives of some of our furry friends here in Dogs Trust. The students all paid €2 to wear blue (for the Dublin GAA team), and this is how they raised the money. What a super idea.


    Fiona and Ollie in Lusk school.jpg


    There are lots of other schools, youth groups and other organisations that have donated to our Education and Community Officers, and we don’t have room to thank them all here, but we want to shout out to anyone who donates to Dogs Trust, be it a packet of biscuits, to a few blankets, to a cheque. You are making a big difference to our wonderful dogs. Thank you.


    We have education officers throughout the country and we offer FREE workshops-contact your local education officer by clicking on the link below. Of course donations are not mandatory but we just wanted to express our heartfelt thanks to those that have. J



  40. Meet our Newest Team in the East!

    Fri Nov 11, 2016 at 09:59 AM

    The Dogs Trust Education Programme first started in Ireland in 2006 with just a single officer in Dublin. Ten years on and it's become a very popular programme with schools, so much so that we've taken on a new Education and Community Officer to help spread the Responsible Dog Ownership to as many schools as possible in the Dublin and East area.



    Audrey is our newest member of the Education Team here at Dogs Trust, and we're thrilled to welcome her on board! Lets find out a little more about her.


    Why did you want to work for Dogs Trust?

    I have always greatly admired Dogs Trust policy of never putting a healthy dog to sleep. At the centre there are many dogs that have been with Dogs Trust for a long time. But as a charity Dogs Trust never gives up looking for their perfect forever home.


    How have you found your first few weeks as part of the Dogs Trust Education Team?

    I have really enjoyed visiting schools all over Ireland over the last few weeks with Dawn, Paul and Heather. I have made new friends and met lots of boys and girls who love dogs and want to be responsible dog owners.


    Do you have a dog of your own, and will they be going to schools with you?

    I have a King Charles who is my best friend. She is 6 years old and is very lazy and easy-going. Her favourite time of day is going for her walk – when she sees her lead she barks and barks with excitement. She also snores very loudly!! Lucy will be hopefully coming to schools with me soon –she has to pass her big assessment first 

    Audrey and Lucy.jpg

    You’re sharing the Dublin and East area with Fiona, will you be covering the same counties?

    Both Fiona and I will be sharing Dublin, Meath and Kildare, but I’ll also be able to visit schools in Louth, and Fiona visits schools in Wicklow. The education programme has been in the East for 10 years and is very popular in schools here!


    You helped at the Howl-O-Ween event at our centre in Dublin recently. How did you find the experience?

    Howl –O-Ween was so much fun! My favourite part was dressing up as a witch!  The boys and girls that came to visit us were dressed up in scary costumes too. Paul was particularly scary and read the Werewolf of Dogs Trust which was a very creepy story indeed. We also had a tour of the centre and Dawn hosted a very interesting Howl or Scowl quiz that everyone enjoyed. We had prizes for the best costume and Artwork. We had great fun day!


    Welcome to the team Audrey!

    If you would like to book a workshop with Audrey, you can email her at [email protected]

    If you would like to book a FREE Dogs Trust Educational Workshop, check out this page to see if there's an Education and Community Officer in your area, or email [email protected] 


  41. The Werewolf Of Dogs Trust

    Fri Oct 28, 2016 at 04:10 PM

    Howloween FB.jpg 

    Happy Halloween readers. We here on the education team love to update you with handy tips to help your dog, or regale you with the adventures of our education team, but not today. Today we are going to do something a little different. We’re going to tell you a tale, the tale of the Werewolf of Dogs Trust. However, I must warn you, some people have said, that this tale is “too scary to be told”, and once you have heard the story, you cannot un-hear it. So I will ask you this once, and once only; Do you want to hear the tale, of the Werewolf of Dogs Trust?

    That was your final warning. We begin now.


    There was once a puppy, born on Halloween night, when the full moon was high in the sky. Now, not a lot of people know this, but when puppies are born in this manor, they are at risk of becoming a werewolf! The puppy’s name was Warren, and when he was born, he was the cutest looking puppy anyone had ever seen.

    A man called Jim came to look at Warren, and when he saw him he fell in love with him. He said to himself “I bet my daughter would love this little puppy as a present”, and he took Warren home. The man’s daughter was delighted to have Warren as a puppy, and she went out and bought lots of things that a puppy needs. She bought him a bowl, and a blanket, and a lead and a collar. She bought him dog food, and treats, and many more things. Can you think of any other things a puppy needs? There are an awful lot of things a puppy needs, and it costs an awful lot of money to buy all these things. When Jim realised how expensive Warren was, he realised he could not afford to keep the puppy anymore. Jim and his daughter abandoned him, and Warren was very upset.

    “Why didn’t they think about how much I would cost before they adopted me?” he thought, and he was so upset, that his floppy ears stood up straight, and became pointed.

    Warren wasn’t gloomy for long however, because a new family came to adopt him soon after. This family were called the Johnson family, and they were very excited to have Warren as a pet. There were two adults, and two children in this family, and they were very busy. The parents were at work all day long, and they children were at school. Warren hoped they would bring him for a walk in the evenings, but they were always too tired.

    “I haven’t got time to walk that dog” said the Father. “Neither do I” said the children.

    Warren got really sad, and he began to howl “OOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!”

    Warren howled and howled all day long and the Johnsons’ neighbours got really annoyed at them.

    “That dog never stops howling, will you ever bring that dog out for a walk?”

    “But we don’t have time” the Johnsons said, and it was then they realised they could no longer look after Warren.

    Warren was so upset this was happening again. He was so upset in fact, that his eyes turned red.

    But it wasn’t too long until a third family met Warren. Even though he now had pointed ears, and red eyes, he was still quite a handsome dog, and he was still nice and small. The third family were called the McDonald family, and they lived in an apartment.

    “He’s only small” said the Mother. “He’ll love living with us.” And she was right. Warren did love living with the MacDonald family. He stayed with this family for a few months, but soon he realised the family seemed to be cross with him all the time. It wasn’t his fault that his waggy tail kept on knocking things over, and it wasn’t his fault that when he sat down on the sofa, there was no room for anyone else.

    “He’s got sooooooo big. I didn’t think he would grow this big” said the father. Warren looked at himself in the mirror. It was true. He was very big now. As big as a great Dane even, but that didn’t matter did it? Surely that just meant there was more of him to love?

    The MacDonald family didn’t think so.

    “We haven’t got enough space for this dog” they said, and they decided they could no longer keep Warren as a pet.

    Warren wasn’t sad about being abandoned this time. This time he was angry. He was so angry that his little puppy teeth grew into huge fangs. He was no longer a dog any more. He was a werewolf!


    Warren the werewolf lived on the streets. He hated humans, because they kept telling him they were his forever family, and then abandoning him. He vowed he would get his revenge on all humans. Every full moon he would roam the streets and find unsuspecting people. He would chase them into a corner and howl at them as loud as he could.


    He did this for such a long time, that he became infamous. Everyone knew, and feared that Warren the Werewolf would find them, and so people stopped leaving their house when the moon was full.

    Except one girl called Frieda. Frieda worked for Dogs Trust and didn’t believe in werewolves. She decided one full moon night, that she would go for a walk.

    She was walking down the street, minding her own business, when suddenly she stopped. She looked around but couldn’t see anything. She didn’t know why, but she had the strangest feeling she was being watched. She started walking again when she saw two red eyes staring at her from across the road. A werewolf!

    “OOOOOWWWWWWWWW!” it howled and ran over to her.

    Now, Frieda knew all about safety around dogs. Do you think Frieda ran away? No, of course not, she knew the werewolf was much faster than her. Do you think she shouted at him, did she say “Go away and leave me alone?” No, she didn’t do that either, as she didn’t know yet that werewolves can talk. What she did was lift her hands up to her chest, and do what we call, “The X Factor”. She crossed her arms across her chest and looked away from Warren, standing perfectly still. This is a nice tip to remember if a dog ever approaches you without an owner.

    Warren stopped dead in his tracks. He was confused, normally people ran away from him, but this girl was looking away from him.

    “Why aren’t you scared of me” he said to her.

    “You can talk!” she said, sounding surprised.

    “Yes I can talk, I’m a werewolf now, I’m not a dog anymore, now, why aren’t you scared of me?”

    Frieda wondered what she should do now. She knew that you should never talk to strangers, and you should never approach a dog who didn’t have an owner, but she figured, because she worked for Dogs Trust, it would be ok for her to talk to Warren. But I warn you, if you guys come across a werewolf! Never speak to them!

    “I’m not scared of you,” she said, “because I feel sorry for you. I work in Dogs Trust, were we look after abandoned dogs. Maybe you could come and live with us until we find you a forever home?”

    Warren barked at her, “I need lots of things to be happy and healthy. You wouldn’t be able to find a home that has money for these things”

    “Yes we would. We only send dogs home to a family that can afford all the things a dog needs”. At this Warrens ears stopped being pointy and flopped down again.

    “Well, what about time? I need two walks a day, every day”

    Frieda smiled, “Yes, we would walk you twice a day, and would make sure your forever family would do the same.” At this Warren’s eyes went from a scary red, to a lovely blue, but he still had his fangs, and he still wasn’t sure about this strange girl from Dogs Trust.

    “I’m very large” he said. “You’ll never find a home that’s big enough for me.”

    “We do home visits for every dog before they are sent home, so we would make sure you had plenty of space.” Warren couldn’t believe his luck. He jumped up and gave Frieda a big lick on the face. He no longer had big fangs, his teeth had grown back to normal dog teeth. In fact, he was no longer a werewolf, he was now a normal dog.


    Frieda brought Warren to Dogs Trust to get scanned for a microchip. Every dog in Ireland by law should have a microchip, and it means that if they get lost their owner can be found. Unfortunately Warren didn’t have one so the vet in Dogs Trust gave him one. The Vet also gave Warren a health check and it was determined that he was a very healthy dog. Warren was excited to find his forever home, but couldn’t believe his luck when Frieda decided that she would adopt him herself,

    and that is where the ex-werewolf of Dogs Trust, lives to this day.





  42. Howl-O-Ween 2016

    Fri Oct 14, 2016 at 09:28 AM

    Halloween is right around the corner, and we know most of you are probably planning where you will go trick or treating, and what costumes to wear. Here in Dogs Trust we’re planning our annual Howl-O-Ween event (see below)!

    The education team just loves Halloween, but we also know that it can be a scary time for our doggy pals. We humans love to get scared, that’s why we tell ghost stories, and dress up as spooky monsters, but dogs don’t like scary things, so it’s important that while we can have a fun and exciting Halloween, we have to make sure our dogs stay safe and happy.

    Halloween puppies for blog.jpg

    Fireworks may be fun to watch from a safe distance, but our dogs find them a bit too loud and frightening. Make sure you walk your dog before it gets dark. Maybe on Halloween night you could feed your dog earlier than usual, and turn the TV or radio on nice and high, to drown out the bangers? Maybe you have a quiet area in your house where your dog can hide for the evening? Certainly don’t leave them outside in the garden. If your dog is a bit scared of the fireworks (even inside the house with the TV up) they may want to escape, so make sure they can’t get out when opening the door to trick or treaters.

    Costumes are so much fun for humans to wear, but remember that your dog doesn’t know it’s Halloween, and they might not recognise you in fancy dress. Don’t force them to dress up, and don’t bring them out with you Trick or Treating.

    Chocolate, raisins and other sweets can be yummy for humans, but they make dogs very sick, so make sure your trick or treat goodies are out of reach from your dog.


    There are lots of ways we can enjoy Halloween in a safe way, and one of them is by attending our Howl-O-Ween event in our centre in Finglas, Dublin.

    This event is on Sunday, October 30th from 12-2 and all humans (aged 6-12) and former humans are welcome-No dogs are allowed unfortunately. Tickets are €4 per person, or €12 for a family of 4.  Attendees of our Freaktackular event will take part in a Halloween themed safety workshop, go on a behind the scenes tour of our rehoming centre, and will get to hear the wickedly scary story of the Werewolf of Dogs Trust. Fancy dress is optional and encouraged-we will have a prize for best costume, but make sure it is something you can take off, so you won’t scare the dogs on the tour. You can buy tickets to this event by following the link below.

    See you there, if you dare!

    Howloween Poster 2016.jpg



  43. Meet the Connacht Team

    Mon Oct 3, 2016 at 05:20 PM

    The past few weeks we have met Paul, our Midlands Education and Community Officer (ECO), and Heather, our South East ECO. Today we meet Aoife, who is our new Connacht ECO. We sat down with Aoife to find out what she has in store for all the schools in her catchment area.

     aoife and sox cropped.jpg



    Hi Aoife, tell us a bit about yourself.

    Hi I’m Aoife and I’m the new Dogs Trust Education Officer for Clare and south Connacht. I love animals, especially dogs of all shape and size. I have two Labrador/Collie cross dogs, Sox and Éile, who I love dearly. They 12 and 14 years old and are a little too old and tired to visit schools everyday. I recently moved to Galway and am very excited about visiting all the boy and girls in schools across Connacht.


    Why did you want to work for Dogs Trust?

    I wanted to work for Dogs Trust to help make the world a happier, healthier and safer place for all dogs. I am delighted to have the opportunity to teach children about staying safe around dogs and how to be responsible dog owners.


    Do you have any favourite types of Dogs? Any favourite dogs in the centre?

    The bigger the better, big dogs are my favourite!! I believe that crossbreeds make the best pets so I don’t really have any favourite breed, although, I do have a soft spot for Rottweilers, or any big black dog for that matter. All dogs have their own personality and love getting to know new dogs and discovering their favourite things too.


    How have you found your first few weeks as part of the Dogs Trust Education Team?

    I have really, really enjoyed my first few weeks as part of the Dogs Trust Education Team!! My training has been super exciting - learning new things and getting to visit lots of different schools around the country. I really enjoy giving workshops to primary school kids and hope that I get to visit as many schools in Connacht as I can.



    You’ll be working in the west of Ireland. What counties will you be covering?

    I will be covering Galway, South Mayo, South Roscommon, and North Clare. Please get in touch if your school is in any of these areas as I would love to visit. J


    You helped at the Doggy Do Event at Herbert Park recently. How did you find the experience?


    Doggy Do was a fantastic day out! It was so much fun for people and dogs of all ages, breed and size. We had our Educational workshop and information stand with colouring, puzzles and face-painting. There was a “Dogs Trust Got Talent” show and training class too. There was lots to see and do with plenty of entertainment and food and treats for both people and our canine companions. It really was so much fun and it was so nice to see families enjoying a day out with their dog. There were so many dogs in one place and the day went off without a hitch! We are so proud of all our doggie friends.


    If you would like to book a workshop with Aoife, you can contact her on 0868323325, or email her at [email protected]

    If you would like to book a FREE Dogs Trust Educational Workshop, check out this page to see if there's an Education and Community Officer in your area, or email [email protected] 


  44. Meet the South East Team

    Mon Sep 19, 2016 at 04:20 PM


    Last week, we met Paul and Magic from the midlands, this week we’re meeting Heather and Ted, who are our new Education and Community Officers for the South East. Our other South East Officer Dee, is currently on maternity leave, so Heather and Ted are taking the reins for the next few months. We sat down with them for a chat, so we could get to know them a bit better…


    heather and ted.JPG


    Hi Heather, tell us a bit about yourself.

    Well I’m the new Education and Community officer for the South East, and I’m super excited to be visiting schools on behalf of  Dogs Trust. I used to work as a veterinary assistant, and I also worked in schools teaching boys and girls how to look after their pet by giving them the best nutrition. I love going to schools, and now I get to bring my best friend Ted with me.


     Why did you want to work for Dogs Trust?

    I have always wanted to work for Dogs Trust because they are such as amazing dog charity. They never put a healthy dog down, and they give them everything they need to be happy and healthy and give every dog the best family for them.


     Do you have a dog of your own?

    I do have my own dog, his name is Ted and he is my best friend. Ted is two years old and he loves the sound of his own voice and will often make funny noises.  He comes to school with me to teach kids how to be safe around dogs. Ted loves to see boys and girls using their safe hands when meeting him.


    How have you found your first few weeks as part of the Dogs Trust Education Team?

     Ted and I both love getting to meet boys and girls in school and hearing stories about their dogs. I have made great friends with the other education officers and Ted is great pals with the other education dogs Magic, Odie, Jake and Ollie.


    You did some workshops in libraries over the summer. Which libraries did you visit? And did you get a good response?

    Yes we visited more than 20 libraries in the South East over the summer and we had great fun. Ted really enjoyed going to libraries near the beach as we would always go play on the beach after the workshops.


    You were on Ireland Am recently, talking about our educational workshops. How did you find the experience?

    Yes Ted and I were on the TV. It was great experience.  We want everyone in Ireland to know what amazing work our education officers do in primary schools all over Ireland and that we have now visited 300,000 children since 2005! That’s a lot of boys and girls, and we want to visit loads more so make sure you get in contact with us to visit your school!

    Heather and Ted Black t shirt in front of car.jpg


    If you would like to book a workshop with Heather and Ted, you can contact them on 0872965883  or at [email protected]
    If you would like to book a FREE Dogs Trust Educational Workshop, check out this page to see if there's an Education & Community Officer in your area, or email [email protected] .



  45. Meet the Midlands Team

    Thu Sep 1, 2016 at 02:14 PM

    It's been a busy 2016 so far in the Education & Community Team here in Dogs Trust, with lots of school and library visits, events at the centre, and welcoming 3 new members to the team!

    We knew you'd all love to meet our newest team members (both two legged and four!) so over the next few weeks we'll be introducing them to you here on the blog. 

    Paul and Magic for Blog.jpg

    So to start- say hello to Paul who is our new Education and Community Officer in the Midlands! This is a brand new area for Dogs Trust's Education programme so we're super excited to welcome Paul to the team.Lets find out a bit about him!

    Hi Paul, tell us a bit about yourself.

    Well, although I’m new to the Education and Community team, I’m not actually a new staff member. For the past two years I’ve been a member of the fantastic team of canine carers in our rehoming centre in Dublin. I moved across to Westmeath, to take up the position of midlands Education and Community Officer.


    Why did you want to work for Dogs Trust?

    I’ve always loved animals, and studied animal welfare in University. I have worked with other shelters in the past, but I’ve always admired Dogs Trust’s policy of never putting a healthy dog to sleep. It’s great because I’ve spent time with the dogs in the centre, and now I get to bring that experience to the education team.


    Do you have a dog of your own?

    I do, I have a lovely lurcher called Magic. She is five years of age, and really laid back. We have a deal, as long as I promise to bring her for a walk in the mornings, she will behave for the classes. She has gained lots of fans throughout the midlands already. She’s a star.


    How have you found your first few weeks as part of the Dogs Trust Education Team?

    It’s been great, though very busy. Throughout the summer we did a “tour” of the midlands libraries, which was a big success. I’m looking forward to getting back to the schools now they’re all back from their summer holidays.


    You will be bringing our educational workshops to a brand new part of Ireland. What areas will you be visiting?

    We cover Westmeath, Offaly, Laois and Longford, so we’ll be kept busy, that’s for sure.


    You helped at the Doggy Detectives Education Event at our centre in Dublin recently. How did you find the experience?

    It was so much fun. I got to give a tour of the centre which was great, as I hadn’t been for a few weeks. I also got to do some doggy experiments that my colleague Dawn had designed. There were a few different experiments, each one focusing on a different sense that dogs have. I looked after the “scent” table, which was loads of fun, as we got to explore loads of different odours, and learn about how powerful a dogs nose really is. I can’t wait for the next event in the centre-the Howl-O-Ween event. We have loads of ideas for fun activities that we’re sure everyone will love.


    If you would like to book a workshop with Paul (& Magic) you can contact them on 086 0440829 or at [email protected]


    If you would like to book a FREE Dogs Trust Educational Workshop, check out this page to see if there's an Education & Community Officer in your area, or email [email protected] .



  46. Scoop the Poop's Scooper Heroes!

    Mon May 30, 2016 at 03:27 PM

    In February the Education and Community Team at Dogs Trust launched their Scoop the Poop campaign in a number of primary schools in each of their areas. The campaign’s aims were to highlight the need for dog owners to always Scoop the Poop!

    As part of this, the children involved were asked to design a poster promoting this very important aspect of being a Responsible Dog Owner, and each participating school sent one poster to their local Education and Community Officers.

    Our ECO’s had the tough task of choosing just one of these posters from each of their areas, which would then be put forward to compete against each other!

    Here are the winners for each area:

    The winning poster from the Dublin & East area:

    St. Oliver Plunkett National School, Malahide, Co. Dublin.

     St Oliver Plunkett NS.jpg

    Fiona just loved the amazing dog drawing on this poster, and how cleverly the word PUP can mean something else! Well done Cara McMahon in 5th class at St. Oliver Plunkett School for her excellent work!


    The winning poster from the South West Munser area:

    St. John’s Girls National School in Carrigaline, Co. Cork.

     St Johns Girls School.jpg

    Dawn really liked how colourful this poster is, which makes it really stand out! And what a great team- The Scooper Troopers!


    The winning poster from the the South East area:

    Portlaw National School, Waterford.

     Portlaw National School.jpg

    Deirdre was really impressed with all the excellent drawings on this poster, clearly a lot of work has gone into it! We can’t imagine a dog using a potty though! Congratulations to Ben Conway for this great poster!


    As you can see, some fantastic entries to our Scoop the Poop competition, and all these posters will be put on display on our Education Board in Dogs Trust’s Rehoming Centre for all to see!

    Unfortunately we can only choose one poster to win though, and this poster will be used in next year’s campaign in schools around the country!

    The overall winners are…….

    St. John’s Girls National School, Cork!!

    Massive well done to Kate Hurley and Isabelle Jackson in 4th Class who did a super job of promoting the importance of Scooping the Poop!

     St Johns Girls School.jpg


    Certificates are winging their way to each of our regional winners :)

    The Education and Community Team would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the schools that participated in this year’s campaign- you’re all ‘Scooper Troopers’! Don’t worry if your school didn’t get a chance to take part this year, we’ll be asking more schools to take part again next time! more...

  47. Tea and Tales 2016

    Fri Mar 4, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Tea and Tales is back! After another fantastic event last year, the Education Team are delighted to do it all again!

    Tea and Tales 2016 less writing.jpg more...

  48. Stay Safe with WALT

    Fri Feb 19, 2016 at 09:37 AM

    The Education and Community Team at Dogs Trust visit schools spreading the word about Responsible Dog Ownership (RDO) to the next generation of dog owners. They talk about making sure that we give our dogs all the things that they need to stay healthy and happy, and thinking about all these things before we decide to bring a dog home.  

    As well as the RDO message, the team also talk about the importance of staying safe around dogs, giving them space when they're earing or drinking, and when they're in their beds. One of the safety messages the team talk about is how to greet a dog when they're with their owners. We know that children should never approach a dog when the dog is by itself, because we can never know what he/she is thinking or feeling, but what if the dog is with their owner? Are we allowed to say hello then?


    W.A.L.T - reminds us of how to safely approach and meet a dog when they're with their owner, and what to do if the dog is by itself without an owner.

    W- Walk up to the dog and owner calmly

    A -  Ask the owner if you can pet their dog. If they say yes, then...

    L -  Let the dog smell your safe hand

    T -   Touch the dog where he/she likes to be rubbed!

     Watch this video to see WALT in action!

    What if the dog is by itself, and there's no one to ask permission from?

    Well, then we leave the dog alone.


    Remember the GOLDEN RULE:  You should always ask the owner if you can pet their dog.

    Only ask to meet a dog if he/she is with someone you know. Don't forget, we shouldn't talk to strangers, even if you'd like to say hello to their dog. :)  more...

  49. Scoop the Poop 2016

    Fri Feb 5, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    The Education and Community Team here at Dogs Trust visit schools across the country talking about what it means to be a Responsible Dog Owner. One of the topics that comes up is the very important task of scooping the poop when walking our dogs!

    Unfortunately it seems that not all dog owners take this particular responsibility too seriously, and with that in mind we're running a fantastic Scoop the Poop Campaign at the end of this month!



    We'll be asking one school in each of the counties visited by the Education and Community to represent their county in our campaign. We'll send each participating school a fun filled pack of information, activities, stickers & competitions to carry out over the course of the week -the 22nd to the 26th February.


    Scoop the Poop pack.png

    The highlight of the campaign will be our Poster Competition- where each school will enter a Scoop the Poop poster they've designed. Regional winners will be chosen by our local Education and Community Officers, and these fab posters will then go into a national competition!

    The overall winning poster will be our OFFICIAL Scoop the Poop 2017 campaign poster, and will be sent out to schools across the country! WOW! All posters will also be shared here on our blog so that everyone can see the hard work each school put into the campaign.


    If you would like to find out more about the campaign, or if you'd like to be the school that represents your county, please contact your local ECO (contact details can be found here), or alternatively you can email [email protected] more...

  50. IPPN 2016

    Fri Jan 22, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Next week the Dogs Trust Education and Community team will be attending the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) conference in Citywest, Dublin.

    IPPN tweet.png


    Last year around 1/3rd of all primary principals attended the conference, and the team made sure to tell as many of them as possible about our FREE workshops for primary schools surrounding the theme of Responsible Dog Ownership.


    This year we'll be hoping to talk to even more principals, and to spread the word about the amazing programme provided by Dogs Trust to schools!



    If you're a principal and you'll be in attendance next week, come and find us as stand K11!

    If you're interested in finding out more about the work of the Education Team, have a look around our website, where you'll find lots of resources for schools and can find out if there's an ECO in your area. more...

  51. New Year, New Blog!

    Thu Jan 7, 2016 at 04:08 PM

    Welcome to 2016, and welcome to the new home for the Education Blog. From now on we’ll be blogging here, from our very own education website! Feel free to have a look around, there’s some fun games to play, lots of interesting resources for schools, and information about your local Education and Community Officer!


    Goodbye 2015:Last year was a very busy year for the Education and Community team at Dogs Trust. The paw print below will show you just how busy the team was!

    2015 Round up.png



    We also said goodbye to a couple of team members, Liadh and Fiona R, a welcome back to another, Dee, and were joined on the team by two new Education Dogs, Ollie and Odie! With so much going on last year, we decided once again to highlight our favourite parts:

    Fiona, Jake & Ollie – Dublin & East

    Fiona frame.pngFiona:“My highlight was the Education Team creating another new event – Howl-o-ween.  We now have 4 events throughout the year, which are always advertised on Dogs Trust’s Facebook page, so keep an eye out!

    We also reached a milestone in the reach of the Education team this year, over 250,000 pupils have been visited by the team since the programme started! Check out this link to see if there’s an ECO in your area!”

    Jake frame.png
    Jake:“Well, obviously appearing on the Dogs Trust Christmas cards this year was pretty special, although not surprising that they asked considering how handsome I am! I’ve also rather enjoyed going part time in schools now that Ollie is around. Lazing the day away suits me just fine.”


    Ollie frame.png

    Ollie:“I was so excited to start going to schools you wouldn’t believe! All that attention from all those children, wow! No wonder Jake enjoys going to work! I also got to appear on the Christmas cards with Jake and some of the cool dogs in Dogs Trust, that was pawsomeJ”



    Dee, Sadhbh, Cónán & Béibhinn- South East  

    Dee frame.png

    Dee:“For me the highlight was receiving some lovely feedback from students who I had visited before –  one even from 2 years ago! It’s great to see that the Responsible Dog Ownership messages sticks with the young people we speak to in our workshops. The positive feedback from schools in general is always a highlight.”

    SadhbhConanBeibhinn frame.png

    Sadhbh, Cónán & Béibhinn:“ We love being back at school again! We quite enjoyed our little holiday, especially meeting our new family member - she’s not half as furry as we are -  but we’re delighted to be back to work! Béibhinn especially; she’d go to school every day if you’d let her, the big softie!”


    Dawn & Odie – South West

    Dawn Frame.pngDawn: “Easily the highlight of my year was Odie passing his assessment to come to schools! The other ECO’s make bringing your dog to work look so easy, but Odie’s shown me that’s not necessarily true, it’s hard work managing workshops with a dog! I’d not have it any other way though. I also moved area down to Cork and it’s been great seeing the reception Dogs Trust gets in schools here as the programme’s been here for a while! Don’t worry though, the West won’t be ECO-less for long, keep an eye here to see when a new officer is appointed!”

    Odie frame.png

     Odie:“Well going to schools is just aces! I love it so much I can’t contain myself! I get sooooooo excited, but I’m learning to calm down a little and I try not to bark so much now. Tasty Kongs help of course, and I especially love to throw them around the classroom to get out the last stubborn bits of food!”


    The whole Education and Community team are looking forward to another fun filled year this year. To check if there’s an ECO in your area, click here, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the LearnWithDogsTrust website! more...

  52. Happy Dogs at Halloween

    Wed Jan 6, 2016 at 03:30 PM

    Can you believe that it's almost Halloween?! We bet that you're all looking forward to some dressing up and trick or treating this year. We here in the Education and Community Team love this time of year (so much so that we've decided to celebrate with a Howl-o-ween event! More on that later!), but we know that our dogs might not feel the same. Can you imagine how strange it must be for them, all these new visitors to the door, not to mention all the scary costumes!



    So, we asked new boys Odie & Ollie to put together some doggy friendly tips to help us make sure our dogs aren't scaredy cats at Halloween!



    Staying in & going out


    At this Halloweens thing there’s lots of new peoples walking around, well, they smell like peoples, but sometimes they don’t look like peoples!!! I don’t like to go out when they’re around as it’s a little bit scarey. There’s lots of loud noises (something called fireworks? Sound like explosions to me!) and strange smells too, so Dawn’s going to bring me out for a walk early she says- then I can have lots of time in the nights to chew on my toys! Yay! I have to stay on my lead on our walks just in case I gets a fright and run off, I don’t want Dawn getting lost! I’m also going to make sure that she comes out to the garden with me on my nightly patrol and bathroom break! I feel safer if she’s there with all the strange goings on! Dawn’s also checked my ‘chip to make sure our address is on it especially cos we moved house recently!

     Ollie bed.jpg

    My big brother Jake has told me all about Halloween. He says that the small people knock on the door a lot, and that Fiona and Ian have to give them some chocolate and sweets to get them to go away again! I don’t mind people knocking on the door, but I think if there’s as many as Jake says there’ll be, then I would feel better if I stay in the kitchen. That’s where my nice cosy bed is, and it’s far away from the front door. I have lots of toys stashed in here too so I can play with those, and Jake says the grown ups will leave the radio on for us so that we can listen to that and not pay attention to the visitors! Result!


    Sweet Stuff

    Speaking of chocolates, did you know that this yummy sweet stuffs is actually really bad for us dogs? We could get very ill if we eat any, even though we might forget that and try to eats it all!!! Dawn has some chocolates and sweets in the cupboard ready for the small peoples to call, but I can’t get to them to eat them (they smells sooooooo good though!). I have my own yummy dogs treats anyway, so it’s not so bad.


    And and and!!!!! Don’t give us sweets either!!! Jake says they can make us ill too. I might enjoy eating one but I know I wouldn’t enjoy being sick afterward, so keep them away from us doggies, even if we look like we really want one! Don’t forget that us dogs have super smelling powers and even if you hide them under your bed, we can still sniff them out! So put them up high or somewhere we definitely can’t get to them!  

    Dressing Up?



    Us dogs aren’t people you know? So don’t make us wear a dog costume if we don’t want to! Especially if it covers our eyes, nose or ears- if we can’t use these parts of us we get very scared! If you're dressing up, please remember that even though you might smell the same as always- you look different! Do you know how weird that is to us?!


    Also, make sure your decorations aren’t tempting us doggies! We do love to pick up exciting things on the floor and give them a good chew to see if they’re tasty, so make sure any decorations are out of our reach! And don’t leave us alone in a room full of decorations- you may come back to a mess, or worse, we could hurt ourselves.


    So there you have it, our top doggy tips for Halloween! The humans have also put together some tips below, but we think you'll agree ours are the best! more...

  53. Merry Christmas!

    Wed Jan 6, 2016 at 03:30 PM

    Well it's almost Christmas, woohoo! And with that in mind we wanted to share with you some tips to keeping your furry friends safe and happy over the festive season.



    Christmas is a busy time in lots of households, and with people coming and going regularly, our canine chums can often get quite stressed. To help them stay relaxed and happy, make sure that they have a nice, quiet, and cosy spot somewhere that they can escape to if they want. Leave a bowl of water, their favourite toy, and a nice warm blanket/bed to snuggle into. Don't force your dog to meet guests, and if they choose to go to their safe spot, make sure that they're not disturbed.







    Christmas is a particularly dangerous time of year when it comes to food and pets! Raisins in mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding are poisonous to your dog, as are chocolate, garlic, onions,  macadamia nuts, grapes, and avocados. Make sure all human food is kept out of reach of your dog (especially if they like to partake in a little counter surfing!) and if you think that your pet has eaten something that they shouldn't have, keep a very close eye on them for signs of illness. If they are vomiting, lethargic, not eating/drinking, or show any other signs that they're not well, then call the vet immediately.




    Whilst they may make our houses look festively fantastic, decorations can be an issue when it comes to dogs, and other pets. As well as the risk of your dog mistaking a bauble for a toy to be chewed on, wires from lights on the tree could also be a safety issue, with your dog getting tangled in them by accident. To be safe, make sure all wires are  tidied up and out of the way, and that your dog is never left alone with your amazingly decorated tree, or that baubles are our of reach! Don't forget that poinsettia plants, holly and mistletoe are poisonous to dog so if you've decorated your house with any of these, then again make sure that they're out of the reach of sneaky paws!



    So there's some helpful tips to keep your pooches happy and healthy this festive season!



    Merry Christmas everyone! The blog will be taking a break for the next two weeks, but we'll be back again in the New Year!:) more...

  54. Santa Paws is Back in Town!

    Wed Jan 6, 2016 at 02:54 PM

    It's that time of year again when we all start to look forward to a visit from a very jolly gentleman wearing a bright red suit, and to celebrate, the Education Team are holding the festive 'Santa Paws' event again this year! 

     Santa Paws FB pic.jpg

    We'll have a very special Christmas Workshop for little Elves aged 5 to 12, where they'll get into the Christmas spirit with lots of fun activities, including putting together stockings for our furry residents to make sure that they have some goodies over the festive season. Our helpful elves will also get a tour of the centre to see some of the dogs who will be on the receiving end of their creative stocking filling!

     santa paws pic r.jpg


    Our Little Elves will also get to meet Santa and have their photo taken with the man himself, who, in the spirit of Christmas, will also give presents to each of the Children!

    Education dogs Sadhbh and Beibhinn will be there to show each of our guest how to safely meet a dog, and, as usual, there will be plenty of treats to munch on throughout the morning!

     Santa Paws 2013 Sadhbh.JPG


    Fancy dress is optional, and all this will take place between 10.30am and 12pm in our Rehoming Centre in Finglas. €10 per elf is required to book a place, which can be done via this link!

    If you can't make it to the workshop, you can still meet Santa and his elves, have your photo taken and receive a small gift! Come along between 12.30 and 3pm to the Rehoming centre for your meet with Santa. The cost for this is €5 per child - booking is advisable, but not essential, and can be done through here.

    The Education Team can't wait to meet you all there!  more...

  55. Safety in School

    Wed Jan 6, 2016 at 02:36 PM

    Deirdre, our South East Education Officer, recently visited Ballyduff NS in Co. Waterford.  Afterwards some of the students emailed with what they had learned during the workshops.  Here are their best bits:

    Dogs Trust visited Ballyduff Lower National School.  Fifth and sixth got a visit from Deirdre and her two dogs Cónán and Sadhbh.  She was talking about safety around dogs...  Don't rub the dog while he is sleeping or eating.  Don't go up to a stray because you don't know if he's in a a bad humour or a good humour.  I enjoyed this very much.  Thank you Deirdre & Sadhbh and Cónán.

    Kellie, Rang V


    Deirdre told us never climb into a dog's bed and don't rub your dog when he or she is eating.  If a dog growls and you don't listen to that they could start to snap and if you don't listen to that the dog could bite so the next time you will not make the same mistake as last time... And at the end Deirdre let us rub a dog but before you rub the dog you put your hand in a fist and leave the dog lick or sniff your hand then you rub the dog where the dog likes to be rubbed.



    Deirdre also told a very good sign for meeting dogs with their owners, it was W.A.L.T.  The W in W.A.L.T. means walk to the owner.  The A means ask.  The L means let the dog sniff your fist.  The T means touch...  If you see a dog outside the shop you do not go near it and if you see a stray dog don't go rub it.  Don't run from the dog because it will think that you are playing catch and then chase after you.  So if you are in that situation Deirdre said to put your hands into the X-Factor and then do not look at the dog.  You never know if a dog is nice or not and even if it's your own dog you should never be rough... I had a great time with them coming over, it was so fun.

    Grace, Age 10, Múinteoir Connie


    Deirdre told us when approaching a dog first you have to close your fist and let the dog sniff it but never approach a dog when it's in bed, attached to a pole, on his own or when he is eating.  She told us if you see a stray dog and you are afraid of him, don't run away from him because the dog thinks you are playing catch so just stand still and cross your hands away from the dog so he thinks you're boring... At the end we all got to pick a dog and let them sniff our hand first and then rub them.  I picked Cónán to rub.  I thought Deirdre was really nice to let all 21 people to rub a dog.  Deirdre was really funny to hear and watch and I hope to see her and the two dogs again.


     Waterford EO

    Deirdre, Sadhbh and Cónán would like to say thanks to all the pupils and staff at Ballyduff NS for such an enjoyable visit.  We're glad you learned so much.  Woof and kisses xxx more...

  56. A very lovely letter

    Wed Jan 6, 2016 at 02:34 PM

    Recently our Executive Director, Mark Beazley, received a very lovely letter from a schoolgirl called Amie from Co. Tipperary.  Amie's school had been visited by South East Education Officer Deirdre and it was clear from her letter that over 2 years later, Amie was still very much impacted by what she learned about dogs during the workshop.  Below is a copy of Amie's letter, along with the response given by Deirdre:

    Page 1.jpgPage 2.jpg


    Dear Amie,

    First of all Mark would like to thank you very much for your lovely letter, he said it made his day!  Mark has asked me to write to you on behalf of all the staff and dogs at Dogs Trust, as I am the Education Officer who visited your school two years ago with my Education Dogs, Sadhbh and Cónán.  I am so pleased that you enjoyed our visit and that you are still thinking about us two years later!  I have some good news:  I will be returning to your school this December to do some brand new educational workshops.  Myself and the dogs are really looking forward to meeting you all again!

    I am glad to hear you and your sister have such a love for dogs – especially King Charles Spaniels and Pugs!  You were wondering what dogs would be suitable for younger children.  At Dogs Trust we

    believe in ‘deed, not breed’ – that basically means we think any breed of dog can make a great family pet if they have an owner who does the good ‘deed’ of bringing them up with lots of care, attention and respect.  My advice to you would be to always try your best to be a responsible dog owner and to help your family make sure your dog is healthy and happy.  Remember, dogs need two meals and two walks a day, plenty of water, a comfy bed, some fun toys and most importantly, an owner who loves them.

    At present we have over 200 dogs and puppies at our centre, all looking for their fur-ever homes!  Since Dogs Trust opened  in 2009 we have seen thousands of dogs come through our doors.  In fact, we rehome around 1000 dogs every year!  One dog who really sticks in my mind is a Greyhound called Brave.  He was tied up outside Dogs Trust with a broken leg, held together with tape.  Luckily our fantastic vet team managed to save his injured leg and Brave even went on to work as an Education Dog in East Munster!  It’s stories like this that make working at Dogs Trust so fulfilling. We think every dog deserves a second chance, which is why we never destroy a healthy dog.

    I hope I have answered all your questions, and I’ll see you very soon!

    Best wishes,



    We would like to thanks Amie very much for writing to us, as knowing the positive effect an Education Workshop can have on our future dog owners is what makes the job the Education Officers and their dogs do so very worthwhile!  If you would like to book a workshop with one of our team, contact [email protected] or find details of your local Education and Community Officer on learnwithdogstrust.iemore...

  57. Ollie's on the team!

    Mon Dec 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    We have another new team member to introduce you to this week! Ollie the boxer is the newest member of the Dublin & East Education and Community team along with Jake and Fiona! Ollie is thrilled to be able to visit schools with Fiona, and Jake is looking forward to being able to work part time from now on :)

    Ollie and Jake.jpg

    Ollie was a Dog Trust dog who came to live with Fiona and Jake almost a year ago and since then Jake has been busy teaching him about life in a loving home, and helping him get ready for life as a famous education dog!


    We asked Ollie a few questions so you could find out more about him!


    Hi Ollie, tell us all a little bit about yourself!


    Well, there's lots to tell about me! I'm about 3 years old and came to live with my big bro Jake almost a year ago now! I'm a boxer, but they say I'm a small one- I say good things come in small packages!!! I was found wondering around with no one looking after me, and was taken to a place called the pound. I stayed there for a while and then a lovely man from Dogs Trust came to pick me up and took me away from the pound. A short while later I moved in with that lovely man, and Fiona, and Jake!


    What's it like having a new family?


    I was a little nervous at first, what if they didn't like me? What if I made a mistake and did something wrong? Then I remembered, I'm awesome and everybody loves me! I did make a few mistakes at the start but Jake showed me what to do and now I'm practically perfect in every way!


    What are your likes/dislikes?


    I love playing with my ball, it's my favourite toy! I love going for my 2 walks everyday, it's great getting out even when it's raining, and I love to smell all the new smells :). Dinner time is also amazing, as are cuddles! There's so many things that I love to do in fact! I had my first visit to school last week and I know I'm going to love doing that too!

    Once I've done all the things I love to do everyday, I like to chill out on my back with all Ollie bed.jpgfour paws in the air-you have to try it! It's soooooo comfortable.


    Things I don't like? Jumping into the car- Jake says I'm lazy but why would I jump in when I can be lifted in?? Mum's working on this with me though, and I think my days being lifted in are numbered!


    I have to say though, my ultimate favourite thing in the whole wide world? My family!!! Especially my big brother Jake- he's just the best!




    What kind of training have you had?



    Well, when I came home with my new family, I didn't know much about living in a home. So they all showed me how to behave in a house, what I was allowed to chew on, what I wasn't allowed to chew on, things like that.  I didn't know any clever things either when I arrived, but now I can sit, lie down, and I can give the paw! I'm learning to spin at the moment too :)



    What do you think about your new job, and what are you most looking forward to?


    Ollie car.jpg

    Ready to roll!

    I love that I get to go to work, it's so cool. I used to watch Jake leave for school in the morning and imagine it was me, and now it is! We're going to share work, so Jake will go some days, and I'll go on others! Perfect!


    I'm most looking forward to making lots of new friends while I'm out helping Fiona educate young people on being a responsible dog owner. I can't wait until I'm introduced to all the small people in schools, and to get lots of rubs off them - only after they ask Fiona of course!






    Welcome to the team Ollie! :) 



    If you're a primary school and would like a visit from our Education Team in Dublin & the East, you can contact Fiona on 0871360771 or by email on [email protected].

    Alternatively, contact [email protected] or visit to find out if there's an Education and Community Officer in your area. more...

  58. World Animal Day

    Mon Dec 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    World Animal Day


    Sunday the 4th October is World Animal Day and people  all over the globe will be celebrating and paying tribute to their own animals, and also commemorating and promoting a respectful relationship with all animals that we share the Earth with.



    In honour of World Animal Day, The Education and Community Team at Dogs Trust thought we'd share with you what we are thankful to our pets for:

    Dawn Thank You.pngDee thank you.pngFiona Thank You.png



    Our very own Deirdre also penned this lovely poem to commemorate all pets on this fantastic day.






    My friend may have four paws, not feet,


    A snout or muzzle, wings to beat.


    He may be black with silky fur,


    A swishing tail and rumbling purr.


    He may be giddy and such fun,


    A grinning face and waggy bum.


    He may be small with a long tail,


    With shiny eyes and fur that’s pale.


    He may not talk but he can hear.


    (That’s why he’s got such giant ears.)


    He may not know when I’m not there


    I’m thinking of him; I still care.


    He may not know he has my heart,


    My pet, my friend, we’ll never part.


    Deirdre Uí Dhubhda ©






    We hope you agree that Deirdre's poem sums up perfectly the joy of having a pet, why not read it to yours on Sunday, and show him/her how much you appreciate them :) more...

  59. Fantastic FUNdraising

    Fri Nov 20, 2015 at 03:33 PM

    Did you know that Dogs Trust is Ireland's largest dog welfare organisation and that we don't receive any funding from the government? This means that we rely solely on the generosity of members of the public to help us take care of all the dogs in our care, providing them with everything they need to be healthy and happy dogs!

    The Education Team are fortunate enough to get to visit schools who are really keen to help raise funds for Dogs Trust, and we often get asked how schools can do this! Well, with that in mind we created a FUNdraising Kit for Schools, packed full of ideas and guidance on lots of FUN ways to help us here at Dogs Trust.


    Ideas and otherways.png

    We've got letters from Jimmy'n'Chew, sponsorship cards, and posters, all ready and waiting for schools to use if they decide they would like to fundraise for us!

    FUNdraising poster.jpgSponsorship Form.jpg













     Our new kit will be available on our education website, and can be accessed by following this link- FUNraising Kit for Schools.

    We think the most important part of fundraising is the FUN! So make sure you have lots of it! more...

  60. Odie's on the Team

    Fri Nov 20, 2015 at 03:17 PM

    We've had so many changes in the Education Team recently, and today we've got another two pieces of exciting news to share with you!


    First off: we have a new member of the team! Dawn's dog, Odie, is now officially part of the Education Team, having passed his assessment with Dogs Trust's Training and Behaviour Team. Dawn is super thrilled to be able to bring Odie with her at last, and Odie is just as happy!


    We thought that you would like to get to know him a bit, so we asked him some questions about himself.


    Odie, tell us a little about yourself.

    I'm the best dog ever! Well, that's what Dawn says at least- she wouldn't lie to me would she? I'm 14 months old, and I've been living with Dawn for 7 months. I had been part of a family as a puppy, but then suddenly found myself in a place with some other dogs! I heard my people say something about jumping on the children  (boy I love to play!) and messing in the house, whatever that means! So I stayed in my new place for a while, and then I met Dawn and said that she could take me home.


    How did you know you wanted Dawn to take you home?

    Easy. I could smell the dog treats in her pocket.


    What's your favourite thing to do?

    That's so hard - I love EVERYTHING! Well, everything except baths, yuck! I do love to find Dawn's shoes and play chase with her when she tries to get them back... well it's not my fault she leaves them where I can get them!!!! I also saw one of those Andrex doggies on the TV playing with the toilet roll, it looked like fun so I tried it- it's SOOOOOO much fun!!! I like to decorate the house with it :) I love to play with my toys, and especially love to play with other dogs. I'm trying to convince Dawn to adopt another dog for me to play with!


    What's your least favourite thing to do?

    Baths, I just don't understand why Dawn makes me have one! All the treats in the world don't make up for her getting rid of the awesome smell I've spent weeks building up! I have to go to someone else every couple of months who makes me look even more handsome than I usually do, I don't mind her so much, especially when I see how good I look.

    I also don't like being left alone, I'm getting used to it now a little, but I get afraid that Dawn's not coming back when she leaves. She gives me some tasty treats and my favourite Kong when she leaves, that keeps me busy!


    Have you had any training?

    Yes! Lots and lots! The first thing I learned was where to go to the toilet, no one had told me that it was meant to be outside before! Dawn also took me to training classes which I had great fun at, and I learned lots of new things there, and I got to show off my massive dog smarts! Dawn says that training is a great way to keep me busy, and all dogs should have some training. We do a little bit most days- I love showing off how clever I am.Odie Uniform.jpg




    What do you think about your new job?

    I'm soooooo excited!!!! I love small peoples soooooo much. I think they're my favourite kind of people! They're so much fun! Dawn says that if I stay nice and quiet and calm while she's talking to the children, that at the end I might get rubs off of some of them! How cool is that?!

    I met Jake last week and he gave me some tips too, he's been doing the job for ages and knows alllllll about it. I hope I can be as good as he is!


    Finally, what are you looking forward to most about being an Education Dog?

    That's easy. I can't wait to help teach the children all about what dogs like me need to be healthy and happy! I think they'll be great dog parents when they grow up, and their dogs will be as happy as I am! I also can't wait for all the rubs from the small peoples, I love rubs!



     Welcome to the team Odie! :)

    Our second piece of news today is that Odie, and Dawn, who was our South Connaught and Clare Education and Community Officer, are now covering the Cork and South West Munster area in place of the lovely Liadh. Dawn says: 

    "I'm so excited about taking over the Cork and South West Munster area, especially with the news that Dogs Trust will be opening a new Rehoming Centre in Cork in the not too distant future! I'll miss Connaught and Clare though, and had a fantastic year setting up the new area and meeting lots of lovely children (& teachers!) on my travels. I'm sure whoever takes over the area will love it just as much as I did"

    Dawn has already started visiting schools in the area and is taking bookings for the academic year so if you're a Cork or Kerry school who would like to arrange a visit, you can email her on [email protected], or call on 087 9239221.

    If you would like to find out if there's an Education and Community Officer in your area, visit or email [email protected]more...

  61. Back to school with the Education Team

    Fri Nov 20, 2015 at 02:57 PM

    September is finally here! While the children of Ireland are busy packing their school bags and off to meet their new teachers and classmates, the Education Team is also busy getting ready for another exciting year in the classroom. Here's a sneak peak at our 'back-to-school kit', Dogs Trust style!


    EO Dogs.jpg


    The Education Dogs:Jake, Sadhbh, Cónán, Béibhinn and Odie are the Dogs Trust Education Dogs and spend four days a week in primary schools around Ireland, teaching children how to be responsible dog owners and how to be safe around their canine pals.  These dogs-with-a-job need to be happy and comfortable in the classroom, so they never leave home without some of their favourite things:

    • a yellow Dogs Trust collar, I.D. tag and harness – Education dogs have a uniform, too!
    • a comfy bed or blanket
    • a bowl of thirst-quenching water
    • a dog toy or two for entertainment
    • a brush to tame flyaway fur
    • a tasty treat or two – maybe a bone to chew or a Kong filled with something yummy

    Sadhbh Stuff.jpg


    The Education Officers: Fiona, Deirdre and Dawn give four fantastic workshops a day – they meet nearly 500 children each a week!  As you can imagine, their bags are bursting with fun activities and exciting items for each and every pupil.  Let’s take a look inside:

    • giant flashcards with doggy items make learning fun for Junior and Senior Infants
    • the story of MacGyver the dog tells us what it’s like for a dog to come to Dogs Trust to find a home
    • workshop cards with safety situations, the cost of a dog or dog breeds make each workshop interactive and informative
    • colouring or puzzles for teacher to use after the visit
    • certificates of participation
    • information leaflets
    • stickers
    • funky Dogs Trust wristbands!

    EO Stuff.jpg


    Your school can check out the website to find your local Education Officer, or email [email protected].  more...