Dogs Trust goes ‘bark’ to school to help children stay safe around their four-legged friends

Dogs Trust is offering Worcestershire primary schools free workshops and assemblies to help children learn how they can live happily and safely alongside dogs.

The ‘Be Dog Smart’ workshops aimed at 7–11-year-olds focus on helping children understand what safe and appropriate behaviour around their own dogs is, as well as dogs they may come across when they are out and about.

Dogs Trust Education Officer for Worcestershire, Charlotte Paddock, says: “I am absolutely delighted to be back in schools helping children learn about dogs. Millions of households in the UK share their home with a dog, so even if a child doesn’t have a pooch in their own family, it’s highly likely that they will come across dogs in their day-to-day life.

“The workshops are key to helping children understand dogs as well as how to behave around them. Pupils learn how dogs should be treated so that they can be happy around us, and we can be happy and confident around them. We have a pretend furry friend as our assistant, so nobody needs to worry if they aren’t used to being around dogs!”

The interactive workshops, which last for one hour, cover topics such as:

  • What to do if a dog you don’t know approaches you and when it wouldn’t be safe or fair to approach a dog you don’t know.
  • When it is best to leave dogs alone and give them space.
  • Safe and kind ways to show dogs that we love and care about them.
  • How to apply safe, positive behaviours around dogs for older children (and even grown-ups)

Charlotte adds: “It’s great to do an assembly for the whole school on the same day as doing a workshop, as then every pupil has the chance to get to know more about our canine companions. Whilst being around dogs can have so many wonderful benefits for young people, the simple fact is that any dog can bite or snap if worried, scared or hurt. Many of these bites are preventable and we believe educating children, as well as other family members, about dog safety, is the first step to helping us all live happily alongside dogs.”

If you would like to book a face-to-face workshop, or an online workshop, please contact Charlotte Paddock at charlotte.paddock@dogstrust.org.uk.

To find out more go to www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk.