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Dog Safety Awareness Presentation at local Primary School

In celebration of the annual World Animal Day in October, the Juniors at a local primary school welcomed Milou and I. Milou, 13 months old, is a rescue dog who was born with one back paw missing.  We presented a talk and demonstration on Dog Safety Awareness, following the excellent guidelines from The Naturewatch Foundation who campaign for the advancement of animal welfare.  Milou, who loves children, was in his element and so well behaved!

One of The NatureWatch Foundation campaigns is to promote Dog Safety Awareness and they are dedicated to reducing the number of children bitten by dogs every year. I went over some very important areas like: why dogs bite, how to safely interact with dogs, how to tell dogs to leave you alone, when to leave a dog alone. Dog body language was also touched upon though this will probably be covered more fully at a later date.

Two positions were also demonstrated. The first was if a dog comes up to you and you want it to go away: stand still, fold your arms, look at your feet, wait quietly (for either the dog to leave you alone or for someone to help you) and once the dog has left you, then slowly walk away without looking at the dog. The second was if a dog knocks you over: roll into a ball making sure you cover your face. Quietly wait for the dog to leave you alone or for someone to help. These two practical suggestions of course had to be practised by the children and were greatly enjoyed! There was a 7 page leaflet available for the children and their parents if they wished to have a copy.

Most of the children do have canine friends, either as pets or working dogs, and so were quite knowledgeable. However it always helps to share further knowledge and reinforce these teachings. Both the Teacher in Charge and all the children said that they had learnt new things. A happy time for all especially Milou!

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