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It's Be Dog Smart Week!

This week we on the Education Team are holding our 2nd annual Be Dog Smart Week! This is the week where we really want to raise awareness of how to stay safe around dogs and this year we will be seeing over 14,000 children in 155 schools across the country!

Being around a dog can be extremely rewarding as dogs can act as companions and support for children. They can also provide children with a sense of responsibility as they can get involved with their daily care and understand the commitment involved in owning a dog. In addition, it can mean that children are often more physically active, playing with the dog and taking them for walks, which can help with health related issues.

However, all this needs to be done safely. According to our survey, a fifth of parents have seen their child sit or lie on a dog, 19% kiss a dog’s nose, 18% pull a dog’s tail and 14% shout or hit a dog.

Whilst training and socialisation are very important to carry out with a dog, we can’t teach them to understand when and why a child might act in a strange way towards them. However, by teaching children to act sensibly and compassionately towards dogs, we can hopefully reduce the number of dog bite incidents.

Here are some top tips for staying safe around dogs:

And remember you can carry on the learning with our videos, leaflets and posters right on this site!

We host Be Dog Smart workshops all year round, as well as workshops with a range of curriculum and topic links - if you'd like to book for your school or other community location please contact your nearest Education and Community Officer for more information.