It is around this time of year that many of our Education Officers are invited into schools to deliver history workshops, focussing on dogs in the wartime. These workshops allow us to educate children, not only on the welfare needs that all dogs have, and how we should be meeting those needs, but also about the amazing ways dogs have helped us in times of conflict, saving so many lives.
In these workshops, children can think critically about how dogs should best be trained, about what might happen to a dog after they retire from their working life in conflict, and overall, about whether these students think it is justified to use dogs in times of conflict.
As well as remembering the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for us, students can also think about and remember all those animals who have helped save so many lives throughout history.
We also want students to think about the dogs in their own lives, and how they treat them. Last week marked World Kindness Day, so Education Officer Emily Brown, and her dog Max, have some tips about how you can ensure you are kind and respectful to your dogs all year round.
- Let your dogs have space. We all want a bit of peace and quiet now and again, and so do dogs. If your dog wants to rest, let them rest without disturbing them.
- Find ways you can provide enrichment for your dog. Creating treasure hunts in your home, finding them enrichment toys and games, simply spending time with them!
- Be respectful of your dog’s feelings. If they are eating, sleeping or drinking, leave them alone until they want your attention.
- You may love dogs, but not all dogs want to be stroked all of the time. Always remember to ask the owner’s permission, and then allow the dog to approach you to sniff you, giving them a choice of whether they want to say hello.
- If your dog gets something wrong, don’t shout at them or tell them off, as they may start to become scared of you. You want your dog to trust you and feel safe around you, so instead, think about how you can help them “get it right” in future, always train them positively with rewards.