I have been working hard to encourage responsible dog ownership in South Wales for seven years, but there is still much work to do.
For our annual Be Dog Smart Week I visited four schools in South Wales that I have never visited before. I delivered four Be Dog Smart assemblies and 16 one hour lessons. I spoke to a number of children who gave me instances of where they were growled at or bitten by dogs they knew, two of these bites were from their own dogs. Each of the children who were bitten felt they could have prevented the situation by thinking about the dogs feelings and knowing that our behaviour around dogs can make a situation safe or unsafe.
During Be Dog Smart Week I also met a number of children and school staff who were fearful of dogs, they felt that when dog owners were asked to put their dogs on a lead, they should do so. They said that being told a dog was fine by the dogs owners did not make them feel any less worried or concerned.
It is important for dog owners to understand that people who are scared of dogs might over react by running or shouting, every dog will react differently but unusual human behaviour could make a dog worried, they could even bite. Responsible dog owners keep their dogs and the community safe.
Most dog bites to children are from dogs they know, it is important we teach young people the correct way to behave around dogs and I ask all schools to book our FREE KS2 workshops and a Be Dog Smart Assembly. It is important to book early as these informative workshops get booked quickly as I also work with parents and midwifes.
As I plough through the weeks of educating children and families it still amazes me that after working so hard in the past seven years I have not managed to visit every school in South Wales. Therefore if you have the opportunity to promote our workshops to teachers please do so and if you are a teacher please book now.
During the holidays I can be found at libraries and summer clubs.
Please feel FREE to down load our FREE safety information pack. This includes tips and advice on how to understand dogs and also details of where your local school can contact me www.bedogsmart.org.uk