Tracey, Miley her amazing newfoundland and I, did a safety talk at the Scouts in Wanstead this week. It was just brilliant seeing the children asking questions about dogs and learning the secret language of dogs. I am a KAD instructor. KAD stands for Kids Around Dogs. Tracey has completed a dogs and childrens course with Canine Principles.
Whilst a lot of the focus is on children’s fears around dogs. Yesterday we used this framework but also to share the secret language of dogs. You can find out more about the great work of KAD here Kids Around Dogs
I have to say as a parent myself I was amazed at how mature and sensible the children were. Despite having what looks like a huge cuddly teddy bear there to interact with. They listened to our advice and interacted with Miley in a way that dogs like. They showed that they were willing to interact and then Miley was able to decide if she wanted to. Of course, Miley was really happy to say hello as she had such respectful children to interact with. They listened to what she was saying at all times.
So often our dogs aren’t really given much choice in the matter, and this is where ‘accidents’ happen. We spoke about consent and how we must always ask the human first and then the dog!
The wonderful children at the scouts learnt that this is very rarely an accident or that the dog reacted for no reason. As everyone that knows dogs is aware, and this now includes our wonderful learners yesterday, dogs are always speaking to us. We just must learn what they are saying to be safe.
I don’t like it if someone tries to stroke my hair without me saying its ok and certainly don’t try and take my food away from me as that doesn’t make me happy either. The lovely learners yesterday agreed too. Just because they look cute and cuddly, it doesn’t mean they are teddy bears and we must think about how they feel.
To the scouts at Wanstead, thank you for having us at your group and we really enjoyed ourselves. Miley loved the attention and the extra treats!
If you would like a registered therapy dog and 2 professionals to come to your nursery, school, college or group setting to give an age-appropriate talk on dogs please don’t hesitate to ask.
The Marvellous Miley having a well deserved rest. She is actually taught a chin cue, this means she can rest her chin in a surface or a hand when you ask!