Boston West Academy pupils learn how to Be Dog Smart

The Dogs Trust campaign Be Dog Smart, which was launched to manage the fear of dogs in children and teach them how to safely interact with them, has arrived at the Boston West Academy - where over 400 pupils took part to a meeting with Sarah Saunders, Dogs Trust Education & Community Officer.

Sarah said, “With so many children coming into contact with dogs and yet being fearful of them, it’s really important that they understand how to behave around them. If children know how to act around dogs and treat them with respect, it means they can be confident when they are out and about and families can have a really fulfilling, safe and fun relationship with their own dog.”

Over a third of the children in the UK are fearful of dogs, according to a May 2016 survey conducted by One Poll on behalf of Dogs Trust. It was alarming news, as about 33 per cent of children aged between two and 14 come into contact with dogs every day without the sufficient knowledge about dogs and dog behaviour to interact safely with them.

Assistant Headteacher Emma Schofield, who took part to the event along with the pupils and her Cocker Spaniel Belle, said, “This has definitely been a day we will all remember. Sarah was fabulous, keeping our children engaged and interested throughout the day. It was fascinating for the children to hear about how they can be safely introduced to a dog they don’t know and how they need to respect their dog if they have one at home, including some important rules, like never approaching them when they are eating or sleeping. They also learnt about how dogs help us during wartime conflicts.

“It was great fun and I’m sure what the children have learnt will lead to many important discussions with parents and siblings! Belle certainly had a great day!”

Images by Dogs Trust.