Dog Safety and Humane Education Program
"I think it is good for kids to learn about how to behave around dogs. It was fun to see how the dog interacted with the students! OUTSTANDING program!” –Daniel Collins, Principal, Twin Lake Elementary, Elk River, MN
ARLP Dog Safety/Humane Ed program dog Rubi shows off a down-stay for participants
We Minnesotans love our dogs: we take our canine friends along to the park, to the lake, even to stores and restaurants that allow dogs.
Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable around dogs. In fact, some people are downright afraid of them. ARLP has found that teaching people how to interact with dogs increases their comfort level.
ARLP provides unique dog safety and humane education programs to youth, adults, and organizations. We bring Canine Good Citizen or therapy-registered dogs to a hands-on, 20- to 60-minute learning experience for up to 20 people at a time that increases knowledge about humane treatment of animals and reduces the risk of dog bites.
“One of the little girls was very fearful of dogs. After the program, when the children were given the opportunity to practice what they learned, that particular girl took the volunteer’s hand and walked up to the dog. That was remarkable and a tribute to your program that she was able to use the knowledge she was taught to overcome her fear.” –Nancy Hiemstra, Director of Crossroad Preschool
Children practice protecting themselves from a "stray" dog
Dogs love kids. Kids love dogs. Unfortunately, sometimes the two don’t mix, and a child can end up with a dog bite. Most of the time, the dog is known to the child – it’s either the family dog or a dog who lives close by. The good news is that many of these bites are preventable!
ARLP's Dog Safety Program teaches children how to safely approach a dog on a leash, identify and react to stray dogs, read a dog’s body language and behavior, and the best way to act around dogs that are nervous or afraid. Kids practice their new skills, increasing the likelihood that they’ll use them later, reducing the risk of dog bites.
“Quality humane education provides children opportunities to explore, apply, and adopt virtues such as empathy, kindness, respect, and responsibility toward living beings.” –National Humane Education Society
ARLP's Humane Education Programs can be tailored to the audience’s specific age and development level, and topic requests are always welcome. Past programs have included:
• Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning School (third grade): Year-long humane service learning program where we conducted monthly programs that included teaching compassion with former Michael Vick dog, Hector; training and obedience; and pet overpopulation/safety. ARLP volunteer Aimee and therapy dog Rex were part of the end-of-year play that the students put on.
• Twin Cities Academy (high school) – Year-long humane service learning program that included programming such as: how humans and dogs communicate, canine and human techniques for impulse control, and HSUS’s End Dog Fighting Game Show.
• Tartan High School Special Education Department - Humane education programming (partner since 2010) where every year we make multiple visits to particular classrooms and teach the youth how to properly care for dogs, how pit bulls experience prejudice and stereotyping, and what dogs love to do for fun with their humans.
ARLP's Dog Safety and Humane Education Programs range from 20-60 minutes long and are generally presented to groups of no larger than 20 people. They are offered free of charge (though ARLP is a 501(c)(3) organization and accepts tax-deductible donations in support of our work).
For more information, to schedule a program, or to find out how you can get involved, contact Kellie French.
Two of our long-standing canine volunteers are enjoying a very happy retirement on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. We will always be grateful for their service to ARLP and for all of the smiles they brought to the children they served.
Many of the photos on this page were taken by Tara Engle Photography, MN pet, child, and wedding photographer. Others were taken by ARLP volunteer Lp Reyes or provided by the dogs' families.