Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun Teaching Kids of Greyhound Adopters

Thanks to Angela Jardine of Maritime Greyhound Adoption Program for telling us about their protocol for educating adopters and their kids about dog behavior and safety around dog. This is fun for the kids, decreases potential anxiety for the dogs and increases the chances of a successful adoption. Doggone Safe would love to see all rescue organizations provide this type of training for their adopters. We offer a 50% discount off the price of our Basic Body Language online course for shelters and rescues who purchase blocks of 5 or more seats. Contact us for details.

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The policy of Maritime Greyhound Adoption Program, is not adopt to families with children under the age of 5, so the kids in the dog safety session can be anywhere from 5 - 12 or 13 years old. The first thing we do is watch "Every Picture Tells a Story - The Language of Dogs" video, then we go over the list of "Teresa's Bad Rules" and get them to ask any questions they have. We look at the pictures of safe and dangerous dogs and discuss how to tell the difference in each. We learn what "Be A Tree" means. Next we play the Doggone Crazy! Board game and depending on how many children there are, we may play it more than once to get through all the cards. Sometimes after we play the game, we will just shuffle the cards and draw out cards to ask the questions. We read the Diggity the Dog story book and I get them to point out on the pictures where the "bad" stuff is happening. They are given a package to take home, including a colour printout of the dog communication page to put on the fridge and the Kids and K9 activity page, along with Teresa's Bad Rules and of course some colouring pages of greyhounds. I tell them it is important not only that they learn the proper and safe way to behave around a dog, but it is also important that all their friends know the rules of how to behave too.

I feel that everyone even thinking about adopting any dog should have this information and hope that someday it becomes the norm instead of the exception. It benefits the humans and the dogs immensely. Deb Levasseur, CTB (the president and founder of Maritime Greyhound Adoption Program) is a certified dog behaviour therapist and gives an informative and extensive information session for the parents and other adults as well, going over all aspects of responsible dog ownership and canine behaviour. We have a great bunch of volunteers and our greyhounds go to foster families within the group, while they are waiting for their forever homes where they are all given the opportunity to learn what it is to live in a home.

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Click here from more information about adopting a retired racing greyhound.

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