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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Need some help

My husband teaches second grade. We've been planning on me bringing some dogs to his class for an afternoon to do some tricks and demonstrations. I also want to make up a hand-out for the kids. Since they are only second grade reading level, I assume it will be something they can read with their parents (mainly b/c I think a lot of adults need this info too!), and maybe I'll have a dog on it so they can color it in and bring it back for a prize. I'm fine writing up some points on how to approach a strange dog, ask to pet, etc but I need some help with some points on Service Dogs. How do I convey to a second grader that you can't pet a Service Dog and you can't ask someone why they have the Service Dog? Also, I was sort of thinking it might be good to have an actual Service Dog come out. My dogs are not SDs or anything of the sort, just pets trained to do tricks and some other more working type disciplines. Would it be good to have an actual SD there? When I was a kid we always had "assemblies" where a man would come and talk to us about Service Dogs. That is where I learned not to touch them, what is polite to say, what you can/can't ask, etc.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 10:57 AM
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That's a really neat idea.
I started a https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...vice-dogs.html thread a few days ago, you might find some useful stuff there...

Quote:
How do I convey to a second grader that you can't pet a Service Dog and you can't ask someone why they have the Service Dog?
Lin posted this video in my thread, they'd find it entertaining to watch I think:
I hope the parents don't get all sue-happy and ruin it for everyone before it happens... it would be a really great learning experience for the kids
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:00 AM
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What a fantastic idea! I am an elementary school teacher by day, and I also work for a service dog organization training SD's. Every year I do an informational assembly where I bring in several of our SDs and the kids LOVE it! I think that's the only reason my students actually like me...I'm the "cool" dog lady!

I would contact a local service dog organization near you and ask if one of their trainers could come out and help with your presentation. Most service dog organizations are non-profit and rely on public outreach to survive...so I'm sure they will be thrilled at the opportunity.

It would also be cool to contact your county K9 unit and ask if the officer could bring his dog and speak about police dog etiquette and what those types of dogs do. Kids go bonkers over police K9s.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:02 AM
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I would also talk about how to approach a dog, ask owner first for permission, no eye contact, sideways vs head on, general manners etc...Turid Rugaas's site would be a good place to start.
I think all children should have this information and 2nd grade is a great time to introduce it. It may bring down bite statistics if they knew better!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax's Mom View Post
I hope the parents don't get all sue-happy and ruin it for everyone before it happens... it would be a really great learning experience for the kids
DH says it won't be a problem. He's had students bring in their own dogs (for show and tell or something like that?) and they sounded a lot more out of control than mine. They will have the chance to pet Coke (to practice asking the owner and petting the dog correctly). Nikon has been working on a slew of tricks (some really silly stuff like popping his head between my legs and heeling between my legs, weaving in and out of my legs as I walk, putting his front paws up on a brick and spinning his rear around in circles) and then will probably do something like having them lay "articles" down so he can find and indicate or picking a kid to lay a short track. We'll be doing this outside so we're waiting for a warm day (still in the 40s here!). We probably won't do any sort of protection work, not sure what purpose it would serve.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Also I'll have to keep whatever we explain/say to the kids fairly simple. I don't really like talking to kids so I want DH to do the talking since he's the teacher, and I will handle the dogs so it will have to be a simple program for him. The more I think about it, the more I think I want to have a handout on how to pet a strange dog and another on Service Dogs that they take home and read with their parents so the parents are getting the information as well.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:18 AM
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Here is a link to a coloring book from AKC that might be fun for the kids. It's a pdf, so it loads pretty slowly.

http://www.akc.org/pdfs/public_educa...oring_book.pdf

Not sure if the kids are old enough for this, but I think it would be fun if you showed them how to teach their dogs a lure type trick (e.g. spin). Can't get the little dog trainers started out too early!

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:19 AM
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You may also want to point out to them that just because THEY have a dog doesn't mean they know how to approach strange dogs. It's a good idea to have each kid practice so you can point out to them if it's not the right way.
I'd also ask them:
Does anyone know the reasons dogs bite?
Who knows what a dog about to bite looks like?
Do dogs always bark if they're about to bite?
Is it only mean dogs that bite?
What do you do if you find a lost dog?

...I also like to point out to kids that it's ok to ask an adult to put their dog on a leash
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:25 AM
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Here is a link to some bite prevention resources:

Doggone Safe - Free Downloads

I wish all kids had some exposure to dog bite prevention info. I'm teaching a class right now and so many kids will run right up to x-pens, etc. Yikes!

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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I don't want to scare them with too much bite stuff. I guess for me, the angle is more showing respect and common sense. I wouldn't run up and hug *any* dog even if it was one I knew would not bite me. Even my closest dog friends, I ask if I can touch their dog, play tug with it, etc. I want them to know the correct way to behave around strange dogs and service dogs because it's the right thing to do, not just to avoid being bit, if that makes sense?
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