The Dogs Trust’s national dog safety workshop series visited Limerick’s Granary Library on Friday November 10.
The ‘Paws, Think, Stay Safe’ campaign began earlier this summer, and aims to educate people of all ages how to behave around dogs in order to keep themselves safe.
The workshops were originally only aimed at young children, but have now been extended to include adult sessions.
Dog Trust’s Southwest Education and Community Officer Dawn Kavanagh was present to educate both children and adults on the correct way to behave around canines.
Alongside Dawn was her dog Odie, a rescue dog who was adopted by Dawn and is now part of the Dogs Trust education team.
The ‘Paws, Think, Stay Safe’ campaign emphasises the importance of behaving correctly around dogs at all times, including those in our own home.
Often times people are careless with their own animals, believing that their dogs would never be capable of biting. However, in the this seminar Dawn emphasises that even the most placid of dogs can lash out in certain circumstances.
“People often teach their kids to be careful around other people’s dogs, but not their own,” she said.
The vast majority of dog bites on children occur in the home, involving a dog that the child is familiar with. There is also usually a lack of adult supervision in these incidents.
The workshop teaches its participants about the types of behaviours that should be avoided when interacting with canines, as well as how to recognise the signals that the animals display in stressful situations.
The hope is that by avoiding situations in which the animal becomes stress, we can greatly reduce the number of biting incidents that occur.
Dogs Trust has been operating in Ireland since 2005, and is the country’s largest dog welfare charity. In this time, they have delivered over 100,000 workshops, reaching 300,000 children.
The organisation opened their first rehoming centre in 2009 in Dublin, and there are currently plans to open a further centre in Cork. Dogs Trust currently find new homes for around 3,000 dogs annually in Ireland.
For further information on the ‘Paws, Think, Stay Safe’ campaign, visit www.bedogsmart.ie.