Dogtown is working hard to help educate children about how to behave with dogs. This not only saves the children from being bitten, but also means that dogs are not then ‘let go’ because they have bitten a child.

For Dogtown, it’s about saving more lives and educating

50% of our children are being bitten by a dog by the time they are twelve years old and 77% of bites come from their family’s or friend’s dog. These staggering statistics are the motivation to educate by presenting the Stop the 77 Dog Stars programme in schools.

The team from DogtownSA, a local dog shelter, will be taking a break from caring and rehabilitating their dogs to teach something really important for dog owning families and kids everywhere. With the help of Dog Stars, a programme designed specifically for primary school-aged kids, the Dogtown team will bring fun and energy into educating the younger members of our community about the right way to behave around dogs.

The aim of the programme is to increase appropriate child-dog interactions in order to decrease the amount of stress that dogs can feel around children and the bites that could follow

“The programme is simple yet still comprehensive and really entertaining for the kids!” says Tracy McQuarrie, founder of DogtownSA. “They get to watch videos and play games that help them really understand dogs, and then take home colourful, interactive handouts to help educate their parents too.

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“Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites, but studies show that educating kids on how to act around dogs significantly increases appropriate behaviour. This is why I am committed to helping kids learn how to act around all the dogs they see in their lives whether their families own one or not,” says McQuarrie.

While most bite prevention programmes focus on what to do when a stray or aggressive dog approaches a child, Dog Stars represents a whole new take on dog safety.

Developed by thefamilydog.com, Dog Stars is a simple and fun programme that focuses on teaching kids how to really respect the dogs they know and love. It’s only 30-40 minutes long and uses games and music videos with catchy lyrics to get this important message across, so the kids keep singing about dog safety long after the workshop is over.

To have this presentation at your school, contact Tracy McQuarrie directly by email on [email protected]

About DogtownSA

Nestled in the Hennops mountains is the most remarkable sanctuary, for dogs who have lost their families or have been rescued from dire situations. Every day the dedicated team at Dogtown provide individual care to each of these dogs in a peaceful, tranquil setting while they wait for their forever homes.

The dogs at Dogtown receive the best care while they patiently wait for their loving home. Dogtown is the only true rehabilitation centre in South Africa with a team of 10 full-time certified trainers and behaviourists seeing to the dogs’ every needs.

Website: //barkingmad.co.za/about-dogtown-sa/