The Iowa Dog Trust is ALL about teaching our young people about the correct way to interact with dogs.
The sisters, 5 years old, and 10 years old, both love dogs. The 10 YO wants her own dog in the worst way, but mom and dad want to wait until the 5 YO is older and more comfortable around them. (I applaud them for their wisdom).
Patchs and I spent a few hours yesterday playing with the girls and the girls got to safety interact with Patchs in a fenced-in area. I talked with them about using their voice to control dogs, taught them some basic commands, and showed them some basics of how to read a dog’s body language. Patchs and I will be dropping by again this afternoon for a little “refresher”.
It is very rewarding to me to “pay it forward” and I love to mentor kids about dogs. It is exciting to watch them as they learn and it is a great feeling when the “get it” and realize that they can communicate with an animal in a respectful and natural way.
I feel that it is extreemly important to teach kids how to properly treat animals, (and other humans for that matter) with love and respect at the earliest possible age. We have a responsiblity to give them all of the tools they need to become not only great pet owners, but responsible members of society. Teaching them to work with nature (not against it) will help them in all areas of later life.