Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP, Gerald Jones, recently visited White Rose Primary School in New Tredegar to attend a workshop teaching children how to stay safe around dogs.

Dogs Trust Education & Community Officer Claire Kendrick, hosted the workshop to around 120 pupils offering advice and tips to youngsters about how to behave around dogs.

Gerald Jones said:

“I understand the joy that dogs can bring to families, but dog ownership is a huge commitment so it’s important for children and parents to understand how to be responsible dog owners, and how to stay safe around dogs in their community. We need to do more to educate children about dog safety and responsible dog ownership, and I am pleased to support the work of Dogs Trust on this important task.”

Claire Kendrick, Education & Community Officer for Wales says:

“Be Dog Smart is an important initiative that will help us continue to spread fundamental dog safety advice to thousands of children and parents across the UK. Whether your family owns a dog or not, 33% of children in the UK will encounter a dog every single day.*

Whilst being around dogs can have so many wonderful benefits for young people, the simple fact is that any dog can bite or snap if worried, scared or hurt. Many of these bites are preventable, and at Dogs Trust, we believe educating children, parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, guardians, and dog owners about dog safety, is the first step to preventing such incidents.”

Claire gives ten easy tips to remind kids how to stay safe around dogs:

Beware of disturbing dogs that are eating or sleeping.

Even if for fun, don’t ever tease a dog please.

Don’t approach a dog with no owner around.

Only stroke a dog when the owner says, ‘Yes, you can.’

Get the dog to sniff your hand first, then stroke gently.

Strange dog approaching? Stand still, look away, cross your arms (do the X-Factor!).

Move calmly and quietly around any dog.

All that hugging and kissing – you might like it, dogs don’t!

Remember all dogs have teeth.

Treat dogs with respect and they will respect you!

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, believes a dog is for life and to help families and their dogs have a happy life together offers free workshops at schools, community centres, libraries and any other suitable location for parents and children. To find out more, seek advice or to book a workshop with Claire

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