'Bark' to school with a difference for Shropshire pupils

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is offering local primary schools free workshops to help children understand dogs and ensure they can live safely and happily at home and in the community with man’s best friend.

Education officer Alison Donald with Bolt the Greyhound

The ‘Be Dog Smart’ workshops, which also covers what it takes to keep a dog happy and healthy, support a range of curriculum subjects and tailored lessons can be created to suit the needs of the pupils.

Education and community officer Alison Donald said: “Dogs Trust is committed to making sure we can live happily alongside dogs at home and when we’re out and about, so I deliver fun, free, interactive workshops in primary schools throughout the year.

“Whether children own dogs or not it is important that they learn how to interact with unknown dogs in the correct way, learn what to do if they are scared and develop a respect and empathy for dogs they know and live with.”

The workshops cover aspects of how to live happily with a dog, such as never approaching them while they are eating or sleeping and also how a child should approach a dog they don’t know when they are out and about.

Alison added: “While 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, as well as other family members, about dog safety, is the first step to preventing such incidents.

“In the workshops we teach the basics such as when not to approach a dog, how you can safely introduce yourself to a dog you don’t know and for children more nervous of dogs, how to feel more confident when around them.

“We hope that by helping young people understand how to behave around dogs we can help everyone enjoy all the joy a canine companion can bring.”

Alison can be contacted on on 01952 771405 or

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.


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