Dogs Trust

Be Dog Wise Awareness Week

We have launched “Be Dog Wise”, an awareness week on Responsible Dog Ownership. Our Education and Community team run two successful programmes ‘Be Dog Smart’ and ‘Be Dog Confident’ which deliver practical and informative workshops to both parents and children and have combined these programmes into “Be Dog Wise”. As part of our “Be Dog Wise” awareness week on responsible dog ownership, we are hosting a variety of workshops in our Rehoming Centre in Finglas over the coming months. We are inviting parents and guardians, and expectant parents and guardians to attend a workshop on how to make sure their children are safe around dogs both indoor and out and about.

While most dogs make wonderful family pets, we are reminding parents to always supervise play time between children and dogs. Our ‘Be Dog Smart’ workshops outline 21+ warning signs that a dog might display, which could give dog owners advance warning that your dog may be uncomfortable in a situation. By teaching adults about a dog’s body language, we can give them the opportunity to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation which could in turn decrease any unfortunate incidents happening.

Speaking about the awareness week, Education and Community Manager at Dogs Trust, Fiona Gregan says: “A dog can be a child’s best friend and most loyal companion as they grow up, a relationship to be cherished and respected. We want to ensure that this bond is kept sacred by creating workshops that help both adults and children learn how to safely interact with a dog. Our workshops aim to help people learn more about dog’s behaviour to help prevent unfortunate situations from arising. Although we can never know exactly how a dog is feeling, knowledge and observation of their body language may help you identify situations in which your dog is uncomfortable.”

Though you may not have a dog yourself, research indicates that 40%* of Irish households own a dog so the chances of encountering a dog while visiting a relative or out in the community are quite high. ’Be Dog Smart’ aims to help parents prepare themselves and their child for how to act appropriately around a dog to ensure all parties are kept safe and happy. Workshops also encourage better socialisation for dogs to increase their confidence in new environments and situations, leading to a happier more well-rounded dog. 

Fiona continues: “We visit thousands of schools delivering our ‘Be Dog Smart’ and ‘Be Dog Confident’ workshops every year. We are aware that some children can be afraid of dogs, which inspired our ‘Be Dog Confident’ workshops to help children with low-level anxiety manage their fear around dogs. These workshops can be delivered in primary schools and any community-based venues in many areas across Ireland.

Our ‘Be Dog Smart’ workshops are designed for both children and adults. We are encouraging adults to attend our workshops as they cover important topics such as how to prepare your dog for a new baby, simple training tips to help train your dog, advice to encourage children to be gentle when playing with dogs and tips for how to create a more social dog, making for a happier dog in new situations”

If you would like our Education and Community team to visit your school or community venue please see to book a workshop. You can also download the FREE resources to learn more safety and responsible dog ownership tips, as well as some of the 21+ warning signs to be aware of so you can identify when a dog is feeling uncomfortable.