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Child safety around dogs:
Kennel Club holds safe and sound seminar - World-renowned speaker attends


THE KENNEL Club’s Safe and Sound Scheme hosted a seminar on Friday 21st September 2007 at its headquarters in central London, in order to raise awareness of child safety around dogs through its educational programme.

Around 50 people from various backgrounds attended, including head teachers, teaching staff, dog training instructors, animal wardens, veterinarians, local councillors and journalists. The seminar focused on the relationships and issues which cause canine aggression, media perception of dog biting incidents and the realities of children and dog interaction in today’s society. The presentations provided thought-provoking discussions and gave further understanding of the subject.

Gerald King, General Committee member and chairman of the KC Safe and Sound Working Party, chaired the seminar. He was followed by world-renowned behaviourist John Rogerson, who gave a fascinating presentation into the causes of many types of canine behaviour. John’s wealth of dog training experience in worldwide cultures provided further insight into the issues which can cause an aggressive reaction from a dog.

KC Secretary Caroline Kisko spoke about the perception created by the media when incidents occur. She highlighted the positive work currently being done by the Kennel Club to counteract the negative assumptions associated with all dogs when biting incidents occur.

Heidi Lawrence and Sarah Runchman, from the Kennel Club’s Education department then spoke of how, where and when children are likely to be bitten and how this links directly into the child safety developmental work included within the Safe and Sound Scheme programme.

Jeff Lloyd, Head of Robin Hood Primary School, spoke of how his school had been the first to implement the Kennel Club’s Safe and Sound Practical Award pilot scheme. He discussed the success of the scheme and the positive impact it has already had on his students.

Mark Callis and Lisa Martin, Animal Wardens from the London Borough of Wandsworth Council, concluded the discussions by outlining the current Active Schools programme within their borough, which includes the KC Safe and Sound Scheme.

The seminar was aimed at those involved with education and safety of children, in particularly teachers, animal wardens and also the media. The aim of the seminar was to initiate a greater understanding of dogs and their behaviour, and of the awareness needed to keep children safe around dogs, wherever they are.

The Safe and Sound Scheme allows everyone to learn about dogs and their behaviour, through its interactive online game and other educational resources which can be found on the KC website (www.thekennelclub.org.uk). The Safety Factor Challenge game encourages the user to consider the right course of action to take in a number of everyday scenarios with dogs.

Said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary; ‘The Kennel Club has been running the Safe and Sound Scheme since 2003, helping to keep children safe around dogs. Through this seminar we have reached a wider audience to convey its aims, help raise awareness and educate people to prevent further biting incidents.’

For more information on the Safe and Sound Scheme please contact Heidi Lawrence or Sarah Runchman on 0207 518 1011 / heidi.lawrence@thekennelclub.org.uk


The KC’s Safe and Sound initiative:

* Promotes the safe interaction between children and dogs with the following messages:
Never leave a young child alone with a dog.

Always ask permission before touching someone else’s dog.

A trained dog is a happy dog.

* Includes a ‘safety factor’ online game, which encourages children to consider the right course of action to take in a number of dog-related scenarios.

* Free resources are available for teachers to promote the scheme within schools.