Dogs Trust Teaches Responsible Dog Ownership

Dogs Trust marks a monumental milestone for their Education team as they have successfully provided education workshops to 417,960 children and adults atross Ireland. The Education team has designed two age-specific programmes which offer free workshops, teaching children and adults about Responsible Dog Ownership and safety around dogs, in a fun and interactive way.

The dedicated Education and Community team have delivered over 13,500 workshops across the country since the programme launched, reaching 95% of Ireland.

Dogs Trust Teaches Responsible Dog Ownership

Heather, Education Officer with school children

Their Be Dog Smart campaign was launched in May 2017 and has been a huge success, reaching over 17,000 children and adults. The campaign was designed, after a survey commissioned by Dogs Trust revealed that;

  • 40% of Irish parents would leave a child under 11 or younger alone with a dog
  • A quarter of Irish adults have let a child approach a dog they did not know
  • 1 in 3 parents have seen their child kiss a dog on the nose
  • Whilst 82% of Irish parents say they teach their child how to behave around a dog, over 96% don’t know there are 21+ signs that a dog may be feeling uncomfortable or stressed.

Every year, the team are busy promoting the message of responsible dog ownership throughout various educational events both in the rehoming centre at Dogs Trust and across the country. The first annual event of the year is ‘Tea & Tales’, where Dogs Trust invites various speakers to teach the audience about responsible dog ownership and careers with dogs. Another event explores how dogs’ senses work, which is very aptly named ‘Doggy Detectives’.

Halloween can be quite a scary time of year for our four legged friends, with this in mind, the Education team at Dogs Trust host ‘Howl-o-ween’ to teach kids how to stay safe and keep their dogs safe at this time of year.

Each year, Dogs Trust release online resources to allow all the Jessica Fetchers and Sherlock bones out there to take part in science week whilst learning about responsible dog ownership through fun interactive investigations.

The team end the year with an all-time favourite event ‘Santa Paws’, where families are invited to the centre to meet the man himself. During their trip they are thought that “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas®”, a phrase coined by the charity almost 40 years ago, and why it’s not a good idea to put a dog on their Christmas list. Attendees also make stockings for the dogs that will be spending Christmas in the centre. It is always a fun filled day for all involved!

Fiona Gregan, Education Manager at Dogs Trust said:
We are so thrilled to be celebrating this milestone in animal welfare education as we have now educated 417,960 children and adults across Ireland. In 2017 we visited over 650 schools, youth and community groups, and delivered over 2,400 Responsible Dog Ownership and Be Dog Smart workshops. These workshops will educate both children and adults on how to behave around dogs at home and in the community which will reduce the likelihood of issues arising; ensuring families and their four legged friends are kept safer. We are firm believers that by educating our current and future dog owners about the responsibilities and commitment involved in dog ownership, that we can reduce the number of dogs that are mistreated or abandoned long into the future.

Dogs Trust launched ‘The Big Scoop’ last week, over 124 schools signed up for their educational packs and our Education and Community Officers visited some of these participating schools educating over 28,500 children about the importance of cleaning up after their dog through a three tier approach towards dog fouling – ‘Law, Health Implications and the People it can affect.

For information on all of Dogs Trusts events and campaigns or if you are interested in finding out more about the Be Dog Smart Safe Code or would like to arrange a Be Dog Smart workshop in your school, library or community centre, visit

Dogs Trust Ireland
Dogs Trust has been working in Ireland since 2005 and its mission is to bring an end to the destruction of stray and abandoned dogs through a national responsible dog ownership campaign, including a subsidised neutering and microchipping campaign and an education programme.

There are currently 148 dogs and puppies in Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, awaiting their forever homes.

Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

The Centre is based at:
Dogs Trust Dublin Rehoming Centre
Ashbourne Road
Dublin 11

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