New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

March 05, 2010

Canine visitors teach interaction

A five-year-old boy bitten by a dog outside a Christchurch school highlights the importance of teaching children how to approach canines, a school principal says.

It's nice to see that Mr Bockett, the principal, had taken our converstaion seriously. Blair spoke to him about the importance of dogs and kids being socialised together, and that today, a lot of kids just don't know how to interact with them. Years ago, every family had a family dog, and they all seemed to get on together. Dogs followed the kids to school when they were dropped off, and they just got socialised.

Today, sadly this doesn't happen. That's why we have brought in the Doggone Dog Bite Prevention Programme to New Zealand. I'm happy that this school is being pro-active and allowing our kids to be introduced to kids.

South Brighton School principal John Bockett said the new entrant had walked outside the school gate to where two dogs were tied up and had gone to pat one when it "nipped him on the lip".

An ambulance was called to ensure the boy had a tetanus shot and was not in shock, he said.

The dogs' owner walked the animals to school every day and was "devastated" by the incident. The police said they would not be laying charges.

Bockett said it underlined the value of the school's safe-dog scheme.

Six canine educators – specially trained and independently assessed dogs – had regularly visited the school for the past two years.

As well as teaching children how to interact safely, the dogs could also comfort children who had been through traumatic events or had special needs.

Bockett said the programme was introduced after a pupil had been mauled by a dog overseas, and was terrified of the animals.

"They started to bring a dog and put it in an enclosed baby's playpen and the child got used to the dog around her. In the end, she looked after the dog and wasn't scared any more.

"There is research about how dogs settle a lot of kids with special needs and kids exposed to violence."

Yes it surely does. It raises our oxitocin levels... the chemicals in our brain that makes us relax.

Year 5-6 teacher Therese Falconer said her dog, Finn, a regular classroom member, had helped the children and made them more comfortable with canines.


  • At 12:45 p.m., Blogger g said…

    Christchurch City Council proovides a similar dog bite prevention programme to schools for free! and in fact your local Animal control is required to do this by the Department of Internal Affairs as a public service. :)

  • At 2:56 p.m., Blogger Natalie said…

    If it weren't for the requirement of the Dept of Internal Affairs, would they do this willingly?

    Is there a follow up on your visits? In Victoria, Australia, they have a programme run by trained volunteers to go to schools. They have a website in which kids can do follow up activities.

  • At 2:12 a.m., Blogger Boo Dog said…

    I liked it. Thanks for sharing the Boo Little Dog


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