Pets can communicate with people in a variety of ways, but do they really understand us? That's the question we will explore in classes on dog behavior, positive reinforcement training, and appropriate human interaction with pets. With better education, dogs can play a safe and meaningful role in children's lives as teachers, companions and trusted confidantes.
Teaching better communication skills will also reduce dog bites, help people to make better choices about training and animal adoption, and find ways to enhance their relationship with their pets.
Training and education strengthen the bond between animals and people.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What can children learn from having a pet?
Dogs, like humans, have a sense of play that continues into adulthood. Play helps to socialize pets (and people) by learning to cooperate and develop a sense of fairness. Children also learn to be empathetic, patient and nurturing with pets, which are all important life skills that make them better friends, adults, and parents.
2. How do dogs communicate with us?
Anthropologists now believe humans and the first domesticated wolves began their relationship some 150,000 years ago. By hunting with humans, guarding their property, and eventually becoming best friends, dogs learned how to "read" human gestures, understand tone of voice, and even recognize words as symbols for things and actions. That's why dogs, when owners put on certain shoes, know it's time for a walk. They get our attention by whining or barking, or looking at their owners and then at their empty dog bowls to remind their humans that it's time for dinner.