Learning About Dog Body Language in Kindergarten Class

In this picture the dog is chewing on a bone. Is this dog safe to pet?  You’d be surprised at how many kindergartners said “Yes!”.

I offer free dog body language presentations to lower elementary school classrooms in my town of Petaluma. Here I’m having fun with kindergartners at McNear School.  I am showing them images of dogs and asking them to “vote” whether or not they think the dog in the picture is safe to pet or not safe to pet.  Then we sort the pictures on a marker board into these two categories.  To vote, the kids hold up either a green square of construction paper to indicate the the dog is safe to pet or they use their red square to indicate that the dog is not safe to pet.  An important part of this activity, is that I ask them to share “why” they chose a certain answer.  If you’re interested in having me visit your child’s classroom, or you’re a teacher and would like this presentation for your students, please contact me by email or phone!  I’d love to visit! A bonus is that after each visit, I will donate one of my Stop, Look & Paws learning activities to the classroom!

Having fun learning about dog body language!

Below is a short video clip from McNear School.

 

Reading to the Dog

For a quiet activity for kids to do with the dog – try reading!

It is easy to get a dog excited and wound up, but it is more important to teach a dog how to stay calm. This is because most incidences of bites or scratches happen when dogs are in an excited state. Because they are pack animals dogs like to be with us no matter what activity we are doing.

Try this activity of having your child read to the family dog. This is something that is not only good for your child, but the dog will benefit from the close proximity and the calm state of mind from the child. You may have to start with the dog on a leash and sitting quietly next to your child as he/she reads a book. It is good to have times that the child and dog are close together but the direct focus is not on the dog. Soon they will both understand what is to be done during this activity and no leash will be needed.

If you are reading the book and your child is looking at pictures and listening to the story this is just as good. This is also a good time to teach your child how to calmly pet the dog as they both relax and listen to the story. Many people including adults pet a dog with fast hand movements. This will again, get at dog more excited. Try having your child slowly count as they pet the dog’s entire back. It might be fun to make a game out of counting slowly. Try this: “one good dog, two good dogs, three good dogs…” and so on. I bet they can get to “five good dogs”! See my next blog for more active games for children to play with dogs.

Great activity for a child to do with their dog.