Montreal Kids Get Schooled on Dog Behavior by Fuzzy Mentors

PetMD Editorial
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PetMD Editorial
Published: July 23, 2018
Montreal Kids Get Schooled on Dog Behavior by Fuzzy Mentors

Meet Albert, an adorable nine-year-old black-and-white Dutch Sheepdog that’s one of many dogs on a mission. His mission is to teach children aged 6 to 12 in Montreal, Quebec how to read a dog’s behavior.

Régine Hétu, the clinical coordinator for Zoothérapie Québec, told the Montreal Gazette: “We brought Albert because he’s really good with kids.”

Albert is just one of many dogs who is part of a program called Fudge au camp, started by Zoothérapie Québec

Zoothérapie Québec is a nonprofit organization that offers pet therapy programs to help improve the health and quality of Canadians by using pets. Their programs include pet therapy, bite prevention programs and educational zoo therapy.

The purpose of Fudge au camp is to teach children how to read the signs of dog behavior, so they can tell whether a dog is showing signs of aggression, and what to do if attacked by a dog.

Half the cases of children bitten by dogs happen with a dog they know, including family pets , Hétu explained to the Montreal Gazette.  

At Fudge au camp, a group of up to 30 campers get together to meet their fuzzy four-legged teacher to learn different signs of dog behavior. Albert played the role of a happy and playful dog, and the children were shown pictures of two other moods: aggressive and scared. The children then learned how to approach a dog, even if they seem playful, and how to respond to a dog that is showing signs of aggression.

The children also learn how to defend themselves against dog attacks by learning two positions: the stone position and the tree position. In the stone position, the kids curl up on the ground, and in the tree position, the kids stand still. In both positions, they are told to avoid eye contact and protect their neck with their hands.

So, what do the kids think of the program? Clara Gisèle Nadeau, age 8, told the Montreal Gazette that she enjoyed the program and especially giving Albert treats.

And as for Albert, between the attention and treats, something tells us he’s enjoying it too! 

Image via Montreal Gazette/Youtube

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