As part of the Junior Citizenship Scheme 450 pupils from a number of different schools in Bromley met at Malcolm Primary School, Penge to be taught important lessons on safety which included staying safe around dogs. Representatives from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home met with the children to tell them how to identify when a dog is angry, playful and scared. The charity also brought along with them a six year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier which had been recently rescued and re homed and reported that they are currently hugely over run with this particular breed and desperate for people to give them another chance. Amongst other things the pupils learnt not to run away if a dog starts chasing you but to stay calm and not get the dog excited. They also learnt not to approah a dog without first checking with their parents and the dog's owner that it is safe to do so. Battersea Dogs Home provided a list of dos and don'ts for the youngsters involved: Do:
- Be quiet and gentle around dogs.
- If the owner is present ask if you may pat the dog and where the dog likes to be stroked.
- Roll your hand into a fist and allow the dog to sniff you first.
- Sneak up on or tease a dog
- Stare a dog in the eye.
- Disturb a dog when it is eating or sleeping.
- Run away if you see a strange dog in the park
- Assume a dog will always want to play
- Pat a dog which is on it's own
If you are frightened by a dog:
- stand still.
- Fold your arms across your chest
- Look at the ground or sky
- Be boring – do not shout or scream or jump about.
If you are pushed over by a dog:
- Curl up into a ball and stay very still.
- Be boring.
- Wait for an adult.