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Tips given on how youngsters should behave around dogs

PUBLISHED: 01:01 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 01:02 25 June 2018

Dogs at this year's Dogs Trust Snetterton's annual Fun Day. Picture: Dogs Trust

Dogs at this year's Dogs Trust Snetterton's annual Fun Day. Picture: Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Unless you really do have an affinity with dogs, it can sometimes be difficult to know when it is okay to stroke a mutt and make a fuss, or when you should stay well back.

However young people across the county will now have a better idea thanks to a series of workshops by animal experts at schools in Norfolk.

Dogs Trust, which runs a number of rehoming centres – including one at Snetterton – held the events as part of Be Dog Smart Week between June 11 and 17.

Education and community officer for East Anglia, Joanna Goodman, visited several schools after a survey of parents revealed that almost 40pc of children in East Anglia.

50pc of parents in East Anglia admitted they have never taught their child to behave around dogs but around 17pc have seen their child pulling a dog’s tail, while 12pc have seen their children lying or sitting on a dog and 11pc saw them kissing a dog’s nose.

Ms Goodman said: “Be Dog Smart Week is an important initiative that will help us continue to spread fundamental dog safety advice to hundreds of children and parents across the UK.

“Whilst being around dogs can have so many wonderful benefits for young people, the simple fact is that any dog can bite or snap if they are worried or hurt.

“Be Dog Smart week allows us to reach even more children with our safety messaging.

“We can’t teach dogs to understand when and why a child might act in a certain way towards them, but we can teach children how to care for their dogs and behave responsibly around them.

“At Dogs Trust, we believe educating children, parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, guardians, and dog owners about dog safety, is the first step to preventing bite-related incidents.”

For more information, visit www.bedogsmart.org.uk

Dogs Trust is the UK’s leading dog welfare charity and has a network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin. The charity cares for around 15,000 strays, unwanted and abandoned dogs each year.

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