UK's First School Resource To Tackle Dog Bite Incidents
Involving Children Launched
- 'Safe and Sound' resource, which can be used as part of the
national curriculum, aims to help schools educate pupils on safety
around dogs and reduce dog bite incidents
- Resource is supported by parents of Jade Anderson, who was
tragically killed by dogs in Atherton, near Wigan, in 2013
- Coincides with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (7-14
- Between March 2014 and February 2015, there were 1,159 hospital
admissions for children 0-9 years due to dog bites or strikes
The largest dog welfare organisation in the country, the Kennel
Club, has launched the UK's first ever educational resource for
primary schools, to teach safe interaction between children and
dogs to help reduce dog bite incidents involving children.
The launch of the Safe and Sound Quality Kitemark Teaching
Resource, funded by the Kennel Club Educational Trust, coincides
with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (7-14 June) and the release
of statistics that show that 0-9 year olds are the most likely age
group to be admitted to hospital due to dog bites and
The new teaching resource is supported by Michael and Shirley
Anderson, the parents of fourteen year-old Jade Anderson, who was
tragically killed by dogs in Atherton, near Wigan, in 2013, and
they have expressed the importance of education to improve child
safety around dogs and reduce dog bite incidents.
Robin Hood Primary School in Kingston, London, is the first school
in the UK to successfully teach the resource, and has today
(Thursday 11 June) been accredited officially as a 'Safe and Sound
School' by the Kennel Club.
The resource is free for schools to use and is the first of its
kind to be written to fit the national curriculum, so schools can
write the resource into their lessons and use it to educate
children on how to interact safely with dogs.
It teaches children about safety around dogs and includes elements
such as understanding 'dog language', recognising signs that a
dog's behaviour may result in a dog showing aggression; why dogs
may bite; what to do and what not to do around dogs; how to
approach dogs; and what to do if a dog shows signs of
Schools which sign up to receive the resource will be provided
with an interactive computer-based tool for the pupils to use for
learning, which includes a number of visual elements to engage them
in the classroom.
Children aged eight are at the developmental level most suited to
absorbing, understanding and remembering information being taught
to them, so the resource has been designed for this age group (Year
4) but can be adapted and taught in Year 5 and Year 6, depending on
the ability of the children and their current learning.
The resource can be taught across four lessons, with the final
lesson consisting of an assessment to determine the pupils'
learning. It is designed to be flexible and schools can teach it as
a standalone module or can build aspects of it in to other lessons
to cover the numeracy and literacy aspects which fit in to the
national curriculum, such as English and maths.
With the UK's dog population currently at a high of around 8.5
million, and around 25 per cent of households owning a dog,
children will inevitably come across dogs in their day-to-day
lives. Recent figures released by the Health and Social Care
Information Centre show that between March 2014 and February 2015,
there were 1,159 hospital admissions caused by dog related
incidents (bites and strikes) affecting children up to the age of
9. This makes them the group most highly affected by dog bites,
showing the need for a structured educational tool to educate
children, as well as parents for continued home learning, on how to
behave around dogs.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "The Kennel Club has
launched this resource for two simple reasons - to help ensure that
children know how to safely interact with dogs and to help reduce
dog bite incidents involving children.
"As both the dog and human population in the UK continue to grow,
we need a structured education programme in place to help ensure
that both can live together safely. The vast majority of dog
bite incidents are avoidable and we believe that by schools using
the Safe and Sound resource we will start seeing real change in the
way children interact with dogs.
"Most incidents involving dogs happen within the home and we are
delivering an education tool that will teach children lessons in
the classroom that they can then apply to their day-to-day lives at
In a joint statement expressing support for the resource, Michael
and Shirley Anderson, said: "We are firm believers that education
plays a key role in helping to reduce the number of dog bite
incidents in this country.
"The Kennel Club's Safe and Sound teaching resource is the first
educational tool that will help to teach kids how to interact
safely with dogs on an ongoing basis, and it will prepare them for
caring for a dog in the right way. In the past there's been
nothing available for schools to use to write this kind of thing
into their lessons, so we are excited to be able to support
something that is so important to us and close to our
For more information on the Safe and Sound Quality Kitemark
Teaching Resource, and for primary schools to sign up to teach the
resource, visit www.safetyarounddogs.org.uk.
 Figures from the Health and Social
Care Information Centre for March 2014 to February 2015 show that
there were 1,159 hospital admissions in the 0-9 age group caused by
'dog bites or strikes'