Ginger, our 1.5 yr Golden Retriever recently visited the School of Life, a school for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds in Mumbai, India. The school emphasizes speaking in English and provides extra help in the regular school subjects like math and geography.
Ginger visited the children to reduce their fear in dogs, and learn about handing dogs. Initially, many kids were scared but they soon got over their fear. They petted her, gave her treats, played fetch and sniffing games and took her on a walk. Some of their dog handling rules for this class were:
– do not to approach Ginger from the back
– wait for her to approach you
– don’t pull her tail
– do not pet her on the top of the head, but on the lower neck
This was the first time Ginger interacted with so many children at once. She was friendly and patient with them. She was on leash initially. She was allowed to be off-leash in the classroom once the pet parent was sure that she and the kids were comfortable with each other. She has a good recall and has been trained not to jump, but to sit to be petted. She was a little distracted because it was a new place with a lot of new smells. She did, however, ‘paw’ multiple times when asked. She also obeyed ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘hi-5’ commands when asked by her pet parent. We hope she will be less distracted at her next visit to the School of Life.