Our very successful ‘walk and wheel’ to school message has seen more and more families making the trip to school a fun family event, involving all family members, even the four-legged ones. If you take your family dog for a walk on the way to school please consider those members of our school community who are not keen on dogs.

Keep your dog on a leash.

Please don’t leave your dog tied up and unattended outside classrooms or on the scooter racks. Some children really do not like dogs and your dog’s unattended presence gives these kids a stressful start to the day.

Also consider the impact of your dog in classrooms, have you asked your child’s teacher how they feel? Some might say no, some might ask for more regular visits – get the communication going and find out.

And… don’t forget your plastic bag, sadly some dog owning parents are leaving the poo behind.

As a dog owner myself I believe that animals at school are a positive presence, if managed well. So please listen to the valid concerns of the non-dog loving members of our school community to keep Waimairi School a happy place for all two and four legged beings.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

PS, Yes the cute dog in the picture is my boy Murphy.

PS, Yes the cute dog in the picture is my boy Murphy.


Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 09:52 PM
Hi Mike

I LOVE DOGS however I am not happy about them being in the school grounds with large groups of children. It is an accident waiting to happen.
Friday, March 27, 2009 - 11:51 AM
I would like to continue to have dogs in the school and I agree with the points you have outlined - I cant believe some have been brought into classrooms without permission and some poos havent been picked up. That is a real shame and reflects badly on the majority of parents that bring dogs into school with no negative impact. I agree that dogs should not be allowed to be tied up unattended either as there is potential for disaster.
Having dogs in the school is a very positive experience for children and parents with children who are nervous around dogs should see this as an opportuntiy to teach your child how to respond appropriately.
As a parent of the school but also as a dog trainer and an educator who runs dog safety programmes in schools and preschools, I have been teaching New Entrants at Waimairi for a few years now as well as the local kindy. I am very proud to say that I observe almost all children at the school responding appropriately to dogs and around the school - asking to pat the dog before approaching, patting it correctly and safely and not being silly around them. Well done!
Having any animals in the school is a wonderful experience for children - dog owners please don't ruin it by not controlling or looking after your dog while at school. It would be a shame to lose this special part of Waimairi culture. Finally, parents of children who dont like dogs - please dont tar and feather all dogs in front of your child. Children respond to the signals you give out - if you appear fearful they will expect that something negative is going to happen. Please see dogs(or any animal) in the school as a wonderful learning experience - a chance for you to help your child overcome a fear.

I am more than happy to assist the school again in teaching safe dog handling practices, advising dog owners/ staff/ parents on appropriate ways of working with dogs, or providing one on one positive experiences with one of my dogs and children wanting to overcome a fear.

Susan Tansey

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 01:03 PM
Phoebe Fulton
I like dogs too although I am currently not a dog owner, and my children love going up to the fence to talk to our neighbours dog. I also know some children who see a dog and take a wide berth, many times with good reason. Most dog owners say their dogs wouldnt hurt anyone and they are probably right although sometimes they jump up at you, and bark or take off when another dog approaches and that is often the time when children are scared. I dont think any child need be subjected to that at school. I think educating the children about dogs and how to behave around them is very beneficial however I would still rather dogs stayed at home or outside the school grounds. I seem to have noticed more dog poo around the school grounds this year than ever before although this probably cant be attributed to the dogs who come in to the school grounds on leads to drop off or collect their 'mates' before and after school.

Friday, April 3, 2009 - 08:49 AM
I walk to school each day with Doug the Dog as it is my belief that dogs need to be well socialised and are more likely to respond in a positive manner towards children if they are used to them.
The children at Waimaire are polite and generally ask before touching a dog.
Of course all dogs need to be kept on a lead and any doggy doo must be picked up, this is council bylaw as well as good manners. I have only seen well behaved dog owners at the school and agree that animals at school are a positive presence.

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 10:07 PM
I agree that animals are a positive presence, however I believe this is up to the parents to manage what experiences their children should have with dogs or any other pet.

I for one would rather see dogs outside of the school grounds. A stressful experience in the morning of encountering a dog (for my child) has repercussions for more than just the 2 minute encounter with the actual animal. Such an encounter stays with my child for most of the morning, and disturbs her learning.

Thursday, June 4, 2009 - 04:20 PM
Chris Jenkins
I love to see dogs at school with their families but agree with Mike that dog owners need to be careful of anyone nervous of dogs and keep them on a short leash, pick up mess and not leave them tied up anywhere. If dogs are included in the "Walk to School" outings families are more likely to walk. Dogs are great motivators!!
Having just lost my beautiful Sammy at the ripe old age of 15 I understand how important dogs are to their owners and to exclude them causes stress.

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