Schoolchildren given lessons in canine caution as dog attacks increase

  • Watch this report by ITV Meridian's Tony Green

It's one of the legacies of lockdown - there are more dogs in the UK than ever before with some estimating that the country's dog population grew by two million during the pandemic.

The number of dog attacks has also increased ,leading one primary school in Kent to bring in dog behaviour experts to teach children how to approach a dog - and when not to, as well as what to do when a dog starts running towards them.

The children were given an opportunity to put their pet knowledge into practice when Best Behaviour Dog Training brought along some of their own animals.

"Last year 1,700 children were admitted to hospital with dog bites. That was an increase from the year before," said Pippa Apps, the online school's founder.

"We really want to just be able to show children how to approach dogs, how to read their body language in order to change their behaviour and hopefully stop this increase."

Best Behaviour brought in their own dogs for the children to interact with Credit: ITV News Meridian

For the children at Finberry Primary this was a lesson that received their full attention.

"For lots of children they don't have dogs at home or the opportunity to experience dogs on a day to day basis," said head of school Siobhan Risley. "So by bringing the dogs into the school, the children, the opportunity to ask questions from the professionals who are delivering the training for the children.

The dog training school is looking to roll out the sessions across the region.