SCHOOLS in Oldham are being offered the chance to teach their children how to "be dog smart".

The Dogs Trust charity is offering free dog welfare workshops in Greater Manchester following the return of pupils to school after the summer break.

The charity says the workshops will be delivered as part of the its campaign, enhance the National Curriculum and seek to provide children between the ages of seven and 11 with the knowledge and understanding they need to act responsibly and safely around dogs in their homes and those they may see out and about.

Each workshop benefits pupils by involving a pretend dog as its focus, with the aim of developing compassion and consideration for all living beings.

Not only do children learn how to behave safely around dogs, they also learn all about the commitment involved in owning a dog through a creative and interactive learning experience.

Last year, Melanie Tomkins, Dogs Trust’s education and community officer in Greater Manchester delivered workshops to 9,877 children.

This year, it is on track to improve on this number yet again. With the growing success of the campaign, the Dogs Trust now employs 27 education and community officers across the UK to provide workshops in their designated regions.

Melanie said: “Through debate and discussion, our responsible dog ownership workshops encourage learners to embody important values around dog ownership such choosing the right breed or type of dog for your life style, as well as understanding that dogs are a lifelong commitment and not a disposable commodity.

“I would welcome the opportunity to work with schools in the area and encourage them to get in touch, as pupils really do get a lot out of the workshops; as do their dogs.”

She added that whether children own dogs or not, it is important they learn how to interact with dogs in the correct way, learn what to do if they are scared and develop respect and compassion for dogs they know and live with. For more information about ‘Be Dog Smart’ please visit for more information.

To book a ‘Be Dog Smart’ workshop, please contact Melanie Tomkins on

07443 680 414 or email