During the month of February The Way of the Dog Ltd visited AIM Education, Stanningley, Leeds, to teach young people about responsible dog ownership and the impact that status dogs are having on our communities.  During both visits Olla was the main attraction with the young learners interacting with him at every opportunity.

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AIM Education is a new non-for-profit organisation, which has been set up to create opportunities to overcome inequalities and enrich the local community.  The organisation works with young people who are referred from schools, in need of a different educational route.

This particular dog project was a working collaboration between Carl Harrison (Director, Aim Education) and Shaun Hesmondhalgh.  Carl is a former member of the Royal Air Force Regiment and a former teacher and colleague from Bolton College.  A two pronged approach allowed this project to get off the ground with Carl securing funding from concerned stake holders and Shaun developing and delivering the workshop.

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The youngsters engaged from the start using their imaginations and their personal experiences to bring creativity and realism to the sessions.  They presented firm and responsible views on how dogs should be treated and provided real accounts about horrific and fatal incidents concerning status dogs.  The experience was enlightening and it was both interesting and concerning to hear the different views that the young people have concerning the motivations for owning a dog.

M1460009To conclude the workshop an obstacle course was set up and the learners challenged Olla to a race.  After much laughter and excitement the score finished 2 – 2 as the final run off was declared void due to shortcuts being taken by both the youngsters and the dog.  The whole workshop was a resounding success, a remarkable experience, and it was fantastic to see Olla, who has had his own emotional journey, interacting in a relaxed and comfortable manner with the young people of Leeds and Bradford.

The Way of the Dog Ltd is a professional training provider and dog behaviour consultancy and is able to deliver bespoke educational workshops to youth and community groups seeking to raise awareness regarding responsible dog ownership.  Please contact Shaun Hesmondhalgh at The Way of the Dog for more information.

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