A new twist on teaching anti-bully concepts to Las Vegas youth

The students began with a team building exercise

The students began with a team building exercise

When you see the name of the class, Everything Dog, you think you are only going to learn about dogs.

You think you will perhaps learn about different breeds, how to care for a dog, how to choose the right dog for your family — and you do.

But the underlying lesson is always how to be responsible and kind and respectful of all living beings.

This Love Dog Adventures initiative looks at everything through the eyes of a dog.

Kirby led the first class; more dogs will attend future classes
Kirby led the first class; more dogs will attend future classes

And indeed the dogs in the room teach the class!

The Everything Dog program brings together youth to discuss how to get the best out of your dog, and yourself. How to guide with kindness and positive energy, how to work with shy dogs, nervous dogs, angry dogs, scared dogs, confident dogs, big dogs, little dogs, healthy dogs, fragile dogs.

  • How to understand your own dog.
  • How to understand any dog.
  •  How to work with kids you know.
  • How to work with kids you never met before.
  • How to identify subtle signals the dogs give when they are anxious, frightened, happy or sad.
  • How to recognize feelings they never thought dogs could have.
  • Do dogs have feelings?
  • How to observe the relationship between an owner and their dog.
  • Is it positive?
  • Is it negative?
  • How to appreciate differences as no two dogs are exactly the same, even from the same litter.
  • How to find something unique and special in each dog and love them for those unique qualities.
  • How to “talk dog” and learn that it doesn’t matter they speak a different language, or can’t speak at all – they all have something important to tell us, to teach us.
  • How all dogs learn differently and some respond best to sound, some to silent signals, but what matters is finding the right path to success.
  • How being competitive with your dog does not create a solid, strong, nurturing relationship.
  • How being harsh with your dog does not gain your dog’s respect and love.
  • They learn that the bullied can become the bully.
  • That the dog that has been bullied and hurt will one day say to himself “I’ve had enough” and may strike out to stop it.
  • They learn that the frightened, scared dog may be shy and fearful and need an extra gentle touch.
The best part of the day meeting new friends
The best part of the day meeting new friends

They learn to “Be Cool, Not Cruel.”

So while the Everything Dog: Be Cool, Not Cruel class given at RISE Educational Resource Center does teach “everything dog” it also unlocks the notion that all living beings are unique, deserving of respect, have something interesting to teach us and can become your friend if you reach out the hand of kindness.

Everything Dog is open to all Las Vegas students whether they are in private or public school or home schooled.

Benny will teach about shy dogs and being bullied
Benny will teach about shy dogs and being bullied

The next open session will be in August over four Thursdays (August 2, 9, 16, 23) at 11:30 – 12:30.

Students must pre-register by contacting Sue at suegrundfest@aol.com – space is limited.

Course fee is $20 per student and parents may join in.

All the participating dogs are Delta Pet Partner therapy dogs…Love Dogs!