Local Dog Groomers’ Crufts Debut with Kids Around Dogs

Qualified dog groomer and Kids Around Dogs approved professional, Anna Pollard, appeared at Crufts along with five month old Polly to spread the word about Kids Around Dogs (KAD), a protocol set up to help remove the fear of dogs in children but also help over confident children learn to read a dogs body language so that families can live happily in harmony.
Whilst on maternity leave Anna underwent her KAD training as she realised quite how overwhelming it can be bringing a brand new baby into a household with dogs. Anna said ‘it’s so easy to see how dogs can end up being rehomed, despite all the pre work I did with my dogs it was still quite a stressful time, it’s a real mix of dog mum guilt and new mum guilt. Now I’m really looking forward to Polly growing up with her best pals by her side thanks to the KAD protocol and understanding how I can teach her to read our dogs and have positive and safe interactions.’
KAD was founded by Debby Lucken in 2021 and she developed the protocol which now has international members from different force free canine professionals as well as those in the teaching world. It is estimated that 59% of households own a dog in the UK, around 12 million and a third of children are scared of dogs.
Anna said ‘Dogs are such amazing animals and we see them used every day in service and more and more in schools with therapy and assistance dogs and even dogs for children to read too, to be able to help children feel safe around dogs is key for this to work.’
KAD teaches children what to do if a dog approached them off lead, how to act appropriately around dogs and how to read their body language to assess if a dog is happy or sad, wants to engage with you or needs a bit of space.
This unique programme designed for children of all ages involved 10 short fun sessions, seven on zoom and three face to face, there’s some fun homework for the whole family to get involved with. The sessions are really interactive with pictures and discussion to help them learn that dog have their own language which they use to communicate with us and if we can read it then we can empathise and help to conquer children’s fears. The final three sessions are done face to face and are totally child led with a real dog being gradually introduced to them helping to bring together everything that they have learned over the course.
If you’d like to find out more about Kids Around Dogs then please don’t hesitate to contact me on contact@thedoghouseleicester.co.uk