CHAPTER SEVEN- Starting a Youth & Sled dog Program in Urban Schools

Starting a Youth & Sled dog Program in Urban Schools

  1. Ideas on How to Start a Youth & Sled Dog Program in Urban Schools and Home Schools

Starting a youth and sled dog program in urban communities is challenging due to logistics and typically larger school class sizes but rural schools can be used as a working model. Another challenge is because the usual class time cannot accommodate travel time to and from dog yard. A possible solution is to build a dog yard on school property so that kennel owners can bring their dogs to the school for the class only. This scenario requires a strong commitment by sled dog kennel owners to prepare in advance; load dogs into a dog truck and transport to school, unload dogs and equipment at school, load all back into dog truck, clean dog yard, etc. By doing this, students would experience a real dog yard and spend maximum time with dogs. There could be arrangements made for students to visit kennel owner’s dog yard on class field trips. There are also local dog trainers who could conduct special classes by bringing dogs to school or students could travel to their homes. Home school students could gather and make trips to a kennel owner’s dog yard or join classes at a local school if arrangements could be made with school administration. If the kennel owner was agreeable and the school supportive, students could spend a Saturday at a local dog yard for a class intensive.

 ~Example of a School Dog Yard Lay-out (To Be Added)

~Example of Dog Trainer Teacher Options (To Be Added) 

  1. Ideas on How to Start a Sled Dog Program with Youth with Physical and Mental Disability, Behavior Challenges, and At-Risk Youth   

A working model for dog care and mushing classes for students with physical and mental disabilities, and behavior challenges currently exists. Nobel Paws in Fairbanks Alaska has designed a program that runs an after school and on weekends. The program could be readily adapted. Additionally, the program allows the structure for student mentoring students and one-on-one small class experiences on weekends.

~Nobel Paws Synopsis

  1. References for Urban Schools, Homes Schools, and Special Schools