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Responsible dog ownership - primary assembly

Aims and objectives

To encourage responsible dog ownership.

You will need

Equipment

  • Props for miming the story:
  1. dog mask
  2. white coat (vet)
  3. pieces of tinsel or glittery paper for the shredded party shoes
  4. clipboard (RSPCA home visitor)
  5. hat and gloves (neighbour)
  6. cardboard pieces for dad’s chewed slippers
  7. mobile phone for dad’s call
  8. shallow cardboard box with blanket for dog basket.

Participants

  • Volunteer pupils to mime the story as it is told

Activity sheets

  • Toffee’s tale
  • Toffee
  • Patch’s new home
  • Patch
  • Paw print card

Factsheets

  • The five welfare needs

Teachers' notes

  • Animals' basic needs: Dogs

Introduction

  • Begin by asking the audience if anyone has a pet. Explain that ‘pester power’ is when someone keeps on asking their parents for something that they want, until the parents give in because they are tired of being asked so often. Ask the pet owners whether they think they got their pets because of pester power.
  • Explain that people sometimes get a pet that they can’t look after properly and this can happen for a range of different reasons.
  • Explain that today’s assembly is about a family who get a dog. They will see the story acted out twice and they should look out for differences in the two stories.
  • Give each member of the audience a paw print card (see activity sheet Paw print card).

The activity

  • Introduce the Bright family and explain that this is story number one.
  • As the story is read (see activity sheet Toffee's tale), have children acting out the story on stage. They could also say some of the direct speech themselves.
  • Ask pupils to ‘paws’ for a moment and think about whether Toffee was a happy puppy. Tell them to hold the paw the right way up if they think he was happy, and upside down if they don’t think he was happy.
  • Introduce the second story (see activity sheet Patch’s new home) and ask them to try and spot the differences.
  • Ask pupils to ‘paws’ for a moment and think about whether Patch was a happy puppy. Tell them to hold the paw the right way up if they think he was happy, and upside down if they don’t think he was happy.  

What you can do? 

  • Ask the pupils why Patch was happy and healthy and why Toffee was not.
  • Show pupils the factsheet The five welfare needs, which illustrates the things that all pets need to be happy and healthy. Explain to the audience that the message of the two stories is that you should ‘paws’ before you get a pet. (Hold up paw print cards.) Pause and ask yourself: have you got time for this pet? Have you got enough space for him/her? Have you found out what this pet really needs? Then ‘paws’ once more and ask yourself if this is the right pet for you.
  • PAWS:
    P is for prepare. Prepare things properly if you are getting a pet.
    A is for ask. Asking for a pet is okay, but pestering your parents is not.
    W is for wait. Wait until you have found out all about looking after a pet properly.
    S is for stop. Stop and think – can I really give a pet the kind of home he/she needs?

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