Inventive Summer Camp Teaches Kids The Proper Way To Interact With Pets

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 3, 2015

Camp Happiness is an awesome (and educational… shhh) summer getaway for tiny humans, and we love it because it–in combination with the Humane Society of Lynchburg, Virginia–is teaching kids how to properly and safely interact with animals.

black dog

I’m sure many of us have had a less-than-pleasant experience with our dogs and children at least once before. You know what I mean: you’re walking through the neighborhood and a kid just wants to pet your dog, but doesn’t realize he or she should ask first. Your pup gets scared, uncomfortable, or overexcited, or maybe pulls away, jumps, or even snaps at those tiny fingers, but what can we do?

kid and dog

Director of Operations at the Lynchburg Humane Society, Lindsay Wood Brown, is hosting the day camp for a group of 5- to 8-year-olds and another for 9- to 13-year-olds, and arms each of them with a clicker and some treats.

Together, the kids and puppies teach each other, the kids giving a click and a treat each time a dog follows a command to touch their hands with their snout. An adorable 3-month-old mutt named August was really earning a lot of snacks, and 7-year-old Fletcher Ellis confirmed that he’s “really getting the hang of [the training].”


While Camp Happiness excels at giving these kids a lesson in proper interaction with pups (and kitties, too), the program also includes information about animal welfare, non-profit organizations, and fundraising efforts.


The group would love to repeat the classes next summer and during school breaks if there are enough interested families. And who wouldn’t be?! As far as I’m concerned, we should start these programs in every shelter to keep our kids and our pups as safe as pawssible.

H/t News Advance, Featured Image via Dog Notebook

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 3, 2015