What are Canine Ambassadors?
Canine Ambassadors are volunteers from AKC-affiliated clubs like Paper Cities Kennel Club that visit classrooms, community organizations, and youth organizations to make presentations about purebred dogs, responsible dog ownership, and safety around dogs.
The Paper Cities Kennel Club Canine Ambassador Classroom Program started about 14 years ago as a joint education project with the Marathon County Health Department. The program is offered free each school year to Wausau & Marathon County students in 1st and 2nd grade.
The Canine Ambassadors also do presentations for other community organizations and participate in a variety of events, including PCKC events such as our annual Mall Dog Fair.
How The Classroom Program Works
One or two PCKC canine ambassadors and their dogs go to the school and present information to the children about bite prevention, and how to be safe around dogs.
The program is typically done right in the school classroom for 20 to 40 children at a time. The presentation begins with an excellent 15-minute video produced by the American Kennel Club on dog safety. After the video, the children are shown how to meet the dog brought to the classroom in the safe manner taught by the video. The children get to ask questions about dog safety and about the breed of the dog/dogs brought to the class that day. If there is time at the end of the program, the dog and his owner demonstrate some of their other hobbies and skills.
Every school year the program is typically presented to between 500 and 1,000 children. The Canine Ambassador program is popular with students and teachers alike. We receive very positive feedback each year about how important the program is in teaching young children how to properly behave around both stray dogs and dogs on a leash with their owners.
The Canine Ambassadors also visit other community organizations upon request, such as assisted living centers.
Currently Paper Cities Kennel Club has several active Canine Ambassadors who volunteer their time to participate in this important school program and other community outreach programs with their dogs. Some of the purebred dogs currently participating include: Doberman, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, Miniature Schnauzer, Portuguese Water Dog, Dachshund, Bullmastiff, French Bulldog, and Miniature Pinscher.
The Canine Ambassadors who volunteered their time for the classroom program this year included: