WHS Education Corner: A Call for Dog Ambassadors | Winnipeg Humane Society
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The Education Department has been expanding its programs and we need more dog ambassadors!

The Winnipeg Humane Society dog ambassador program is where you and your dog can support our programs and services through visiting schools, day programs, community centres, care homes, corporate events and more!

  1. What is a dog ambassador?

A dog ambassador is a behaviour assessed dog who help support our community through a variety of programs and events the WHS has to offer.

  1. How do you become a dog ambassador?

Before any of our ambassador dogs can visit schools, community groups, or day camps they must have a behaviour assessment with the WHS Behaviour Team. These assessments check the dog’s temperament and reactiveness in different situations. Our Behaviour Team will typically handle the dog’s tails, paws, and ears to see how the dog reacts. The Team will also simulate a classroom setting by performing a “crowd”, making lots of noise and surrounding the dog to again see how the dog will react.

  1. What is involved with the behaviour assessment?

These assessments check the dog’s temperament and reactiveness in different situations.

The Behaviour Team will be assessing the dogs with the following criteria:

  • Accepting of a friendly stranger
  • Sit calmly for petting
  • Walk on a loose leash
  • Walk through a crowd (including wheelchairs)
  • Sit on command/staying in place
  • React well to another dog or to distractions (noise, jogger, etc).
  • React well with physical contact that they cannot see (reaching from behind, side, etc. if their vision is blocked)
  • React well with crowds
  1. What does a dog ambassador do?

After the dog has been assessed and improved by our Behaviour Team, both the dog and the dog parent can participate in school presentations, visit our Kid Camp, visit care homes and attend community events. It’s a wonderful opportunity to educate our community about dogs, their behaviour, body language, how to interact with dogs, and it gives children the chance to have a memorable learning experience.

  1. What is the time commitment for a dog ambassador?

We always appreciate our volunteers (especially the four-legged variety) and their time. The time commitment can vary depending on what programs and events are running.  We work with our volunteers and dog ambassadors to accommodate as best we can.

  1. What do you need to do to become a volunteer with your dog ambassador?

We are looking for people who are outgoing and comfortable speaking in front of groups.  Our volunteers are enthusiastic and interested in working with people of all ages.  All WHS Education Team volunteers are required to provide an up to date clear criminal background and child abuse reference check.  Volunteers can submit receipts to be reimbursed for the cost of acquiring their checks.

If you and your dog would like to join our team please contact the Education Department and the Winnipeg Humane Society at 204-982-2046 or education@winnipeghumanesociety.ca.