Dogs – handling

Information about handling, training and showing dogs.

If a dog is used with livestock, then it must be under the control of the teacher, farm assistant or person in charge of the activity, at all times.

Dogs must not be allowed to worry or bite livestock.

Dogs with a propensity to bite should be muzzled while working sheep and calves.

Image: Dogs used to assist with livestock handling must be suitably trained.

If a dog is used to assist with handling livestock, they must be suitably trained. They must not muster or herd animals in extreme environmental conditions, except in the case of an emergency. Excessive barking of dogs and yelling of handlers should be prevented to reduce the stress on the livestock and dogs. It is important that students do not interfere with the commands or handling of a working dog as this may confuse the dog and hinder its training regime.

If dogs are brought in to the school for visits, the teacher has the responsibility to determine the suitability of the dog for the visit. In the case of service and assistance dogs, the dogs have been familiarised with large numbers of people and are trained to behave in appropriate ways. In the case of a family pet, the teacher needs to be assured that the dog will not become stressed and that the students understand how to behave with the visiting dog.

If schools use the Responsible Pet Ownership program, provided by the Department of Local Government, the dogs have been familiarised with large numbers of students and provide an excellent way for young students learn about dogs.


Any dog that is used in the school situation needs to be familiar with children and have undergone basic obedience training.

Students need to respect the dog and to learn how to behave appropriately with dogs.

Dogs must not be used in school performances, i.e. drama productions, musicals. It is not considered appropriate to use dogs for fundraising or dressing up activities.

WA kelpie breeder Aticia Grey films her 13 dogs taking a run.


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Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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