The Blue Dog is an educational program that was originally developed to prevent dog bite injuries in children between the age of three and six. The main role is played by a blue dog named “Blu”. In an interactive computer story, children and their parents learn how to properly handle their dogs and how to recognize and avoid critical moments. The accompanying booklet explains the individual scenes, gives valuable tips on behavior towards dogs and provides ethological background knowledge.
The booklet and the interactive program are the result of more than five years of development work in an interdisciplinary team of practical veterinarians, paediatricians, ethologists, psychologists, educators and employees of the Ghent Art Academy. The blue dog already exists in Holland, England, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Now it has also learned Spanish and Portuguese and is ready to travel to these language areas.
In Germany, the German Veterinary Society (DVG) oversees the program and has given FinnDomingo e.V. permission to bring the Blue Dog to Chile. Our project coordinator in Chile, Kristin Lorenz, is currently adapting the teaching units to the conditions in Chile and aligning the concept to children and adolescents of different ages.
The first Chilean school to take part is the Colegió Alemán in San Pedro de la Paz, a municipality of Concepción. In October 2019, as part of our educational project, the FinnDomingo team with the four German zookeepers attended this school, presented the Blue Dog and held three classes at junior high school on our motto “who helps animals also helps people”. Beginning in March 2020, Kristin Lorenz will implement a whole semester of weekly Blue Dog teaching units for children of 7th and 8th grade.
Furthermore, a kindergarten in Lota, a socially disadvantaged city in the Greater Concepción area, has also registered interest. The possibilities on how to bring the Blue Dog concept to optimal use at this nursery school are currently analysed.