University of Illinois Extension

Teacher's Kennel

Welcome to Best of Friends: Kids and Dogs - a website for fourth through sixth graders. When it comes time to invite a pet into a family, most of the time it will be a dog. Before making the final decision, there are all kinds of questions that need to be asked and answered. Best of Friends: Kids and Dogs will help your students sort out what they need to know and get past the novelty and emotions connected with a cute, cuddly puppy. This preparation should help to avoid brief dog ownership that results in abandonment or the dog going to a shelter after the novelty wears off.

Owning a pet helps to instill caring and responsible behaviors that will carry on into adult life. Research shows that having pets enhances a child’s self-esteem, and teaches responsibility and respect towards other living beings.  Children with a pet are more likely to be involved in activities such as sports, chores, clubs, and hobbies.  Children suffering from ailments show significant improvement in their treatment procedures when an animal is involved. 

Another goal of Best of Friends: Kids and Dogs is for young people to understand the role dogs play as lifetime companions and valuable members of the "working world."

Choose any and all of the suggested activities for your class. Many activities are for students to work independently and some are for group work.

Illinois Learning Standards

We in University of Illinois Extension hope you enjoy teaching Best of Friends: Kids and Dogs to your students and helping students learn all about dogs.

A Kennel of Activities

Social Studies

Math and Science

Language Arts

Creative Arts

Dogs at Work

Some dogs actually have jobs and very important jobs. Ask the class to investigate or research some of the jobs dogs do. Research the various jobs, how the dogs are selected for the job, what training do they receive and how long do they keep the job. (Examples: Guide dogs, cadaver dog; narcotics dog; bomb sniffers; movie stars; sheep herder; hunting dogs; customs dog or therapy dog.)