– At the Daily Dog we’ve come across a great free learning tool for teaching young children how to interact with dogs safely. Produced by the NSW Government, “Victor & Victoria’s Pet Town” is a fun learning tool that can be played on a desktop/laptop or via a mobile phone App available for both Android and iPhone/iPad operating systems.
The premise of the game/learning tool is it teaches young children how to interact with dogs (and cats) in an entertaining and interactive way. It is targeted at children between kindergarten and grade two, however the team at pups4sale thinks it is quite useful for children even up to grade four. Many young children in inner-city areas particularly have little exposure to dogs, which the tool caters for by teaching concepts such as recognising warning signs that a dog doesn’t want to be approached or patted. Even for those children who are regularly exposed to dogs, the game is a useful tool both to reinforce important dog safety concepts and to teach additional concepts the children may not have already learned.
As children progress through the “town” in the game, they participate in learning activities that earn rewards for Victor the dog. When they have sufficient rewards, the child can then join the Pet Club, where they can download stickers, music and so on. We really like the fun aspect of the game, as it means children are basically learning very important concepts of safety around dogs without even realising it.
The only problems we encountered with this game is it doesn’t work using the Google Chrome browser on a desktop/laptop. However it does work fine using Mozilla Firefox. Also, there is a mirror site run by the Victorian Government, which looks like it was written for Windows 95 (!) and functions accordingly – so avoid that one!
At pups4sale.com.au we would like to encourage all parents of children between the ages of three and eight to at least have a look at Victor and Victoria’s Pet Town. At a minimum it is a fun and safe game for children to play. However with its important child-dog safety message we believe it is a very useful tool that has undoubtedly already saved children from putting themselves in harm’s way when around dogs.