Goal: Students will understand that not all dogs are the same, and that before adopting a new dog, a household should first determine that the dog they are adopting will fit their lifestyle.
Grade Levels: 1st–8th grade
Time: 20 minutes
Audience Size: 5–20 students
Materials (one for each group):
A dog’s breed, size, age, personality, activity needs, likes, dislikes, and other factors all come together to make every dog – and every dog’s specialized needs, unique. For example, while all dogs require some degree of grooming, some dogs, particularly long-haired breeds, may require more frequent grooming. Even dogs of the same breed will have varied needs. Whereas an old Labrador retriever may not require intense exercise, a 6-month-old Labrador retriever may have a high drive for physical activity. A home that is suitable for dog may not be a good fit for another.
Speaking together as a class, ask students why they thought a particular dog would be compatible with the family they chose.
In real life, what might happen happen when…
*EXTENSION: A great resource for children to learn about dog breeds is the show Dogs 101 on Animal Planet. Short, three-minute clips detailing common breeds can be found on Youtube.com.