A training programme that is teaching dogs to sniff out coronavirus is making good progress, according to the research teams involved. At first sight, this seems like a really useful breakthrough – but is it really fair for humans to use dogs – or any animals – to do our dirty work?
This resource pack includes a story from The Week Junior newspaper about Covid-19 sniffer dogs, and a sheet of activities based on the article, encouraging children to think, talk and write about what matters to them.
- Debate if it’s really fair for humans to use dogs – or any animals – to do our work? If it’s our problem, surely we should fix it ourselves rather than taking advantage of an animal’s better senses or willingness to work with people. Isn’t this a form of exploitation? What do you think?
- Write an imagined diary of a dog that is being trained to detect coronavirus. What do you think the dog might be expected to do and how do you think it would feel about that?
- Write a conversation between two dogs, one that has been trained to detect coronavirus and one that is just a family pet. What do you think they might say to each other?
- Research at least three other specialised jobs that humans train dogs to do on our behalf. Outline what the dogs do, why they can do it better than us and how long it takes to train them.
Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download here.
What is The Week Junior?
The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.
To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to schools.theweekjunior.co.uk.