Dogs help South Africa’s youth stay away from violence

Children learn to deal constructively with problems at home or in the community with help from volunteers

When Thobani Gasa took his puppy for obedience training a few years ago, it was just for fun. But soon his own behaviour started to change, thanks to his canine companion.

Many townships in South Africa are notorious for gang-related violence, but in Mpophomeni, near the southeastern town of Howick, pet dogs are helping lead the way to a more peaceful future.

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The Power of Play: Dogs Just Want To Have Fun | Psychology Today

This is a good read for Clever companion members

“Jethro bounds toward Zeke, stops immediately in front of him, crouches on his forelimbs, wags his tail, barks, and immediately lunges at him, bites his scruff and shakes his head rapidly from side to side, works his way around to his backside and mounts him, jumps off, does a rapid bow, lunges at his side and slams him with his hips, leaps up and bites his neck, and runs away. Zeke takes off in wild pursuit of Jethro and leaps on his back and bites his muzzle and then his scruff, and shakes his head rapidly from side to side. Suki bounds in and chases Jethro and Zeke, and they all wrestle with one another. They part for a few minutes, sniffing here and there and resting. Then, Jethro walks slowly over to Zeke, extends his paw toward Zeke’s head, and nips at his ears. Zeke gets up and jumps on Jethro’s back, bites him, and grasps him around his waist. They then fall to the ground and mouth wrestle. Then they chase one another and roll over and play. Suki decides to jump in, and the three of them frolic until they’re exhausted. When it’s over, they all look like couldn’t have been happier. And then, Lolo comes, too, and it all happens once again. “

Source: The Power of Play: Dogs Just Want To Have Fun | Psychology Today