GREAT FALLS – The Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center in Great Falls teaches kids how they can become responsible and intelligent pet parents.
As part of their summer “Creature Camps” for kids, the Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center hosted a special class on Monday July 12th.
This workshop taught young pet owners how they can train their dogs using American Sign Language.
“We run our children’s camps here at the Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center and we are pleased that our own staff are experienced with deaf dogs and teaching them sign language for training. So she was able to come today and show them how she does it, ”said Misha John, Marketing and Development for the center.
According to the Modern Language Assosication 2016 study of American colleges and universities, American Sign Language is the third most widely used and studied language in the United States, and there are many benefits to training a dog in sign language.
They will often respond better to commands with hand signals during training, and as the dog ages and may lose the ability to hear, their owners can still communicate with them.
Signs used in training can also provide support if the dog is having difficulty understanding verbal commands.
“I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful job, and then to be able to teach the kids here, they’re so smart and they’re so interested and they’re so excited to learn Sign, and that’s right. great because I think a lot of times ASL is, you know, not considered just another language, when in reality it is the 3rd most used language in the United States and therefore, to be able to interest them and get excited about ASL, you know, maybe they’ll be looking to do something or learn more about it in the future and then be able to connect with more people, ”said Kendall Bechard, Care Specialist animals and instructor for the ASL dog training class.
Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center will continue their summer ‘critter camps’ with dog-themed weeks until the end of July, and in August they will begin their art-themed camps. . Click here for more information.