Bark NZ (Building Awareness aRound K9's)

Community Organisation

Bark NZ (Building Awareness aRound K9's)

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the western world.  The likelihood of a child coming in contact with a dog in their community is more or less guaranteed.   Owning and being around dogs has so many wonderful benefits and with the right knowledge, understanding and tools it can be a safe and positive experience for all.

BARK NZ is a registered charity dedicated to supporting our communities by providing education to children on how to be safe, and have positive experiences around dogs.


Our Aim:  to reduce the national dog bite statistics in children 12 years and under.


We achieve this by providing established programmes to New Zealand’s children at pre-schools, schools and other learning and community facilities. We serve as a hub for volunteer educators throughout New Zealand who have an active interest in the safety of our children around dogs.

BARK NZ have designed and implemented well-structured lesson plans to integrate smoothly with the national school curriculum, Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum and with individual class, school or organisational processes. We use Government-endorsed programmes to enable our educators to deliver consistent, reliable and proven messages to all age groups.

BARK NZ is currently New Zealand’s only registered charity dedicated to Dog Safety and Animal Assisted Education.


*BARKs Programmes*

Animal Assisted Education

BARK NZ empowers children through animal-assisted education to feel confident and be safe around dogs. We give children hands-on experience and tools to help prevent unnecessary dog-related injuries.

Using various resources such as stories, role playing, games, reviews and discussions, we provide interactive lesson plans to promote understanding, compassion and respect.


Dogwise Kiwi Kids (Dog safety)

Dogwise Kiwi Kids is BARKs flagship programme and (since 2012) has been delivered to thousands of children in schools and early childhood facilities within New Zealand.

The programme describes and demonstrates safe ways to behave when around dogs and when approaching or being approached by a dog as well as what the warning signs are for different situations and environments.

Available to class groups, school assemblies, specialised groups or community groups to support topic discussions or group objectives.


Tales with Tails

Tales with Tails is our one-to-one reading program where the child will read to the dog. The dog is non-judgemental and non-critical, and the experience helps promote confidence in reading and improve literacy skills.


Time with Tails

Time with Tails is a reward-style program created for children that may be experiencing difficult times at home or school. This program provides ‘free time’ between a child and a dog, and is usually undertaken on a Friday as a means of rewarding a full week of participation at school.


Animal Assisted Support

We can customise lesson plans to address specific difficulties or personal development goals such as self-esteem, anxiety and anger. The focus of these sessions is on responsibility, respect, compassion and kindness.

Fear of Dogs

BARK NZ volunteers can provide individual, or group support for cynophobia (abnormal fear of dogs). This can be delivered as an in-home service or at an educational facility.


New Puppy Integration

Bringing a new puppy home can be both exciting and overwhelming. If you need some in-home support to ease the transition for your family we have the tools.