At Performance Dog, we celebrate all dogs – from the high achiever through to the novice starting out on his training journey – but we never lose sight of what a dog does best.
Dogs give us their love and their trust and this enables us to build a unique relationship with them. The therapeutic benefits that come from interacting with dogs are unparalled, and for this reason, we are proud to nominate Funda Nenja – Learning with Dogs – as our charity of choice.
Funda Nenja, based in South Africa, is a township based dog training initiative that nurtures children, helping them to grow into caring and responsible young adults, encouraging personal growth and self-worth. Mpophomeni is a township with 30,000 residents; there is high unemployment and poor housing, which leads to the associated problems of economic deprivation, inadequate education, and rising crime.
Funda Nenja offers a hand-in-hand approach that addresses the needs of children and, at the same time, improves the lives of dogs.
The Funda Nenja dog school teaches children how to care and provide for their own dogs, how to better understand them, and how to train them using force free positive reinforcement. This creates a wonderful bond and helps the children develop a sense of respect, self-discipline, and commitment. They become agents of change and role models of responsible, caring dog owners in their communities.
Project administrator Lisa Button said: “The idea is to develop respect and compassion for all living things by using dog training as a vehicle. Our classes are a portal into the community allowing us to help not only the dogs of Mpophomeni, but the children and their families. Our main aim is to create a compassionate and caring community – one dog and one child at a time.”