According to someone whose name I have forgotten, a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is indeed the case, why not take advantage of this approach in training classes? To be specific, use slides to make particular points and to supplement various topics of discussion.
Many groups are now including information and talks on dog care as a part of puppy and basic obedience classes. Slides can illustrate what can happen to a dog’s intestine from a heavy burden of hookworm or to a heart from heart-worm. Sources for these slides are many and varied. Many of the pharmaceutical companies have illustrations of the damage from worm infestations as well as pictures of worm eggs than can be made into slides. Veterinary Colleges may be able to prepare slide sets for a small charge, particularly if they are going to be used for educational purposes.
Slides can be made quite easily with inexpensive accessories for most 35 mm cameras. Close-up diopter lenses can be purchases which allow the photographing of tables, graphs or pictures in books. Booklets on copying are available in most camera shops and the personnel are usually very helpful in suggesting inexpensive ways of copying.
Many of the tables, charts, and diagrams one would incorporate into a program of canine health discussions can be prepared for copying by anyone who can type or has a modest amount of artistic talent. If you want to reproduce already published material, it is best to get the permission of the author or company to comply with copyright laws.
If you already have prepared talks on various topics, you might consider purchasing a tape recorder which can be connected to a slide projector and will automatically change slides as the recorded talk is presented. This system has many advantages: a talk can be recorded and subsequently presented by anyone; if the talk is to be presented several times, it avoids the possibility of forgetting to mention some of the material; and it is also possible to get more volume from the recorder than by voice.
Another use of visual aids is in teaching new exercises to instructors as well as students. Slides can be prepared to cover all points on an exercise which students can use as an introduction and instructors can use as a review. Important aspects of an exercise can be made clear on slides, and you don’t have to worry about a dog’s cooperation or lack of it.
If your group is active in community education, talks supplemented with slides can be prepared to develop quite professional and educational presentations. One does not have to be a good speaker to present a program using this approach.
The costs of a good projector and synchronizing tape recorder is not excessive. Most clubs will have a member with a camera, and the accessories for copying are inexpensive. Give some thought to including these as an addition to your training equipment.
©1972 W.H. Morrison, III