Sylvia Landsman of the William Penn West Highland White Terrier Club showed the children how to approach a friendly dog.
They greeted Disney, of the flat-coated retriever breed, by allowing him to sniff the back of their hands before they tried to pet him behind his head.
The children were shown drawings of dogs whose expressions varied from happy to angry. The children were taught to recognize the difference and to be wary approaching dogs.
They also were shown a video, "Taking Care of Corey," which was produced by the AKC.
Noreen Baxter, spokeswoman for the Kennel Club, said the AKC decided to offer the program after a group of teachers suggested to her and colleagues that the preschool pupils needed information on pet care.
"While there are a number of people abandoning and abusing dogs in this country, we need to teach our children at an early age how to be responsible to their pets," Baxter said.
With help from American Kennel Club canine ambassadors - volunteers from local clubs - "Taking Care of Corey" and a program of instruction will be made available to day-care centers, preschools, kindergartens and nursery schools nationally, Baxter said.
In the video, characters Billy and Lisa show preschoolers how they take good care of their dog Corey. The children learned that all dogs should wear identification on collars and should be walked on a leash. They also learned proper ways of feeding and grooming their dogs. And they learned that dogs should have regular annual visits to the veterinarian for proper shots.
The video and instructional materials are available free through AKC Children's Education, 51 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010.
The program got a boost from a golden retriever owner, Mayor Rendell, who declared Dog Education Day yesterday in Philadelphia.
Baxter said she hoped the video would lead to additional instruction.
"We're going to provide a little more advanced knowledge to the children by producing more videos," she said.
This program is an outgrowth of one that was started two years ago and is still popular in elementary schools across the country.
Baxter said she and her colleagues were encouraged by the positive feedback
from "Best Friends," the first AKC children's education program. It was designed for elementary school pupils with the same purpose as "Taking Care of Corey."
Baxter said "Best Friends" is in about 13,000 achools.
"What we're doing now is a second program for children, which aims to teach younger children, preschoolers, actually, on responsible dog ownership," Baxter said. "The younger the children learn these lessons, the greater the impact."
She said Philadelphia was chosen to launch the preschool program because there are a large number of dog owners and dog clubs in the area.
Ian said he is now a better pet owner.
"I'll walk my dogs to my grandma's house after I get home, and I'll do what I learned today," he said yesterday.
"I love Corey, and I love my dogs, too," Ian said. "Corey has a collar with his name on it. And he has a leash. I will ask mom to buy collars for Lady, Sasha and Sheba, and buy a leash for Sheba."