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Reading Goes to the Dogs

The following article was written by Lauren Gordon, PETA’s celebrity marketing coordinator and a certified holistic health counselor.

Children looking to brush up on their reading skills are turning to the dogs. Recent research has shown that dogs can help children improve reading aloud by serving as nonjudgmental listeners. Practice is a crucial step toward getting better at reading aloud, and dogs are comforting companions who can take the pressure off young readers. A dog makes a great audience for a beginning reader since the canine won’t react negatively if the child makes a mistake or stumbles.

The children who participated in the reading-to-dogs programs also showed a more positive attitude toward reading when compared with children who hadn’t practiced with dogs. As the school year gets under way, this is a great way to help kids who may be a little rusty from summer vacation brush up on their reading skills.

Do you know anyone who has benefited from having a furry reading buddy? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Lori Smith says:

    My dog, Isabelle and I are volunteers in Marin Humane Society’s SHARE (Special Human Animal Relationships). As a part of this program, Isabelle and I go to various schools and libraries in the community and read with children. Isabelle is an active listener and delights children with her good listening skills! Additionally, the children that she and I sit with feel comfortable in Isabelle’s non-judgmental presence. I think programs such as Marin Humane Society’s help children to enjoy reading and show less fair of making mistakes. Thanks to Darlene Blackman, the leader of this wonderful program, we can make a difference in the lives of children, and make reading such a pleasurable activity!

  • Carol says:

    Dogs are wonderful animals as long as they are brought with love all around them and they will do anything to make their masters and the family around them happy and they love the effection they receive from all the family members so to me they are like humans they love being loved no matter what.

  • Deb Merskin says:

    Reading to dogs has become very popular. In fact, I believe the Eugene Public Library, in Eugene, Oregon, has something like this.

  • Rio N says:

    I think this is a great article. I’m working on a doc called Dislecksia: The Movie and it’s amazing to see how many things can help with learning differences or just reading in general. I think using a ‘silent’ friend like a dog is a genius idea to help kids read. And I mean.. what kid doesn’t freak at getting to play with dogs? Lol