Reading Therapy Dogs

In an effort to help children who are struggling with literacy, many schools and libraries are enlisting the help of some irresistibly cute, furry friends.  Reading Therapy Dogs are being used to provide encouragement and support to children who are struggling with reading.  It’s an innovative concept that brings together children with the unconditional love and loyalty shown by dogs.  So how does it work?  Children read to specially trained dogs.  The dog acts as an unbiased listener who displays his support and encouragement by being a captive audience member.  And of course, a dog displays no criticism or judgment.  This is especially important because it helps to ease the anxiety level of a child who is fearful of reading aloud.
As a result, children gain confidence in their ability to read aloud.   Confidence, which is a key component in literacy success, leads to an overall escalation in the child’s reading ability.  Children who participate in programs show a remarkable increase in literacy skills and resulting in  higher test scores.  Reading therapy dogs are used throughout the country.  If you know of a child who could benefit from a reading therapy dog or if you would like to have your dog trained as a therapy dog, check out a few of the resources listed below!
Ciji Dodds

Miss International 2011


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