Reading goes to the dogs

Children find comfort from dogsIf you find yourself walking into your local library only to be greeted by a canine, do not be alarmed – that dog might work there.

Several libraries across the country are using therapy dogs as part of a reading education assistance program, according to Children who have difficulties reading are encouraged to read out loud to these furry companions as opposed to teachers and peers.

The therapy dogs are trained to be patient, compassionate and encouraging to the youngsters, who may often feel ashamed when reading to adults.

The dogs that are used for the program are screened, looking for instances of poor dog health and disobedience. Nationally, more than 2,300 dogs are involved with children literacy programs.

The kids seem to like their four-legged audience as well, finding the dogs’ presence welcoming.

"I like to read stories with him," 8-year-old Brian Chan told ABC News. "He does look at the story book, and he smiles a lot."

Therapy dogs have been widely used for an array of purposes. Groups dealing with post-traumatic stress to elderly patients have used therapy dogs as a source of comfort.ADNFCR-2720-ID-19556485-ADNFCR


  • This is an excellent program to bring kids out of their shells. Reading to a dog is great therapy for children and the dogs don’t mind it either.
    The health aspects of owning or working with a dog is coming to light. What better way to deal with depression, illness or family tragedy than by petting a dog, taking a walk or just talking. Dogs are always ready to listen to what you have to say.

  • What an excellent program. I had never heard of a program like this before, but I think it is a great idea. Dogs are the best listeners around. They do not judge you! This should help boost kids confidence.


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