The Benefits of Children Reading to Dogs

If you are a parent, you may be used to having your child hound you for a dog. Seriously what kid doesn’t want an adorable furry friend. Now, you may be on the fence about bringing home a dog for a variety of reasons. But we have some information that might sway your decision. 

Over the past few years, there has been research that has shown that the presence of a dog can improve a child’s reading abilities. A 2004 study indicated children are more concentrated and have lowered stress levels when reading aloud to a pup, as opposed to a classmate or an adult. In addition, research from the University of California, Davis in 2010 found that students who practice reading with a dog by their side for 10 weeks showed a 12 percent improvement. 

In 2017, educational therapist Rebecca Barker Bridges spoke to the NPR-member radio station KQED-FM about having the presence of a dog in the classroom. Bridges explained she decided to adopt her golden retriever, Stanley, specifically to bring to elementary school classes. 

“Students feel self-conscious about reading because they’re afraid of being judged by students and teachers if they don’t do a 'good job.' But Stanley dismantles this fear for them. He makes learning joyful,” said the therapist. 

It should be noted this works best with calm dogs. So if you do decide to adopt, be sure to ask the rescue or shelter about the demeanor's of different dogs that you may be interested in.

image courtesy of @tron_the_pitbull


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