Catch the wind

Catch the wind

Saturday, November 10, 2012

...reading to dogs?

YIKES! kids reading to dogs?? huh?? 

yep! its true! kids are reading to their furry friends. and... guess what?? kids who never liked to read before or were afraid to read out loud or were behind in their skill level are turning into big time readers and reading way better.  WOW! how cool is that!

WHO are these cool canines who love to hear kids read? theyre specially trained therapy dogs whose job it is to listen. hmmm? i wonder what kinda stories they like to hear. probably dog stories. ha ha.

KIDS  reading to dogs started in 1999 and has been growng ever since. you can find it in schools, libraries and organizations all over the united states. it gives kids a relaxed dog friendly and fun place where they can practice reading. 

a big jump in reading skills (12 percent and higher in 10 weeks)
increased reading speed (up to 30 words per minute)
improvement in other school subjects
increase in self-confidence and self-esteem
not afraid to read out loud anymore
increase in social skills
more comfortable and less shy in social settings
feelings of being judged are put aside
they practice reading more
and...they begin to enjoy reading :)

WOW! just look at these cool kids reading to dogs...for sure they look happy!
WHAT do the kids say about reading to dogs? heres a few quotes:

"I feel calmer because it's a dog. He listens to you and I feel calm in saying the words."

"It's kind of like a human because he listens but he doesn't say like you did this wrong or you did that wrong."

"Humans sometimes they will say you got the words wrong and you feel embarrassed and the dog doesn't."

"I feel like a different reader. Now I'm not afraid."

"I'm not nervous anymore. I sometimes read to my mother and it's been a little bit better."

"You get to pet him when you're reading and it feels nice and soft and everything. It's pretty fun when you're sitting there reading."

"I have somebody that listens when I read. If I make a mistake, there's no one around me to laugh."

"I feel relaxed when I'm reading to a dog because I'm having fun."

"The dog doesn't care if you read really, really bad so you just keep going." bout their furry friends?? 

WOOF! WOOF! (translation: "i love a good story!)

if you wanna see a really neat video on kids reading to dogs click here. for sure its worth watching!

cool sources:
Therapy Dogs International
ABC News
Library Dogs
Medical News Today

so...what do you think about kids reading to dogs? would you let your kid do it?

...hugs from lenny     


  1. Lenny,

    I read to my dog, Patches, whether she wants me to or not. She never gives me an honest answer, but she does listen.

    I read my book aloud when editing. But I have two sons that I read to every night. When younger they had a bigger collection of books than I did, but dyslexia keeps them from enjoying reading, it gives them headaches, my husband too. I live in a household of non-readers and I am a writer.

    Interesting subject!

  2. This is awesome, and just goes to show what the unconditional love of dogs can do for us.

    The next time I have to speak in public, I'm going to imagine everyone's a dog. :-)

  3. I think it's an awesome idea. Any time a person reads, they get better. The more they read, the better they get. And reading to a dog sounds like a terrific way to get kids to practice reading.

    I can see where training the dog would be important. Sorcia is not a good listener, and reading out loud is hard when someone is licking your face. :D

  4. They get to share with their furry friends, and no one is more attentive than a dog.
    Once again, hope you enjoy the books. And thanks for the Halloween e-card!

  5. Hi, Lenny! I had heard about this sometime ago. I think it is great that there are programs where kids can read to dogs, whether their own or someone elses. Great post!

  6. What an awesome idea. I would have never thought of it. We're going to be getting our first puppy in the next month or so. I wonder if he or she would like being read to.

  7. Hi Lenny - there is a kid here who was terrified of going out - but he now owns a dog .. and the dog is helping the little one get out.

    Simon Callow (A Shakespearian actor) made an audio book for dogs this year .. on our Bonfire/Firework night - to calm the dog's nerves ...

    Here's the link to one of our British newspapers - but the youtube film is embedded there .. enjoy listening - Rocky might enjoy it?!

    This is a wonderful post - great for us to read ..

    Excellent opening our eyes and ears to reading from a different point of view .. cheers Hilary

  8. Great post Lenny! Thank you for sharing. Dogs are fantastic at helping us humans learn to show unconditional love and how to be better listeners!

  9. I've never heard of this before!! How cool is that? I'm off to check out the links you provided - thanks!

  10. Great article, Lenny!

    Any time you can convince kids that reading is fun they will want to do it more. :)

  11. That is brilliant! Love this post, Lenny, thank you!

  12. How interesting! That kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who was told to read to her goat...but in this case it was therapy for the goat (it would refuse to train for 4H). It just goes to show the power of words, eh?

  13. Lenny, this is so awesome. I had no idea about this. Thanks for sharing :)

  14. OMGosh, this is fantastic!!!!

  15. I've heard about these therapy dogs and how helpful they are. That was a neat video of the school in Vermont. Thanks, Lenny!

  16. Certainly I'd let my kid do it - it sounds like a wonderful idea!

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  18. I would certainly let MY kid read to OUR dog, except...when I have a kid, that is!
    Ha Ha!

  19. That's pretty cool. We don't have a dog but I if we did, I'm sure Lilli would read to him/her!

  20. How interesting!

    When my oldest two were little, we had a parakeet that loved to listen to me read picture books to them. She'd scoot down my arm to look at the pictures and then scoot back up when I turned the page. If she was out of her cage when I started reading or singing, she always flew over and landed on my shoulder. She's the only bird I've ever had that bothered learning words in our language.

  21. That is incredible. I used to teach reading to third graders who were well below reading level. Too bad we didn't have dogs available to us. I imagine some of the kids would have grown distracted, though :-)

  22. I didn't know they had specially trained dogs you could read to. Very great idea! I'll have to try and read to my dog this evening. Lol

  23. Absolutely! That's a wonderful idea. Dogs love the attention, kids don't have to worry about criticism, it's a win-win situation. Thanks for another great post, Lenny, and happy Thanksgiving to you!

  24. How did you find out about this program? I'm not a dog person but even I love this idea. It's great to be able to help kids read, I can't imagine my life without it!


  25. This is a great post! I love dogs and we're hoping to get my dog, Radley, trained to be a therapy dog, so she can come to school with me when I teach! She's still young (only a year and a half), so she needs a bit more training!

  26. Oh, Lenny! This is wonderful information. We're getting a new puppy today and you've reminded me to utilize that more in her training. (I have a Kindergartener learning to read.)

    Thanks! Big hugs!

  27. What a wonderful activity for children (and dogs!). I'd definitely recommend this program to people with kids! Anything that encourages enjoyment and love of reading gets five stars!!

  28. I have to show this to my daughter. She has a beagle who snuggles with her while she reads silently. I'll tell her to read out loud to him.

  29. I'd let my kids reads to dogs, cats, fish, gerbils, ants, bears, squirrels (etc, etc.) if it encouraged reading!

  30. Hey Lenny!

    Just want to now take this opportunity to wish you a really neat Christmas and I hope you got my email. Of course, in my case, I read to my human! Arf! Arf!

    Pawsitive wishes, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

  31. Lenny, that is a super smart way to get kids reading! I wish I'd thought of it when my boys were young.

    I saw an amazing dog video today and your post reminded me of it. I thought I'd leave you the link, because if you haven't yet seen it, I know you'll love it!

    I hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas, Lenny! :)


  32. That's such an awesome idea! I'm definitely going to share your post :)


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