The Reading to Dogs program has been going for years.
It is a great way to help children build confidence reading out loud.
Dogs which have been trained in this program will lay beside a child quietly while he or she reads.
Will my dog be suitable?
Most dogs who are used to having children around are suitable for this program.
Over at My Puppy Club you’ll find all the do’s and don’ts.
Remember that you shouldn’t leave the dog and your grandchild alone.
Don’t allow your grandchild to eat while they are reading as the dog may be distracted by the food.
Don’t allow your grandchild to sit on the dog’s bed because many dogs are territorial and may snap if they feel their area is threatened.
What warning signs should I be looking for in my dog?
If you feel uneasy about allowing your grandchild to read to your dog look for the following signs dogs give if they are stressed.
If you see your dog exhibit any of these signs stop the session and separate the dog from the child. Do this in a calm, friendly manner – you don’t want to put the dog under more stress.
Signs a dog is feeling threatened or is under stress:
Eyes darting from side to side
Restlessness & pacing
As well, a dog may turn its head and body away from the person causing it stress refusing to sit or lie facing them.
What is the benefits of reading to dogs?
There are two main benefits of our grandchildren reading to a dog.
Firstly, science tells us that being close to animals reduces our stress and our heart rate – the same goes for kids.
Secondly, dogs don’t criticize or interrupt.
Your grandchild can read happily for hours without fear of being told they are wrong. Of course, they will need correction at some point, but if you have a reluctant reader then give them the opportunity to read to your dog to get some practice before they read to you.