Here’s How Your Dog May Be the Key to Getting Your Kids to Read More

Even if the book is about cats, your dog is a great reading partner.

By: Amanda Mushro
little girl cudding her dog whilst reading from her story book .

860696750

little girl cudding her dog whilst reading from her story book .

Photo by: sturti

sturti

If you are hoping to get your kids to read more, the motivation to turn a few more pages pages might have less to do with the characters in the book and more to do with their reading partner—that is, if their reading partner is a dog.

According to a new study from The University of British Columbia, children are more motivated to read longer and persevere through moderately challenging passages when they are reading to a dog. So basically, your pooch is not only man’s best friend but a parent’s best friend when it comes to getting their kids to log some serious reading time.

For the study, researchers worked with 17 children who were all in grades first through third. Before the study, each child’s reading level was tested and, to make the reading task a bit challenging for the kids, they were all given texts that were slightly above their reading level.

Kids were first asked to read to an observer and then asked to read while in the presence of a dog. After the kids were finished reading, they were given a choice: read another text or be finished. Researchers found that more kids chose to keep reading when accompanied by a pup.

“The findings showed that children spent significantly more time reading and showed more persistence when a dog—regardless of breed or age—was in the room as opposed to when they read without them,” said Camille Rousseau, who led the study. “In addition, the children reported feeling more interested and more competent.”

While the use of therapy dogs is becoming more popular for school aged children, Rousseau believes their research could help “to develop a ‘gold-standard’ for canine-assisted intervention strategies for struggling young readers.”

She added, “There have been studies that looked at the impact of therapy dogs on enhancing students’ reading abilities, but this was the first study that carefully selected and assigned challenging reading to children.”

So, when it’s time for your kids to read, why not try inviting your dog to the reading session? A few doggy cuddles could mean more chapters accomplished by your little one.

Next Up

Here’s How a Baby Wipe Could Be the Key to Making Your Mask More Effective

Parents, don’t toss those packages of dried-out baby wipes.

Should I Get My Tween a Cell Phone? Here’s the Average Age Kids Are Getting Theirs

If you’ve been hearing “But everyone else has a phone!”— read this.

Study Reveals the Key to Keeping Kids Healthy and Avoiding Obesity This Summer

Researchers say encouraging your kids to catch more zzz's this summer is just as important as exercising — here's why.

Study Finds That Exercising During Pregnancy May Save Kids from Health Problems as Adults

Staying fit while pregnant has benefits for both mom and baby for years to come.

Here's What Parents Need to Know About Injuries Linked to Peloton Treadmills

The popular Peloton Tread+ treadmill is at the center of a safety issue for children. Here’s what parents need to know.

Instagram Plans to Develop a Version for Kids Under 13 Years Old — Here’s What You Need to Know

Instagram has a current policy against kids under 13 using the app, but that may soon change.

Girls May Be Struggling More Throughout the Pandemic, Study Says

Here’s why girls reported higher levels of depression and anxiety.

New CDC Study Names Unsafe Bedding as the Leading Cause of Unexpected Infant Death

Thousands of infants die each year, but the CDC says these losses are all preventable.