Is your kid having trouble with reading? Maybe they should try reading to a dog!

It’s a growing trend - and it seems to be working.

The philosophy is simple: Children who are just learning to read often feel judged or intimidated by classmates and adults. But reading to a dog isn’t so scary. They won’t judge - they won’t get impatient - they won’t laugh or correct a child if he makes a mistake. In a nutshell - dogs are excellent listeners. And for shy kids or slow readers, that can make all the difference.

Kathy Klotz runs a nationwide program called R.E.A.D. - Reading Education Assistance Dogs. And she says there’s another benefit of reading to dogs: confidence! A child feels like they’re helping the dog understand the story. They get to be the teacher, the storyteller.

The idea that they know more than the dog and can share their knowledge is a powerful one.

Klotz says it’s typical for the kids who read to dogs for just 20 minutes a week to improve their reading skills by a couple of grade levels in one school year.

If you’d like to learn more about programs like these, check out the READ website at TherapyAnimals.org.