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Has anyone had experience of reading dogs?

(15 Posts)
Cezzy Thu 11-Oct-12 10:21:38

My dd's primary school are considering using dogs for the children to read to as it is meant to help those who struggle to read or need stretching. Only a few children are to be chosen. My initial thoughts are "what the *", and I am very sceptical, the children would be more interested in playing with the dog, how safe is the dog with children, and those not chosen would be jealous. Also are these trained people and animals or is it just something the school will set up in house with someones pet? Personally I think it would be better to spend the time making lessons fun and getting some decent reading books kids want to read as those in schools aren't exactly exciting, but I would be interested to hear if anyone has experience of this scheme and what the results were.

StuntNun Thu 11-Oct-12 10:38:28

My DS2 (6yo) is having difficulty with reading but I never thought of getting him to read to the dog. To be honest I don't think she would be very interested! Surely it's better for children to read to someone they can interact with such as an adult or another child?

WereTricksPotter Thu 11-Oct-12 10:52:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alcofrolic Thu 11-Oct-12 18:54:01

We have a reading dog who listens to Y1 children read! They love it.

mrz Thu 11-Oct-12 19:08:37

The idea is that the dog isn't critical hmm

StuntNun Thu 11-Oct-12 20:00:21

My dog would be! The kids would get upset when she went to sleep then farted conspicuously. grin

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 21:15:21

That is the best thing I've heard today. If it does work - why not?
Sounds a bit of an overkill though - what hapenned to reading to the parents?
Is the dog called Nana by any chance?

Cezzy Thu 11-Oct-12 21:24:50

I am interested to see if it does work, most dogs I know would either not sit still long enough or would fall asleep.

DoIDare Thu 11-Oct-12 21:26:24

Am loving the idea. If they are like guide dogs, would they function like a reading pen?

WereTricksPotter Thu 11-Oct-12 22:33:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 11-Oct-12 23:15:09

We have a reading dog at our school who visits once a week. I think we are all a bit sceptical, TBH, but the DC chosen love to read to him. It seems to be seen as a bit of a treat and reluctant readers will happily read to the dog, even though it takes the dog handler and a TA to run. I think they are supposed to find reading to the dog less intimidating despite there being 2 adults in the room. The dog is very well trained and just sits very quietly.

MadameCreeper Thu 11-Oct-12 23:22:15

When my eldest was in infants I had to get him to read to a stuffed toy, he'd get really worked up if he thought he was being judged and assessed by a person. I can see that it would work well for some children.

SoggyMoggy Thu 11-Oct-12 23:28:14

Ooh! I do this with one of my dogs. He's a doll, and will sit forever if there's a person paying attention to him.

The kids eat it up. It's great for making them into more confident readers. (The kids, not the dogs. Although my dog is learning to spell.) With people, it's so hard for us to completely shut down all the signals that we unconsciously send out when listening to a reader struggle. The dogs suffer no such difficulty.

Plus, the kids see it as something interesting and fun. So they look forward to reading, which can be a hard thing to generate in kids who have confidence issues about the subject.

oopsydaisymaisy Thu 11-Oct-12 23:30:11

My nearly 5yo is behind in reading, very behind, due to not being sent to school for a good part of the year and from the care given to her, developing sight problems making it more difficult (she was thankfully taken away from that family, and since we adopted her, she's been making good progress).Three days a week, a lovely poodle comes in for her. There are about six other chosen children in her year, all of whom have either special needs or a problem like DD, and all suffer from low confidence, which means they find it hard to read to adults or other kids. There are eight dogs in total who help people from Reception to yr3.

The dog has really helped her, because even though we supported her, she felt self conscious and nervous when reading to anyone, and being able to cuddle up to a dog was great for her. It was a beautiful labradoodle, very calm and relaxed, middle aged for a dog so was very experienced, and we have applied to have the dog do home visits because it would really help her there. She also has made new friends with the six others and it's helped her a lot. Hopefully she won't need it by the end of the year as she is catching up fast and is becoming more confident, but being able to read to a calm, lovely dog has helped her a lot.

DoIDare Fri 12-Oct-12 16:05:34

Ofgs!

Yes it was meant to be a silly pun. Like when people speak of blind dogs when they mean guide dogs.

I think it is a lovely idea, I just pondered on the semantics of a reading dog, being somewhere between a guide dog (that actively functions) and a reading pen (which reads).

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