Having A Dog In The Room Helps Children To Read More, Study Shows
New research has revealed that having a dog in the room encourages children to read more.
Camille Rousseau, a doctoral student at University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, studied 17 children aged six to nine while they read with and without a dog.
The study, which was published in the journal Anthrozoös, found the dog made children feel more interested in reading, which suggests therapy dogs could boost reading programmes in schools.
The researcher said of the research: "Our study focused on whether a child would be motivated to continue reading longer and persevere through moderately challenging passages when they are accompanied by a dog."
The children chosen were already able readers as the research wanted to choose stories slightly beyond the child's reading level.
During the sessions, participants would read aloud to either an observer, the dog handler and their pet or without the dog.
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After finishing the first page, they would then be offered the option of a second reading task or finishing the session.
The doctoral student explained: "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.
"In addition, the children reported feeling more interested and more competent.
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."
The researcher said she will continue looking how canine-assisted therapy can influence students in other educational contexts.
Reason one million why dogs are amazing, then.
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