DOGS could actually help children improve their reading skills, a study shows.
The study by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University involved students with a range of reading aptitudes and attitudes toward reading.
They were paired with dogs or with people and asked to read aloud to them once a week for 30 minutes in the summer and then measured on the Curriculum-Based Measurement and Elementary Reading Attitude Survey.
While those that read to the dogs experienced a slight gain in their reading ability and improvement in their attitudes toward, those who read to people experienced a decrease on both measures.
While one-third of the student who read to people failed to complete the program, no students left the dog-reading group.
Students reading to the dogs were enrolled in the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D) Program, a non-profit organization that encourages children to read through the use of therapy animals.