Greyhounds are widely known as service animals because they are particularly good at their job. However, what you may not know is that our furry friends are also fantastic at helping improve children’s literacy! They excel in this area due to a couple of key reasons:
- They are non-aggressive and gentle
- They are fantastic at reading humans around them and receiving commands
- They are calm – even in unknown situations
- They are eager to please and can get along with basically everyone
Many children are stressed when first learning how to read, especially when reading near a teacher or even reading next to a peer. BUT- when reading with a dog, those stress levels are much lower. It is proven that calming endorphins are produced when in the presence of a calm dog like a Greyhound. These findings dramatically improve children’s literacy and learning processes. It is beneficial and relaxing for the dog, too!
Many of us avoid doing things that we are bad at. Children are no different! However, if a library or school promotes the use of therapy dogs, children are more likely to engage in the material and gain confidence reading out loud. There is actually a group named R.E.A.D (reading education assistance dogs program) which specializes in training dogs such as Greyhounds to help amplify kids’ learning capability. Often times, children in this program gain immense educational growth through their Greyhound bonds. A fun and effective strategy the program members use is that they say “My Greyhound Speedy doesn’t know that big word, can you help him out?” which is much more encouraging and engaging than putting the kids on the spot.
In the end, most children in elementary school get more confidence through this Greyhound environment. It is fantastic to see such positivity in the education system. If you want to read more details about R.E.A.D’s program and the benefits of Greyhounds as therapy dogs, check it out here.