Read to the Dogs: Overview

Read to the Dogs

Read to the Dogs

Would your child like a patient, attentive friend to read to? Read to the Dogs provides an opportunity for your child to read to registered therapy dogs in a relaxed atmosphere.
The dogs sit calmly and quietly for a story. Children can practice reading out loud without fear of judgement. It's a great way for children to gain confidence in their reading.

Registered dogs are provided by:

Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs, Inc)
Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers
Warm Hearts Network
High Desert Therapy Dogs

Call or visit the participating libraries for more information

Supported by 


Read to the Dogs: Locations, Days, & Times


Program Description

Program Overview: Read to the Dogs is a program sponsored by the Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. Handlers bring their registered pet therapy dogs into the library and provide children with an opportunity to read aloud. The registered pet therapy dog sits calmly and quietly for a story, creating a relaxing  atmosphere for children. This gives children an opportunity to practice their reading skills without fear or judgment. The adults do not correct a child’s reading. Parents may sit quietly in the room with their child or take this moment to find a book and read just outside the program area. 

Why Dogs

Why Dogs?  The Public Library is pleased to provide this nationally recognized program to our families. In a 10 week study by the University of California, researchers found a 12 percent increase in reading fluency by one group and no improvement by the group that didn't read to dogs. It was reported by 75 percent of the parents that their children read aloud more frequently and with greater confidence after reading to the dogs. Children who practice reading have greater success in school and children who feel successful go on to read at higher grade levels. The Public Library hopes through this program children will relate to reading in a positive way and become lifelong readers. Canine buddies help youth develop reading skills - study source

How To Participate

How Children Participate:

  • On the day of the program, the child signs up or waits in the designated area to read to a dog.
  • While waiting his/her turn, the child may select a few short books to read.
  • Each child receives a bookmark that becomes a record of how many times he/she reads to a dog. 
  • Once a child has completed the bookmark, the child will receive a certificate of completion from a favorite dog.
  • To read more then once per day, sign up again or wait for another turn.
  • Reading time with the dogs may be limited if there are many children waiting.
  • Children are welcome to keep reading, fill up more bookmarks, and visit different libraries to read to different dogs.