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See Spot Read: How the Presence of a Therapy Dog Influences the Reading Skills of Children in the First-Grade

By Chelsea Addison

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Category Theses

The purpose of this study was to examine if the presence of a therapy dog influences the reading skills of first-grade students. Specifically, the researcher assessed the participants’ reading rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension across two conditions (reading with a dog present and reading without a dog). The Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS; McKenna & Kear, 1990) was used to measure the children’s perception of recreational and academic reading. The participants read two equivalent grade-level passages from the standardized Gray Oral Reading Test 5th-edition (GORT-5; Bryant & Wiederholt, 2012) with and without a dog present. The researcher assessed the children’s rate, fluency, accuracy, and reading comprehension skills across the two conditions as they read the passages. At the end of the study the students were asked whether they preferred reading in the presence or absence of the dog. There was no significance found across the conditions of this study. Although this study revealed that overall, the children preferred reading in the presence of the dog, additional longitudinal research is needed to gather data on the long term influence(s) of Animal-Assisted Therapy on children’s reading skills.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2014
Publisher The College of Wooster
Location of Publication Wooster, Ohio
Department Communication
Degree Education
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Animal roles
  3. Children
  4. Comprehension
  5. Dogs
  6. Mammals
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. Reading
  9. Schools
  10. Service animals
  11. students
  12. therapy
  13. therapy animals