Here's something to make you smile—kids and dogs learning to read!
Late last year, Suezanne Law of Sympawtico Dog Training and her business partner, Sharon Woodrum, decided to add a fun element to the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program (R.E.A.D.®). The program's aim is to improve the literacy skills of children, and they use registered therapy dogs to achieve this goal. Child participants read aloud to the dogs!
Suezanne and Sharon used cue substitution to help the dog handlers of the Kansas City chapter of Pets for Life/the R. E. A. D. program teach approximately 22 therapy dogs to respond to written cue cards as if the dogs could read the actual words. These smart dogs were able to learn "sit," "down," "beg," "spin," and "stand." The Kansas City Star newspaper reported on this unique event, where everyone involved had plenty of fun.