The Dog Alliance Bow Wow Reading Dogs are non-judgmental certified therapy dogs who listen to at-risk students reading aloud. The dog's handler has been educated on how to help at-risk readers learn to read. Many of our Bow Wow Reading dog volunteers are retired teachers or principals.
The Dog Alliance Bow Wow Reading Dog teams volunteer in the following types of partner facilities:
Local elementary schools
– At an elementary school, the program is designed to help below grade level readers improve their skills. The program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. Our volunteers and their dogs are part of the student’s reading intervention plan. The volunteer and dog meet with the child every week, for an entire school year. The students selected for the program are typically at risk readers who would benefit from not only the one-on-one reading assistance, but also from the consistent and positive attention from an adult that is not a parent or teacher.
– In a self-contained classroom setting, the dogs not only assist with the reading program, but they also might help with social skills or motor control skills. The program can be customized to meet the goals of the students. Austin Dog Alliance can provide therapy dog teams where the handler is either a social worker, special education teacher or other relevant professional who is working with a dog that has passed our Advanced Therapy Skills class.
Libraries and after-school programs
– Bow Wow Readings Dogs enjoy listening to children read at library program on the weekends and after-school programs during the week.
– Young children are not the only students that enjoy the therapy dogs. During finals week, our Bow Wow Reading dogs are a very popular stress relievers on campuses all around town.
Bow Wow Reading Dogs are making a difference in the lives of many children in the Greater Austin Area.
Bow Wow Reading dogs are The Dog Alliance certified therapy animals who volunteer with their owners/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
Bow Wow Reading Dogs are:
At least 1 year old and have lived in the owner’s home for at least 6 months
Calm, quiet, attentive, and comfortable in low-key settings
Able to deal with close and unexpected encounters with large groups of rambunctious children
Tolerant of tugging, pulling and exuberant handling
Neutral to the presence of toys, crayons, paper, books and lunch in the trash can
Cool around other animals;
Have solid obedience skills and the willingness to learn new skills.