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Dog Reading Programs: All About Dog Reading Programs

This guide features dog reading programs that are offered throughout the Contra Costa County Libraries.

What is a Dog Reading Program?

Many libraries in Contra Costa County have had great success by utilizing therapy dogs as part of their library reading programs for children. This type of program is perfect for struggling readers.  However, those who can already read well won’t want to pass up the chance to read to a therapy dog too. Even the parents seem to get a real kick out of their child reading to a dog, and they certainly welcome the idea of their son or daughter being so excited to go to the library!

For most dog reading programs, the reading sessions usually take place in a quiet, comfortable area. The child picks out a book that he or she would like to read, and sits down next to the dog and handler and start reading. The book chosen is usually one the child thinks the dog would enjoy! The visits are often short, but the impact lasts longer than just the session, as the child may be more likely to read on his or her own.

Dog Gone Good News!

The San Pablo Library's Waggin' Tales celebrated their 2nd Anniversary in September 2013!

The San Pablo Library's Waggin’ Tales Reading Program is an innovative canine-assisted reading program which provides an opportunity for children to practice their reading skills in a fun and relaxed environment by reading to specially trained therapy dogs.


What is a Therapy Dog?

Therapy Dogs and other therapy animals are family pets that are trained and registered or certified through therapy organizations. They are only half of the therapy team. The handler is the other half. Therapy teams enter nursing facilities, hospitals, schools and other facilities by invitation or prior approval. Therapy animals are used in a variety of healthcare and educational situations. They can range from social visits at nursing facilities to helping in physical therapy/rehabilitation. They are used in special needs classrooms, regular education classrooms, and residential school settings. Activities involving therapy animals are usually classified as AAA(Animal Assisted Activities) or AAT(Animal Assisted Therapy).