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Dog Assisted Literacy

Animal Assisted Literacy Program

Reading and literacy program that matches participants with therapy dogs for reading tutoring.

The program provides the participant with a sense of self-esteem enabling them to increase their reading grade levels. 

A dog is a fun and interactive learning tool, ideal companions because they promote relaxation and lower blood pressure, do not judge, laugh, or criticise and allow participants to proceed at their own pace.

Reading to dogs can boost reading skills in children as well as help with emotional and social skills.

Our Dog Assisted Reading Program is a unique literacy initiative program that allows participants to read aloud to an Assisted Literacy dog to improve reading and communication skills.

Participants read individually to the trained dog (and their handlers) in schools, libraries, or other settings where they can feel comfortable and confident. 

Local children and adults who participate in reading programs make enormous strides in reading and communication skills while building self-esteem, confidence, and social skills along the way.

Assisted Literacy dogs are registered, insured therapy animals who work as a team in schools and libraries across South Australia as reading companions for children.


There are countless benefits of using dogs as a tool in literacy programs.

In addition, to giving participants a fun, positive association with reading and writing, dogs also provide numerous physical and mental health benefits. Studies have shown that interacting with a dog helps to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. This helps participants feel more comfortable, less stressed, and better able to focus on their work.

Dogs provide a non-judgmental sounding board for out-loud reading. Participants who get the chance to read aloud to one of the Assisted Literacy Dogs in their classroom are less likely to feel worried about making mistakes, which helps them to become more confident readers! 

We partner and serve within public library or schools.

Reading programs build reading skills under the attentive ear of a canine companion.

We serve within public library or schools as well as established tutoring schools to support the efforts of students currently reading below grade level. Useful for students who have low self-esteem, may be shy about reading aloud, or are learning English as a second language.

In schools, teams work individually with students, some of whom may be struggling with literacy for a variety of reasons. They may be learning English or have unstable home lives, and some have learning challenges that make it difficult to concentrate.

The Assisted Literacy dogs offer a calm, safe environment in which children may practice, make mistakes, and try out different strategies that help them become more confident readers.

We collaborate closely with teachers who have students that need extra help with their reading skills.

Participants have an opportunity to meet with a dog or dogs once per week, per fortnight, per month, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The participant will read aloud to the dog and the handler will help the participant understand the material and recognise and pronounce difficult words. Meanwhile, the dog will help calm the participant, giving the confidence they need to read and succeed.

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