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Pet Therapy

Bow Wow Reading Dogs

About Bow Wow Reading Dogs

The Bow Wow Reading Dogs 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.

Teams are currently working with children in Round Rock, Eanes, Georgetown, Jarrell, Austin, and Leander Independent School Districts and at the Pflugerville, Round Rock, Wells Branch and Leander Libraries on a regular basis.  Our teams have provided many, many special onetime programs throughout the Greater Austin area.  To  initiate a program at your school or library please contact the pet therapy coordinator.

The 2013 Bow Wow Reading Dog program is sponsored in part by


Bow Wow Reading Dogs Teams

Bow Wow Reading dogs are registered 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.

Handlers of Bow Wow Reading Dogs:

  • Must enjoy children
  • Love to read!
  • Have a willingness to get to know the children, understand their challenges and remember small things about them
  • Have compassion for and sensitivity to the hesitant and reticent child; patience with over-active children
  • Possess patience with repetitive reading of the same book
  • Have the ability to discern age with reading abilities and related activities
  • Are flexible and have the ability to “go with the flow” **Taken from 2004 Intermountain Therapy Animals, page 36