Hi-paw! The movement of people reading to their dogs is gathering momentum. And now a Celebrity Dog Trainer and Behaviouralist has been talking about some of the benefits of reading to your dog.
Carolyn Menteith (pictured above with her Digby) explains why she thinks reading to dogs in animals shelters is “a really brilliant idea”.
When local media asked for her opinion about reading to dogs in shelters she said, “A lot of volunteers can be quite full-on when they go in to kennels. They think they should be stroking and hugging the dogs and making a big fuss of them, but for a lot of dogs in rescue, that’s really quite scary.
“Suddenly, there will be this person they have never seen before trying to touch and hug them, so just having someone come in to the kennel to sit and read is a really good idea. It gets them used to people coming in and out.”
(I love the point Carolyn makes about tone of voice while reading. In Beef Casserole for the Dog’s Soul I’ve made it easier to read with emphasis in particular places to keep your dog’s interest by italicising and making some words and phrases LARGER and occasionally bold. And lots of space between the lines so you can spend more time looking at your dog than at the story.)
Dog magazine features writer and TV and radio dog trainer personality Carolyn continues, “The only thing I would say is that dogs respond to your tone of voice far more than what you say, so I think the choice of book could be quite significant”
She completely gets just how fun reading to your dog can be, “People will probably want to steer away from scary, racy or tense books for something a bit more happy. I would say Mills and Boon would be good but The Bourne Supremacy would be bad! People should stay away from books that are really exciting and stick to something a bit more gentle.
I have never heard of this kind of reading to rescue dogs scheme before and I think it’s fantastic.”