The Effect of a Canine-Assisted Reading Intervention on Second Grade Students' Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Performance and Attitude Toward Reading

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Advisor: Susan Davies


Animals, such as canines, can provide emotional support, create a nonjudgmental environment, facilitate positive social interactions, and shape student behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a canine-assisted reading intervention on second grade students' oral reading fluency (ORF) performance and attitude toward reading. Data were collected in a suburban elementary school and included DIBELS Next progress-monitoring data of students' ORF performance as well as the administration of the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS), which measured students' attitude toward reading. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Slope Level Change statistic was calculated to determine the effect size. Results indicated that interactions between dogs and students during ORF activities promoted a greater consistency in ORF performance and an improved attitude toward reading. These results reinforce the need for more innovative approaches to literacy education to help motivate students to practice their reading skills and increase or maintain their reading enjoyment.


Counseling Education, reading intervention, oral reading fluency, attitude toward reading, motivation toward reading, dogs in schools, canine-assisted interventions, second grade, students

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