Via Study Finds:

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and any number of other handheld media devices, it can be harder than ever to instill healthy reading habits in today’s youth. Luckily, a new study is offering up a furry solution. Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan say that simply sitting down with a book in the presence of a pup can help motivate children to read more.

The research team, led by doctoral student Camille Rousseau, studied the reading patterns of 17 children (8 girls, 9 boys) without a dog present, and then again with a dog nearby. Each child was currently enrolled in either the first, second, or third grade at the time of the study.

“Our study focused on whether a child would be motivated to continue reading longer and persevere through moderately challenging passages when they are accompanied by a dog,” Rousseau comments in a release.

Each participating child was selected based off of their independent reading skills; before the experiment, each student was tested to calculate their reading acumen and to ensure they would be provided with appropriate books for their individual skills. However, researchers didn’t want the books to be too easy for the children, and chose books slightly harder than each child’s reading level.

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