07/12/2011 12:29 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2011

Read-To-Dogs Programs Increasingly Popular

The search for the perfect tutor may just end with your neighbor's dog.

More children across the country are partaking in programs and events that allow them to read to canines. The Arlington Central Library in Virginia has a new bimonthly program called Paws to Read that lets children read out loud to dogs.

"The benefit of the dogs is they're truly a nonjudgmental audience," Arlington Central Librarian Julia Karell told the Washington Examiner. "They're loving and accepting. If the kids mess up a word, the dogs don't care."

Programs like Paws to Read aren't new, but have sprouted across the country over the last year with research from the University of California, Davis showing that children do perform better if they read to dogs.

Many of the canines are therapy dogs, so that they are trained not to be aggressive and therefore safe to work with children. The dogs that one Iowa City program uses are trained by an organization that also runs the reading program.

And not only are the kids improving, but the canines are having a good time, too.

"The dogs seem to enjoy it," Robert Dettery of Montgomery, Pa. told the Montgomery News.