New technology announced for canine readers

Category: Reading

We've blogged about the benefits of reading to your dog, but have you considered having your dog read to you? With new technology being developed by the National Institute for Canine Literacy (NICL), this may soon become a possiblity. 

NICL have been working on a device that allows a dog's 'voice' to be recorded for several years. Founding institute member Jackie Russell explained that research conducted in the early 1990s showed that dogs made small noises when shown books that engaged them, and studies conducted on more than 300 dogs in the US showed that there were identifiable sound patterns that was akin to a type of canine reading.

It's unsuprising that collies and golden retrievers were quickest to develop their own reading style

The new technology allows the 'dog verbalisations' to be translated into something recognisable to the human ear. Ms Russell went on to explain that, although it's been an arduous process developing the software, it's definitely been worth it and the leaps and bounds the technology has made in the last couple of decades has been remarkable and made the project possible. 'Obviously certain breeds are more responsive to the process and take to it quicker; it's unsuprising that collies and golden retrievers were quickest to develop their own reading style.'

Alongside developing the technology and software to detect and translate the 'dog voice', they have created a fleet of reading dogs trained to work within libraries. Head of National Strategy Janet Saint-Bernard told us they hope they hope the fleet will 'help tackle child illiteracy and engage children with books again.'

Obviously these developments will be invaluable to communities, but Janet went on to explain the benefits for dogs: 'We've discovered that dogs actually enjoy the reading process and we are looking into the possiblity of introducing 'dog only libraries' where canines can read to each other, but this is a long-term goal we're still researching.'



Images credits:

Rio the Black Mixed-Breed Dog with Newspaper by Found Animals Foundation

Bear Reading The Paper by Patricia H. Schuette


Subscribe to our monthly e-updates for book lovers