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Dogs in Libraries

The Dogs in Libraries programme is a way for children to practice their reading skills in a relaxed, non-threatening environment.

Research shows that sitting down and reading to a friendly dog has been found to help a child’s fear of being judged and over time, their reading ability and self-confidence improves.

Benefits of reading to dogs

  • Dogs don’t judge, laugh or criticise if mistakes are made
  • Helps improve confidence in reading
  • Less intimidating than reading to people
  • It allows children to proceed at their own pace
  • It’s been shown to increase a child’s relaxation while reading
  • Improves confidence and teaches safe ways to interact with dogs.

The programme is also offered in other parts of New Zealand and around the world and has had fantastic results.

How it works

There’s a quiet corner where your child can sit and read to one of our dogs. Library staff and an Animal Control Officer will be there to help with the session. The sessions are 15 minutes long. Your session will need to be booked ahead of time. 

The dogs we use for our Dogs in Libraries programme were all adopted from the Waikato District Pound into loving homes. Due to their lovely natures they were chosen for the Dogs in Libraries programme. They have all been trained and tested for health, safety and temperament.

Our dogs

Small dog

Charlie Brown loves squeaky toys, ice cream and going on treasure hunts. Rats are her favourite animal and her favourite book is Hairy Maclary. She loves to dance!

Black dog smilingKoey’s favourite toy is a tennis ball. She loves playing fetch. She loves bones! 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' is her favourite book. Koey has a doggy brother called Doug and a doggy sister called Judy.


To book your session, contact your local library for more information.

Session are run during the school term only.

Dogs in Libraries will commence for 2023 Monday 6th March

  • Ngaruawahia - fortnightly starting Tuesday 7th March, 3-4pm
  • Te Kauwhata - fortnightly starting Wednesday 8th March, 3-4pm
  • Meremere - fortnightly starting Friday 10th March, 9.30-10.30am
  • Raglan - fortnightly starting Monday 13th March, 3-4pm
  • Tamahere - fortnightly starting Wednesday 15th March, 3-4pm
  • Huntly - fortnightly starting Thursday 16th March, 3-4pm

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Dogs in Libraries Calendar - Term 2 2023
Term 3
Term 4