Have You Ever Heard About University Dogs?
When you see the words university dogs, you might imagine a dog with glasses reading a book. We'll tell you what we're really talking about in this article.
Who wouldn’t want to take their pet to college with them? Although the idea of university dogs may have you picturing a dog sitting next to you in class, reading a book, we all know this is impossible. But university dogs do exist, and we’ll explain what they really are in this article.
Their work doesn’t include reading and taking classes; it’s a little different. We’ll tell you about it and show you all the great benefits it has for students.
University dogs, how and why?
Some changes, even if they’re beneficial to us in the long run, are difficult to get used to and to accept. It’s not easy for university students to adapt to their new lives. They get to a new place and the work is completely different than what they had in high school.
Some students will suffer from anxiety, stress, nostalgia, and sadness. The first year is definitely the worst. So, what can help with those feelings and emotions? Dogs of course!
The interaction between dogs and students is gaining momentum around the world. They’re already using this method in the United States, Colombia and other places, and they’ve all seen great results from it.
The first study that was conducted to test this method involved 86 students. These students had direct contact with dogs. After 8 weeks, their levels of sadness and stress decreased considerably.
This isn’t the first time that dogs have been used for this purpose; many other tests have been done using the same method. We have even seen how these animals can help relieve stress and other emotions in offices and in the workplace.
After seeing the beneficial results of interacting with dogs, universities have started to allow dogs to live on campus. Their purpose is to make the first year students’ transition to their new lives easier.
How do dogs relieve our stress?
Simply petting a dog creates a special connection that gives us peace of mind. Remember when we talked about how they have started to use dogs in airports? The passengers who get nervous before getting on a place were given dogs to pet and play with. This made their nerves disappear.
However, this doesn’t work with just any type of dog. Although we know that having a pet can be beneficial for your health, and that they help with our stress and loneliness, they’ll need a bit more training to take care of larger tasks.
For example, the dog must be well-trained. Usually, university dogs are German shepherds, since they’re known worldwide for their obedience and for being well-trained. However, in the United States, for example, they use pit bulls. That’s because the United States doesn’t believe that there are aggressive dog breeds, just poorly trained dogs.
So how does it work?
Obviously, you have to take the dog into account, his feelings, emotions and, of course, his health. You can’t mistreat him or force him to work. No matter how well you have trained him, you can’t make him work four hour days.
Therefore, the animal should be on a schedule where he works for 15 minutes then rests for 15 minutes, and so on. Normally, there are three dogs in each session – one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. That way, they can have longer periods of rest and they only work 15 minutes every half hour.
This is very important for the animal, since we can’t forget that they can also suffer from stress. Taking too much advantage of his time and efforts can have detrimental effects on the dog. In the end, the program wouldn’t be as effective.
In Spain, for example, some experts already did tests in a university, and these yielded very good results. We hope that this will encourage more universities to also implement this program very soon.
As you can see, this is just one more great thing about dogs that we may not have known about before. We just have to be sure that we’re looking after their health and well-being while they’re helping us.