University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


A puppy a day keeps the exam stress away

So-called 'puppy room' at Nottingham Trent University, England has four dogs helping stressed students relax

Instead of losing sleep, hair, libido and longevity due to exam-related stress, Nottingham Trent University’s 36,000 students are keeping symptoms of stress at bay by petting puppies in a blissful state of relaxation.

The ‘puppy room’ also had puppies up for grabs, so to speak, during the exam period in 2014 – and it was a success:

”Research indicates that contact with animals makes us happier before exam periods, reduces worries and minimises our physical stress symptoms,” says Jacqueline Boyd, Senior Lecturer of Animal Science at Nottingham Trent University.

So far the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has not copied Nottingham’s example. However, cute furry teddy bears are ‘operated’ on by vet students. To learn that is, not to relieve stress.

Rush to cuddle the pups

”It’s also possible that the many students who have come to university from homes far away will miss the support of their own pets and families less during a stressful exam period, having the dogs in the puppy room,” she says.

Jacqueline Boyd has been with the dogs for an hour herself and, according to her, 50 students came by in that time. Each of them spent roughly 15 minutes with the dogs. She believes the puppy room is a success.

”It’s particularly clear from the feedback we’ve received, and it’s positive from both the students and the people who have lent us the dogs,” she says.

Canadian inspiration

Nottingham Trent’s Student Union is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the puppy room, as well as the safety of the dogs. So far they’ve raised GBP 25,000 (around 260,000 DKK) for the initiative, which also benefits the dogs.

The dogs are from ‘Charity Guide Dogs’, an organisation that trains them to become guide dogs for people with disabilities. However, it costs a lot of money to train them for their future owners, so in this way, the students are also helping the organisation.

The idea for stress relieving puppies came from Kelly Oakley, a 19-year-old student of architecture, who had seen something similar at a university in Canada.

Like us on Facebook for features, guides and tips on upcoming events. Follow us on Twitter for links to other Copenhagen academia news stories. Sign up for the University Post weekly newsletter here, and then follow the University Post on Instagram here.