Im-paw-tant news: the therapy TOP Dogs are back (virtually)!

Posted on June 15, 2021

The TOP Dogs therapy dogs provided comfort and stress relief to University of Pretoria staff and students in 2019, and now our furry friends will be back virtually!

We really wish we could have invited you to come and pet away your exam stress as our dog therapy sessions on campus were immensely popular with staff and students in 2019! This time around, physical sessions will not be possible due to the constraints on physical visits and the adjusted lockdown level 3 regulations. However, we are planning some virtual meet and greet sessions with some of your favourite friends! 

Why are we organizing this?

Research indicates that human-animal interaction has a relaxation and stress reduction effect even after as little as 5 minutes of interaction with a therapy dog. Although animal-assisted therapy is mainly used in healthcare and elderly care settings, more and more modern international academic and public libraries use therapy dogs as a way of engaging student interaction. Some of the benefits include:

  • Decreased loneliness
  • Increased social interaction and behaviour
  • Promotion of emotional well-being
  • Mood elevation
  • Stress relief

Who is TOP Dogs?

The primary objective of TOP Dogs is to provide comfort and companionship by sharing their dogs with those in hospitals, care facilities, and other institutions, such as schools and, once more, at the University of Pretoria. Therapy dogs are carefully selected and fully trained for their role in providing emotional support to people. They are calm, friendly, well-mannered and registered with a therapy dog group, such as TOP Dogs. With this initiative, the Department of Library Services takes the emotional well-being of our students during examination time to the next level!

Book your virtual sessions with these dogs:

You will be able to get to know the organization TOP Dogs, view the dogs, ask the handlers questions about the dogs' background and learn some fun facts about them.

TOP Dogs dates and times:

Click here to register for Finnegan (Beagle): Wednesday 23 June 10:30

Click here to register for Emma (Border Collie Cross): Thursday 24 June 10:30

Click here to register for Rolo (Beagle): Thursday 24 June 14:30

Click here to register for Milo (Pekingese Cross): Friday 25 June 10:30

Click here to register for Honey (Wire Haired Jack Russel): Monday 28 June 10:30

Click here to register for Nougat (Golden Retriever): Tuesday 29 June 10:30


- Author Elsabé Olivier

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