Dogs take on a new role as they take to the stage at RCS

Dogs take on a new role as they take to the stage at RCS

Published: 26/01/2016

Six pooches made their debut at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this week as they took on the role of ‘de-stressing’ students.

Students at Scotland’s national conservatoire were encouraged to take time out of their rehearsal and exam schedule to ‘de-stress’ with the help of some canine visitors for a Paws Against Stress session.

Student zones within the campus were transformed into dog-petting areas on Tuesday to help relieve stress levels as final year performances, exams and showcase events get underway.

The RCS Paws Against Stress day was organised by the RCS Students’ Union with the support of the campus counselling service, in an effort to promote good health and wellbeing for the students and staff too.

Ankna Arockiam, President of the RCS SU, said: “We organised this event because it is widely accepted that pets, in particular dogs, can help reduce stress levels. Exam time is stressful for students and we wanted to help them deal with it through pet therapy and it has been a huge success.”

The students were visited by six dogs ranging from a small Jack Russell and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to a large German Shepherd and a cross Bearded Collie, which were accompanied by their owners who volunteer to provide therapet services through Canines Concern Scotland.

Anknaadded: “It was amazing to see how well the dogs interacted with the students. They weren’t bothered by the sounds of the rehearsals and instruments close by. It was fantastic to see how well the owners and their dogs gelled with the students which added to the relaxed environment. Everyone was smiling.”

The canine sessions sold out within hours of being advertised on campus.

Canine Concern Scotland Trust was formed in 1988 to promote responsible dog ownership in Scotland. It has since established a therapet service and promotes research into the therapeutic value of dogs. During 2015, the Trust supported more than 5000 students.

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