university pets
Meet Jack the Bulldog. A university pet that loves to work the crowd. Source: Mitchell Layton Getty Images North America/AFP

University pets are a great addition to any campus — especially dogs.

They lift spirits with a single pat, always eager to play fetch during lecture breaks and bark your stress away.

It’s no wonder some universities have adopted their own “campus pet pooch” to keep their faculty and students happy during hectic days.

Studies even suggest that pets can prevent people from feeling isolated and anxious about the day ahead.

Academic and psychologist June McNicholas said, “Pet care and self-care are linked. When you take a dog out for a walk, people talk to you and that may be the only social contact an isolated person has the whole day.”

To pay homage to these campus-loving canines and the joy they bring to students, Study International decided to profile a few:

Jack the Bulldog

Jack the Bulldog at Georgetown University in the US is just one-year-old, but he’s already making an impact on campus.

According to Georgetown, his favourite pastimes include playing with his dog friends, chasing his favourite green watering can and playing with his toy armadillo and elephant.

Jack also has his very own entourage of students called the “Jack Crew,” responsible for walking him twice a day and for escorting him to various events on campus. 

If students want to become a part of the “Jack Crew,” they’ll be asked to learn basic information about Jack (for example, bulldog idiosyncrasies) and show that they are comfortable handling university pets.

Lila the Labrador


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Alongside wagging her tail to anyone who walks by, Lila the Lab is helping the University of Helsinki researchers in Finland with a study concerning emotions.

In the experiment above, Lila went to a room where she experienced situations that evoked a range of emotions, such as their owner petting them, giving treats, leaving the room and returning.

Helsinki researchers then measured Lila’s state of mind. She wore a collar and a heart rate belt, with four devices attached to them, measuring her respiration, movement, activity, pose and heart’s electrical signal.

This animal-friendly experiment goes to show that the talents of a campus pooch stretches far beyond the regular roll-over trick!

Bessie the Jack Russell

At Newcastle University in the UK, students can book time with Bessie the Jack Russell and take her for walks around the campus, city and parks.

Bessie belongs to Newcastle University’s Director of Student Health and Wellbeing Sally Ingram who said, “Research has shown that time spent with animals can alleviate worry, provide comfort and help people deal with feelings of isolation and loneliness — all issues that students can sometimes struggle with.”

“Combining this with fresh air and physical exercise is a good recipe for positive physical and mental wellbeing.”

Newcastle students are also encouraged to buddy up with their peers while walking her, so they can explore the city together.

Margaret the Airedale

Therapy dogs like Margaret the Airedale are increasingly popular on campuses.

Margaret helps students at Teeside University settle into UK student life and is there to bark study blues away.

These university pets make a great addition to campus as they provide affection, comfort and support to students who are going through a turbulent time with their studies.

As you can see, therapy dogs like Margaret take their role very seriously and even get to wear a personalised staff badge!

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