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The best cure for exam stress? Puppies! Watch furry friends spread joy at University of Huddersfield

Students' union hosted puppy room for Mental Health Day — watch four-legged friends having fun at special event

The University of Huddersfield's students' union prescribed some puppy love to help students beat everyday stress.

To mark University Mental Health Day, Huddersfield Students' Union hosted a Puppy Room where people could make some new furry friends and 'paws for thought'.

The puppies on duty were guide dogs in training, brought in by their trainers from the Guide Dogs charity.

Students donated £2.50 to the charity for a session in the puppy room and got to learn more about the special dogs.

Around 150 students and staff came to relax in the Puppy Room throughout the day, with sessions selling out in a couple of days.

Suzy Crossley, outreach coordinator at the student's union, said the room was a stress-buster for students.

"It's a busy time of year, with dissserations and assignments due before the Easter break," she said.

"We believe the dogs are a calming influence and a homely pet. A lot of students have dogs at home and they miss them."

Guide Dog fundraiser Jo Stevens, who works across Yorkshire, said young dogs aged five-18 months were used in the Puppy Rooms, with four dogs per session and six dogs in rotation.

Guide Dog puppies visit Huddersfield University Students as part of Mental Health Day activities. Guide dog puppy Taffy and puppy walker Peter Pratt meet students during one of the sessions.

She said: "The Puppy Rooms helps guide dogs in training get used to being in busy environments with lots of people. It's a win-win."

Guide dogs typically begin their training at special centres aged 14 weeks old, and spend 26 weeks in training overall before being paired with their new owner.

Watch the doggies being spoiled rotten by students in the Puppy Room

Trainer Sue Dorrington, who works at the Leeds centre in Headingley, said she enjoyed bringing the dogs to Puppy Rooms.

"It's nice to interact with the community and raise awareness of what we do," she said.

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Trainer Chris Senior, who joined Guide Dogs in November, used to be a Huddersfield police officer and has swapped his police dog for a trainee guide dog. He's currently training four: Zoe, Basil, Harley and Venus.

"It's great, I love it. It's the best job in the world," he said.

To find out more about Puppy Rooms and how to book one for your university or workplace, email Jo.Stevens@guidedogs.co.uk

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