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Passing exams with puppy love

Research suggests looking at cute things can help improve concentration. Credit: ITV News

Exam stress at this time of year has given Bristol University paws for thought - so it's trying something different to help students.

The university has set up a special 'puppy room' today, where stressed students take a break from exam prep and dissertation deadlines by cuddling guide dogs and their puppies.

Over 600 students signed up for 15 minutes with the dogs Credit: ITV News

Research published in Japan suggests pictures of cute things such as puppies and kittens can help improve concentration and performance.

About 20 dogs and puppies are being rotated throughout the day with the support of local owners and trainers. Each 'cuddle slot' lasts 15 minutes.

Over 600 students have signed up, and are being asked to make a suggested donation of £2 to the Guide Dogs charity.

While I'm more of a cat person myself, I'm really excited that the University is providing this for students. It's really important to do fun and different things to de-stress during exams and cuddling a puppy is a perfect way to release some endorphins.

– Jo Woods, Union Affairs Officer at Bristol Student Union
This time of year can be stressful for students with exam and deadline pressure. Credit: ITV News

Guide Dogs are most pleased to be able to work with the University of Bristol and allow students the chance to de-stress at this busy exam time. We are sure we will meet lots of students who miss their own pet dogs whilst away at University.

– Sarah Knox, Community Fundraiser for Guide Dogs

Increase in attacks on guide dogs

Tilly Trotter with her old guide dog Gwyn who will never work again after being attacked by another dog Credit: Tilly Trotter

There's been an increase in the number of guide dogs being attacked by other dogs here in the West. In the last year there have been 29 guide dog attacks in our region and in four cases the owner was also injured.

The charity, Guide Dogs, says every month they're having to treat and retrain dogs that have been injured while they're working.

Tillie Trotter from Uffculme near Cullompton in Devon, came into the studio with her new dog to tell us about an attack on her German Shepherd. Gwyn could not work again after she was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier cross.

Guide Dog charity plea to stop pavement parking

A guide dog at work Credit: Jane Mingay/PA Archive

The charity Guide Dogs is calling for tougher action on motorists who park on pavements. It says towns and city centres in the region are increasingly becoming no-go areas for blind and partially sighted people.

A survey it carried out showed that 45 per cent of drivers in the south west were unaware of the hazards of pavement parking.