University Student Studies

B.A.R.K.’s impact on university students

Over the course of three semesters from 2013 to 2014, the B.A.R.K. team documented how 1,960 students confidentially assessed their stress levels upon arriving at a drop-in session and when they departed. It was found that students’ stress levels were significantly reduced from an average rating of 4.47 on a five-point-scale to 1.73 on the same scale after being with the dogs. B.A.R.K. sessions do not have a time limit, instead, students can stay until they feel their stress has been reduced, on average this has been 35 minutes.

The B.A.R.K. team continues to assess the impact of therapy dogs on student well-being during the weekly Drop-In sessions.

2012-2020 by the numbers

94

Drop-in sessions offered  

92

Average participants per session

8,620

Total number of visits

Videos

Watch more videos on B.A.R.K.’s Youtube channel.

Related Publications and presentations

Binfet, J. T., Green, F. L. L., & Draper, Z. A. (2021). The Importance of Client–Canine Contact in Canine-Assisted Interventions: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Anthrozoös. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2021.1944558.

Symposium at the annual meeting of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Buffalo, NY (Virtual). University-Based Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAIs): Theory and Research Toward Identifying Direct and Indirect Effects of Active Components on Stress-Related Outcomes.

  • Paper 1: Pendry, P. (2021, June 23). Touch Expect and Support Theory (TEST): A pathway model describing active components of University-based AAIs on proximal and distal stress-related outcomes.
  • Paper 2: Vandagriff, J. L., & Pendry, P. (2021, June 23). Teasing Out Effective AAI Components of a University-Based Animal Visitation Program on Students’ Physiological Arousal and Regulation.
  • Paper 3: Binfet, J. T., Green, F. L. L., & Draper, Z. A. (2021, June 23). The Importance of Touch in On-Campus Canine-Assisted Stress-Reduction Interventions: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Rousseau, C. X., Binfet, J. T., Green, F. L. L., Tardif-Williams, C., Draper, Z., & Maynard, A. (2020). Up the leash: An investigation of handler well-being and perceptions of volunteering in canine-assisted interventions. Pet Behavior Science, 10, 15-35. doi: 10.2107/pbs.vi10.12598

Silas, H. J., Binfet, J. T., & Ford, A. (2019). Therapeutic for all? Observational assessments of therapy canine stress in an on-campus stress reduction program. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 32, 6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jveb.2019.03.009

Kjellstrand-Hartwig, E., & Binfet, J. T. (2019). What’s important in canine-assisted intervention teams? An investigation of canine-assisted intervention program online screening tools. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 29, 53-60.

Binfet, J. T., Passmore, H. A., Cebry, A., Struik, K., & McKay, C. (2018). Reducing university students’ stress through a drop-in canine-therapy program. Journal of Mental Health3, 197-204. doi: 10.1080/09638237.2017.1417551

Binfet, J. T. (2017). The effects of group-administered canine therapy on first-year university students’ well-being: A randomized controlled trial. Anthrozoos, 30, 397-414. doi/abs/10.1080/08927936.2017.135097

Binfet, J. T., Passmore, H. A., Cebry, A., Struik, K., & McKay, C. (2017, June 24). Reducing university students’ stress through a drop-in canine-therapy program. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Davis, California (June 22-25).

Binfet, J. T., & Passmore, H. A. (2016). Hounds and homesickness:  The effects of an animal-assisted therapeutic intervention for first-year university students. Anthrozoos29, 441-454.

Binfet, J. T. (2016). The effects of single-session animal-assisted therapy on first-year university students’ well-being: A randomized controlled trial. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations, Paris, France (July 11).

Binfet, J. T., & Passmore, H. A. (2016). Hounds and homesickness: The effects of an animal-assisted therapeutic intervention for first-year students. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Barcelona, Spain (July 9).

Binfet, J. T., & Cull, I. (2016). Heavy petting on campus: An overview of the Building Academic Retention through K9s program. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, Winnipeg, Manitoba (June 19).

Gillett, J. & Binfet, J. T. Going to the Dogs: Considerations and implications of structured Human-Animal Interactions on campus. Paper presented at the conference of Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, Kelowna, BC (June 22-26, 2015).

Binfet, J. T. (2014). The effects of animal-assisted therapy on university students’ social-emotional well-being: A feasibility study. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Society of Anthrozoology, Vienna, Austria (July 19-21, 2014).

Study with B.A.R.K.

Interested in pursuing a Master of Education or Master of Arts in Education with Dr. Binfet and B.A.R.K.? Learn more about Okanagan School of Education graduate studies.