Nervous students walked into an interview for a vet program at Edward Napier University in Scotland and were shocked to see dogs as their interviewers.

Students interviewing for a highly competitive veterinary programme may have been expecting a stern professor ready to grill them on the difference between a Bandog and a Basenji. That is not, however, quite what they got. Instead, they walked into a room to see a family of Fox Red Labradors waiting to interview them.

A family of Labradors conducted the interview

The students were greeted by the parents, Tia and Simba, as well as their puppy, Fern. These dogs were even dressed as interviewers, with ties and name tags, befitting their postition.

The ‘Fox Red’ Labradors are in appearance the same as yellow and black labs. However,  a variation in their genes brings out the different colors.

But the family weren't only there to relax the nervous students - they served another purpose as well.

The interview assessed how at ease with animals the students were

Vets need to possess a number of skills. They need to be comfortable with animals, be able to play and communicate with them, and not cause them any needless stress.

The dogs were let loose among applicants in a group discussion exercise. This allowed staff to assess how comfortable they were with the playful dogs.

“Having dogs present in interviews, in particular, good quality Labradors, tests the aptitude of potential students for dealing with animals,” said Jodie Smith, lecturer and program recruitment officer.

An Edinburgh Napier University spokesman stated that “the teaching staff watch to see who is most comfortable handling, talking to and playing with the dogs, because this will be an important skill for students to have if they go on to work as a vet nurse."

These weren't just any dogs

The dogs in question weren't just any dogs. They’re training to become therapy dogs with a charity dedicated to helping adults and children with autism, called APPAWS.

An autism specific assistance dog can increase social interaction, confidence and safety. They can comfort and protect in times of great anxiety or stress and keep a person safe in times of grave danger by alerting, carrying out deep pressure techniques and distraction. Most of all your child/adult will experience and gain unconditional love and a best friend for life. A guardian angel in the guise of a dog. said APPAWS.

What do you think of dogs interviewing students?

Photos: Edinburgh Napier University


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