Therpay dogs help students de-stress

Published 4:35 PM ET, Wed December 18, 2013
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CanineAssistants, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based nonprofit group, brings therapy dogs-in-training to help Emory University students with finals stress. Jen Christensen
An Emory student crashes while studying for finals. Studies show excessive stress can impair memory. Jen Christensen/CNN
To become certified, the dogs must master 90 commands and maintain a total sense of calm. Jen Christensen/CNN
Counselors say finals stress often causes a kind of tunnel vision. The dogs help students step out of themselves and relax. Jen Christensen/CNN
Even after just a couple minutes, students visibly relax with the dogs. Jen Christensen/CNN
Studies show canine interaction increases a human's level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure.
Emory pre-med student Ali Serpe, center, tells the dog she is petting, Wesley, "You are the perfect medicine for finals." Jen Christensen
At the end of their dog sessions, Emory students often took photos of their new furry friends to carry a piece of calm with them. Jen Christensen/CNN