New Kind Of Freshman At Duke

This appears as the FOOTNOTE in the Chronicle of Higher Education on Monday, September 16.

Duke University has a new breed of freshman, and this fall’s class may be the cutest of them all.

Seven puppies were recently admitted to Duke’s Canine Cognition Center. They came from a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs to people who need their assistance. The pups are part of a study that will examine how different rearing tactics affect the cognitive development and behavior of service dogs. In a way, becoming a service dog is not entirely unlike going to college. As one Duke expert put it: Not every dog gets in, and about half don’t graduate.

The Puppy Kindergarten at Duke aims to increase these dogs’ odds of success in the real world. There’s good news for human students, too. More than 100 volunteers will help raise the puppies and perform the cognitive tests.

To any young dogs reading this Footnote: This year’s puppies have already been selected. No more good boys need apply.

Pretty cool, eh!?!

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