Therapy dogs with special abilities, characters in cartoons and others are all part of the Researchers’ Night in Debrecen


The Anthrozoological Research Group of the University of Debrecen is holding an interactive program entitled Meeting Drawn and Real Dogs at this year’s Researchers’ Nights. Not only can we get to know the dogs in the cartoons, but we can also meet real, helpful dogs. Moreover, we can also get answers to such exciting questions as what do therapy dogs know that other dogs do not? And why can they go anywhere? Also, why don’t we have to worry about a therapy dog biting someone? This year, the organizers will hold the program at two locations, from 5 p.m. in Hajdúböszörmény, at the Faculty of Child Education and Special Education of the University of Debrecen, and from 7 p.m. in Debrecen, at the main building on the University Square.

During the evening, for the first time, we can gain an insight into the secret world of cartoon dogs. Our four-legged pets are not only around us in real life, but they can also be found in large numbers in cartoons, just think of the 101 puppies, Clifford the big red dog, Frakk, the scaredy-cats, or even Scooby-Doo. The list can be continued almost endlessly, many of us know and love these funny animal figures. However, an important question is what role do dogs play in cartoons? What types appear most often and why? Do we rarely think about the historical, cultural and unique stories behind individual dog characters? Participants can test their knowledge of cartoon dogs during a playful quiz, and then gain insight into the cultural background stories of the fictional blokes. Coloring pages depicting cartoon dogs are also waiting for the little ones.

As a continuation of the program, real dogs arrive, including those with special skills who help people’s lives as assistance dogs. In an interactive presentation, the volunteers of the AURA Helping Dog Foundation and their dogs will show you everything a therapy dog needs to know. In Hungary, world-class regulations ensure that only trained dog and handler pairs can perform animal assistance work. The exam is not easy, the individual tasks test both the ability and knowledge of the four-legged helpers. Those interested can learn about these tasks during the evening.
At the end of the Researchers’ Night, a round table discussion will take place with psychologists, psychiatrists, dog trainers, anthropologists and cultural researchers about the role of companion animals in today’s modern world, paying particular attention to the health-oriented approach to the human-animal relationship. We will talk about the changed social view of keeping companion animals, the positive psychological effects of keeping companion animals, such as the facilitating effect of social well-being, and how animal-assisted therapies and animal-assisted occupations can be integrated into healing and education.

The organizers welcome everyone from the youngest to the oldest to the event, visiting the programs is free and no prior registration is required. More information about the event can be found in the Facebook event.

The detailed program:

The Secret World of Cartoon Dogs – Playful Quiz and Presentation
– 17.00-17.30 Hajdúböszörmény, University of Debrecen GYGYK Conference Hall (Désány I. 1-9)
– 19.00-19.30 Debrecen, University of Debrecen main building 1st floor kerengő (Egyetem tér 1.)
What does a therapy dog need to know? – interactive demonstration with the participation of dogs
– 17.30-18.30 Hajdúböszörmény, University of Debrecen GYGYK Conference Hall (Désány I. 1-9)
– 19.30-20.30 Debrecen, University of Debrecen main building 1st floor kerengő (Egyetem tér 1.)
Animals in modern society – round table discussion
– 20.30-21.30 Debrecen, University of Debrecen main building 1st floor kerengő (Egyetem tér 1.)

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