If you have a stressed out busy working life - then the answer is simple… get a Havanese.
Nicknamed the Velcro Dog - because it sticks so closely to its owners side - the Havanese proved the best at busting stress levels in a study conducted by the Kennel Club.
They ran a stress busting clinic for stressed out London executives, and discovered that the Havanese came out top.
They measured participants' heart rates, blood pressure and cognitive thinking ability, and those who spent time with four month old Havanese pup Dora showed the biggest decrease in stress levels.
The Havanese has been found to be the best dog for reducing stress levels, according to a Kennel Club study. Pictured is psychologist Sophie Hall, who monitored the stress levels of participants
Psychologist Sophie Hall, from the University of Lincoln, who monitored the stress levels at the clinic which took place in Hackney, London, last week, said: ‘The calming effects of owning a dog is well documented, and we saw this at the experiment today.
‘Heart rates generally dropped and the responses from those who undertook the trial appeared to show a positive influence on stress levels.'
Amongst those who attended the first of its kind clinic, run by the Kennel Club, was a Metropolitan police officer, two City insurance workers and a London midwife.
Each person had their stress levels monitored before interacting with the puppies, which included a Chihuahua, a Golden Retriever, a Cocker Spaniel, a Havenese and a Eurasier.
Dog lover and former sprinter Iwan Thomas is seen cuddling up to a Havenese pup during the stress-busting clinic
Midwife Sinead McDermott spent time with a golden retriever at the clinic, in a bid to reduce her stress levels
Each person was also set a puzzle task before and after playing with the puppies, to measure their cognitive function and productivity levels.
A spokeswoman for the Kennel Club, Heidi Ancell-Day, said: ‘All the puppies produced calming effects. A lot of people nowadays have a stressful job and whether its working in or outside the city, those stress levels can be reduced by interacting with puppies.
‘The Havanese had the most productive results and seemed to have the most calming effect of them all.
‘It’s a lovely breed of dog and has won many admirers with its long silky hair and cuddly size. It actually has the nickname the Velcro Dog because it sticks so closely to its owners side.’
During the study, they measured participants' heart rates, blood pressure and cognitive thinking ability. Pictured is Iwan Thomas completing a crossword
Those who spent time with four month old Havanese pup Dora (pictured) showed the biggest decrease in stress levels
The clinic was also attended by dog lover and former sprinter Iwan Thomas, who has just taken part in Bear Grylls Celebrity Island.
He said: ‘We got to test our heart rate and how we coped with a timed crossword both before and after petting a puppy and it had a great effect. It has really shown people the lovely calming effect that having a dog has on your lifestyle.’
Sinead McDermott, 44, has worked for many years as a labour ward midwife in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
She said: ‘As wonderful as midwifery is as a profession it can be very stressful. There are many factors factors contributing to stress in the workplace, however ones in midwifery are staff shortages and sickness which can result in higher work loads and unsafe practice.
However, all the dogs seemed to have a positive influence on the stress levels of those who took part
Other dogs that took part included chihuahua Banjo. Peter Blackburn was seen measuring his heart rate as he cuddled up to the puppy
All the participants enjoyed petting the dogs at the clinics, with heart rates going down
‘I went to Ireland every year to visit my grandparents during the summer holidays and they always had dogs, such as a labradors and Irish setters.
‘After spending time with the puppies my heart rate came down.'
Ian MacIver, a city insurance worker, said: ‘Working long hours in the city can be incredibly stressful but I couldn’t believe what positive impact spending time with the puppy had on me. it completely takes your mind off anything else thats going on.'
The stress clinic will be available to visit as a one-off this weekend at the Eukanuba Discover Dogs - London’s largest dog event - at Excel London.