Dogs provide valuable support for children when they are worried or stressed - according to a study undertaken at the University of Florida. The study, which observed 100 pet owning families, asked children to complete public speaking and arithmetic tasks, with either a dog, their parent, or nobody present. Guess which experience boosted them the most? The one with a furry friend! Children experience significant drops in the stress hormone, cortisol, when they simply caress their dog. Of course, if you could only take one pooch home with you, it would have to be a cute little 'hot dog'.