Mascot Handlers participate in the training and care, transportation to events, and sharing our official live mascot’s story with Runnin’ Bulldog fans of all ages.

Under the direction of the Marketing and Communications department, a mascot handler’s mission is to actively promote Gardner-Webb through working with the live mascot and university constituents, while upholding the values, ethics and traditions of GWU.

Interested in becoming a handler?

Applications for students interested in becoming a Mascot Handler for the 2023-2024 academic year is open.

Applicants for the Little Dawg positions must be currently enrolled as a undergraduate student at Gardner-Webb. Individuals should be able to commit a minimum of one academic year to the program, have previous experience with live animals and working with people of all ages at large and small-scale events is preferred. Students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Care and Safety

Our live mascot’s physical and mental well-being are priorities for the university.

A university staff member (and family) will serve as Bo’s caretakers and others across the campus community will be designated to provide daily attention, support and training for him. Hope Animal Hospital in Shelby, N.C., will provide veterinary services.

His “parents” ensure he has access to fresh water and receives high-quality meals at regular intervals, along with the veterinarian-recommended daily exercise and grooming. He has a comfortable bed in his campus office where he can rest during the day, and he goes home with his parents every night where he has lots of space to run and play.

Our live mascot’s appearances are carefully planned, by our team of handlers, to help the public interact with him in a way that is beneficial to everyone.


For additional information or if you have questions regarding Gardner-Webb Mascot Handlers, please contact Theandra Thompson or Alexa Key.