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Canine Brains Project

Dog Life Experience Study

Free Indoors

Understand dog behavior.

Anywhere
  • Ongoing
Citizen ScienceAnimalsEcology & EnvironmentPsychologylife historydogscaninedogsciencesurveyreactivitynature and nurtureresearchfearbehavior
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The Dog Life Experience Study.
Why are some dogs fearless, and others timid? Why do some love to make new canine and human friends, while others respond with anxiety or reactivity to new people or situations? Dogs show a wide range of temperaments and personalities. What factors lead to this variation? In this multi-phase study, we are trying to find out!
Past work in our lab found that selective breeding has led to differences in the brain anatomy across dog breed groups, which is one reason for the different behaviors we see across breeds. But a crucial unanswered question is how this brain development and function is influenced by each dog’s environment and life experiences. For example, if a dog has a history of traumatic experiences such as living in a shelter or being attacked by another dog, is he or she more likely to develop different behavior profiles and neural connections? To answer this question, we have designed 3 phases of the Dog Life Experience study.
Phase 1: Online Surveys. The first phase (currently ongoing) consists of two separate online surveys that ask about your dog’s past experiences and current behavior. The first survey will take approximately 15-25 minutes to complete, and the second survey is about 10-15 minutes. This phase is separate from the subsequent phases, and you’re not obligated to participate in the later phases.
Who can participate in Phase 1? Anyone who speaks English and cares for a dog is invited to join the study. We are interested in learning about dogs of any age and of any breed (and mixed breed dogs too). It doesn’t matter if you adopted your dog as an adult or if they’ve lived with you since puppyhood – the more diversity in the study the better! We are particularly interested in hearing about dogs that have some history of adversity or that show elevated levels of fear or reactive behavior. Ultimately though, we want to hear about as many dogs as possible to ensure that the study is truly representative.

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Ticket Required: No

Minimum Age: 13

Languages: English

Provided to SNM by
SciStarter

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