What activities could my dog be involved in?

Dogs are often asked to come into the University to take part in a variety of projects. These projects generally fall into one of three categories:

1. Behaviour/Training Tasks: These projects typically involve your dog being trained a new skill. Most dogs find these tasks to be great fun and very rewarding!

2. Observational: These projects often involve simply watching your dog in certain situations or circumstances. You might be amazed at what your dog can teach us!

3. Training Skills Practicals: These are student based practicals. Our undergraduate and postgraduate students hone their training skills by refining their handling and teaching dogs various tasks.

Dog traininer explaining to dog

We will also occasionally have online surveys that dog owners can take part in. Check here for current surveys. There will sometimes be the opportunity to do some at home training too – we may ask you to video your dog so that our researchers can see how they respond to training, or to observe their behaviour!

Past Projects:

A Closer Look at Separation Anxiety in Dogs
A study by academics at the University of Lincoln, UK, and the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Kosice, Slovakia, aims to improve our understanding of dogs’ behaviour in the owner’s absence. Read more about this study here.

Word Generalisation by a Dog: Is Shape Important?
Researchers at the University of Lincoln worked with Gable the Border Collie on a project which investigated how dogs associate words with objects. Read more about the project in The New York Times or for a free-access copy of the full research paper, visit Plos One.

Can Dogs Sense Emotion?
Have you ever thought that your dog can tell when you’re angry or upset? Watch this video from BBC’s Horizon: The Secret Life of the Dog, featuring our very own Professor Daniel Mills exploring whether dogs are able to sense people’s emotions by looking at their facial expressions!

The Canine Frustration Questionnaire
Some of you will have been involved in this! Our veterinary resident, Kevin McPeake, created a survey which has led to the development of a new screen to assess frustration in domestic dogs. This screen is now used in our Animal Behaviour Clinic. Kevin then ran practical tests to validate the questionnaire, where dogs took part in several different activities at Minster House. If you would like to know more, you can read the full paper here.