Life Experience Study

life experience study

dog collage

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 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 (click here to read more), which is one reason for the different behaviors we see across breeds. What we don’t understand yet, is how this brain development and function is influenced by each dog’s environment and experiences. Help us find out! 

This is a multi-stage research project. The first stage is a simple online survey that is currently open for participation. It will take approximately 15-25 minutes to complete the survey, and we will be holding a lottery draw for twenty $50 gift cards at the end of the study. Future stages of the project will include opportunities for dogs to participate in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans at Harvard, and genetic testing via cheek swab that can be mailed from your home. Participating in this survey does not obligate you to participate in future stages of the project. 

Who can participate? Anyone who is over the age of 18, speaks English, and is the owner of a dog may participate in the survey study. We are interested in learning about dogs of any age and from any breed (and mixed breed too). The more diversity the better!. 


Take the survey!

Canine Brains Project