Participate with Your Dog

Is your dog interested in

participating in our studies?

We investigate dogs’ learning in a variety of contexts including dogs’ physical problem-solving abilities (e.g., how to get treats out of puzzles) and their understanding of social information (e.g., following a pointing gesture or learning from a demonstration). Our research takes the form of short, interactive games and training exercises that are designed to be fun and engaging to dogs. We record dogs’ actions when interacting with people, toys, and puzzles, and the choices they make to learn more about their understanding of the world. Our findings help us understand how our canine companions’ minds work, which can also help us to improve programs for dogs who are trained to help humans. Learn more about the different types of studies that we run below.

To participate in our research studies, your dog:

  • must be up to date on rabies vaccinations (we will need to see a valid tag or certificate upon visiting the lab)
  • must be generally healthy at the time of participation
  • must not have a record of aggression toward humans
  • ​must be 4 months or older

If you are interested in participating with your dog, please fill out our online questionnaire so we can get to know a bit more about your dog!

Types of Studies:

Dog and puzzle box

In-Person Studies

Our in-person studies are conducted on the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island. Some of our study activities take place outdoors (e.g. taking the dog for a walk) and some activities will take place in our lab space in the Metcalf Research Building at 190 Thayer St., Providence RI. You will schedule a time to bring your dog to campus to take part in our studies. With your consent, your dog will be videotaped during the study. The session will last for 30-60 minutes. 

Virtual Studies

In our virtual studies, one of our researchers will video conference with you and your dog and guide you through one of our studies. In your new role as a canine cognition experimenter, you will engage in one of our short, interactive games with your dog while one of our researchers observes over video conferencing. The objects you will use in your virtual experiment are household items, such as plates, post-it notes (or similar), and dog treats.

Please visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions about participating in our research studies. If you still have questions, contact us!


We are located in the Metcalf Research Building on the Brown University campus.

Address: 190 Thayer Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Contact Us


Phone: 401-863-2070