The Duke Puppy Kindergarten is a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Health to assess the impact of different rearing strategies on the behavior and cognitive development of assistance dogs. The goal of the project is to increase the supply of assistance dogs and to see more dogs graduate and serve more people.
Each semester, over a hundred Duke undergraduates help raise puppies from Canine Companions from 8-20 weeks of age. The students also run the puppies through a range of cognitive games that will function as a kind of early aptitude testing, which will be used in the future as early identifiers of puppies who are most likely to graduate as assistance dogs.
Only members of the Duke community are eligible to volunteer for the Duke Puppy Kindergarten, and most volunteers are undergraduates. If you would like to apply to be a volunteer, please fill out this interest form.
Anyone is welcome to visit the Duke Puppy Kindergarten. Visiting hours are 14:00pm - 15:00pm Monday - Friday. Only 12 people are allowed in at a time, and all visitors must be masked. Visiting is free.
Tours and events are available upon request and fee. To enquire, please contact email@example.com
Visits from the puppies are also available upon request and fee. To enquire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org