Duke Canine Cognition Center

The Duke Canine Cognition Center is dedicated to the study of dog cognition. Founded in 2009, it was the first on campus center of its kind in the United States. Our goal is to understand the flexibility and limitations of dog cognition and how it compares to other animals, including our closest living relatives, the great apes.  Doing so can help us understand how our own minds evolved, since over the past decade, we have found that dog and human minds converge in astounding ways. 

Understanding the dog mind will help us support dogs in their many jobs in society, from being a part of the family, to bomb detection, to assisting people with disabilities.

We are proud to partner with Canine Companions, the largest service dog organization in the US, and Ears, Eyes, Nose and Paws, our local service dog organization in North Carolina, as well as our favorite wolf pack, the Wildlife Science Center in Minnesota. 

wolf puppy
Enroll your dog to participate in our studies at the Duke Canine Cognition Center by filling out our online Dog Registration Form.

We are interested in the cognition of dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds (including mixed breeds). Once enrolled, dogs will be eligible to participate in fun cognitive games at the Duke Canine Cognition Center.

We contact dog owners based on the requirements of each of our research projects. This may mean that you are not contacted immediately, but we try to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate). Also keep in mind that we have thousands of dogs signed up and cannot test everyone at once. However, we plan to study the dog mind for many years to come, so hopefully we will meet you and your dog soon! 

dog testing
Testing Sessions

Depending on the study each testing sessions takes around 45 mins to 1.5hrs. Once at the center dog owners will need to fill out a few forms while your dog gets acquainted with the facility before the games can begin. After the session, members of the research team will be happy to discuss your dog’s performance and answer any questions you may have.


Scheduling is flexible. We do our best to work with all parties involved to find a good time for each test session. Appointments are available on weekdays as well as weeknights and weekends.


The Duke Canine Cognition Center is located on Duke University's West Campus in the Biological Sciences Building in Durham, North Carolina.

Our address is 130 Science Drive, and we are in the subbasement (room 002A). Park in the Bryan Center Parking Garage for easiest access.

(919) 613-6976 • dukedogcognition@gmail.com



Related Research Groups and Collaborators

Arizona Canine Cognition Center (Dr. Evan MacLean)

Yale University Canine Cognition Center (Dr. Laurie Santos)

Wildlife Science Center, Stacy, MN (Peggy Callahan)

The Family Dog Project, Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary.  (Dr. Adam Miklosi, Dr. Marta Gacsi, Dr. Eniko Kubinyi, Dr. Gabriella Lakotos, and Dr. Peter Pongracz)

Department of Comparative and Developmental Psychology @ the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Dr. Mike Tomasello, Dr. Josep Call and Dr. Julianne Kaminski)

Evolutionary Genetics @ the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Dr. Svante Paabo)

Clever Dog Lab @ University of Wien, Austria

Wolf Science Center @ University of Wien, Austria (Dr. Friederike Range, Dr. Kurt Kotschal, and Dr. Zsofia Viranyi)

Canine Cognition Laboratory, University of Florida (Dr. Clive Wynne)

Center for the interaction of animals and society, U of Penn. (Dr. James Serpell)

The Hood Dog Study @ Hood College

Top Journals Publishing Research on Dog Cognition

Animal Behavior Society

Animal Behaviour

Animal Cognition

Journal of Comparative Psychology