Different dogs have their own distinct personalities and cognitive abilities. But how do these affect their real world behavior as they make decisions and interact with others? How do dogs' hormonal responses and microbiome composition correspond to their behavior? I created the Centre County Canine Cognition (C4) Project to answer these questions.
This research takes place at Tudek Dog Park in State College, PA. I observe dogs' behavior in the dog park as they interact with other dogs and people. The dog owners fill out surveys about their dogs' personality traits. The dogs also participate in a series of fun cognitive games that reveal how they think and solve problems. Finally, I collect saliva, hair, and fecal samples from the dogs to analyze their cortisol levels and microbiome composition.
Do you have a dog in the State College area and are interested in participating? Fill out our interest form to let me know.
Are you a Penn State undergraduate looking for research opportunities? Contact me to see how you can get involved.