by Chris P. Janelli, Executive Director
I can't believe summer's over. Even though we are in my favorite season, before you know it we'll be in another holiday season with Christmas promotions bombarding us even before Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone. I guess it is all part of the accelerating speed at which we live today brought to us by (among many things) technology.
As usual, much has happened since the start of 2019. We completed our third mega study that has generated such a massive amount of data that it looks like there will be multiple findings papers to be published from the current and future analysis of the data. The vast amount of data that has been collected from our three major studies has provided the opportunity to go back and dig deeper, particularly with certain breeds that will be one of the Center's 2020 goals. The upside to this is that Nick and his team will be able to more fully analyze and report on important findings as we close in on the Center's primary goal, which is to find solutions to behavior that lead to surrender in order to help veterinarians, trainers and dog owners better understand behavior issues, treatments, who best to provide them, expected outcomes and time frames.
While all of this is ongoing, because we do not plan for another near-term mega study we decided to initiate a program to continue gathering small amounts of data through surveys that would also keep our members engaged and participating in our research; and ones that could be easily promoted not just to CCBS members but also via Facebook and Instagram that are being managed by our newest team member Steph Tobin.
You can learn more about our new Mini Study series at the Center's Mini Surveys web page, but in a nutshell each Mini Study survey is focused on one hypothesis, has a limited number of questions and is designed to be completed in 5 minutes per dog. The first one - A Study to Investigate the Effects of Early Life Influences - is open right now and is seeking dog guardians that have had their dog since puppyhood and took them to puppy training classes.
As of September 26, over 650 dog guardians have completed the survey. This is a pretty good response because not everyone has had their fur friend since puppyhood. So many lucky dogs have been adopted into their forever home at all ages and thus have no history pertaining to this puppy training study. So the good news is it’s been a strong response and the better new is future mini surveys that cover all our dog friends should be even better! On the downer side, the funding support for this study has generated just $920 to date from about 23 donors, one of whom gave $500. Hopefully, both participants and donors in our future mini studies will significantly increase.
This survey is going to close on October 4th, so you still have time to visit the survey launch page and participate NOW if you haven't already. If you have, thank you and please keep sharing this study with all of your dog friends. The final results of this study will be disseminated as quickly as possible. I want to personally thank each and every one in the CCBS family who took the time to participate in this initial study. Please watch for the next study.
Over the years we have been asked often by many of our dual dog-cat owning members why we have limited ourselves to just canines. Well, the simple answer is we simply don't have the people power and time to do study both sufficiently. We focused on canines originally because of their long history with humankind as the most unique inter-species relationship in the Animal Kingdom. However, we do love cats and know that many of our members and their dogs have cats in their lives as well, so we have added the Center web category Cats Corner. If your dog has a cat in their life, you might enjoy some of the information and articles that Nick and team have found interesting and posted.
We are seeking another volunteer to join our team.
We are seeking someone who is proficient in wix email-communications who could take on the role of Director of Communications to support Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Nicholas Dodman and CEO Chris Janelli in getting out communications. Other wix proficiencies would be a major plus. The position will not require much time, but will occasionally require timeliness. If you think you would like to help, please send an email to Chris Janelli at ExecutiveDirector@Centerforcaninebehaviorstudies.org.
Who doesn't love puppies!!
Click below to see a great photo of seven puppies from Canine Companions for Independence Class of 2019 at the Duke Canine Cognition Center's puppy kindergarten, the leading assistance dog non-profit in the U.S.
"The puppies are part of a long-term study funded by the National Institutes of Health to assess the effects that different rearing strategies have on the behavior and cognitive development of assistance dogs. The dogs will be trained to perform a variety of tasks like opening doors, turning on lights, picking up objects that are dropped out of reach and alerting their human partners to important sounds." You can watch their video here.
We wish our friends at Duke Canine Cognition Center and all the pups great success and look forward to following their progress.
In closing, from all of us at the Center we want to thank you for being part of the CCBS family and taking the time to participate in our studies to make the lives of both dog owners and their companion canines better, stronger and life-lasting.
Like any research organization, we are only as strong as the people who support us and I hope, if you haven't already, will consider contributing to our work and growth that is out-pacing our financial wherewithal.
Have a great Fall and we'll talk again in December.