In early 2019, the Anthrozoology Research Group opened their second workspace – the Dog Hub – at La Trobe University’s largest campus. Located just outside of Melbourne, Australia, the Dog Hub has provided metropolitan staff and students the opportunity to participate in exciting new research. This includes volunteering to help raise, socialise and train assistance dogs for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In partnership with the Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs Australia, our fantastic volunteers bring their puppies to the campus for weekly training and socialisation. Following COVID-19 and with the move back to in-person learning, these dogs are even joining students in their lectures!
Since its opening in 2015, students at the Dog Lab at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus have been hard at work studying dog behaviour and cognition. The Dog Lab is a dry laboratory, meaning that we have no live-in animals and we do not practise anything invasive. Past research has explored dogs’ visual processing, and the use of clicker training.
Currently, our Dog Lab works with community volunteers and their dogs for deployment in scent detection work. Our research also focuses on the human-animal relationship, including studying the optimal model of raising assistance dogs, and how assistance animals may help their handlers to thrive.