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Take part in our dog studies

The dogs that take part in our studies are normal pet dogs living with their owner. We are interested in dogs that live in their natural environment – together with humans. Nearly any dog can take part in our studies, independent of age, breed, sex, whether trained or not. The dog only needs to fulfill three requirements.

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Requirements for your dog's participation

Examples for the study procedure

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Study procedure

For the individual studies, playful settings are established. Your dog will be presented with a problem to solve, with either food or toys serving as reward. Your dog's participation is always voluntary. We are constantly aiming to make your dog's stay in the testing rooms as comfortable as possible. Only a content and motivated dog will be able to prove all of their skills. For longer study sessions there will be breaks during which your dog gets to play with other dogs or with the person supervising the study. Your permission will be asked about this beforehand. We are also happy to provide you with a copy of your dog’ s study participation.


The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History maintains a dog database, in which the information of interested dog owners and their dogs is saved. We select potential participants from this database, call their owners and invite them. The inclusion in our dog database does not obligate you to participate. If, for instance, you receive a call and the date for the dog study is inconvenient for you, you are always free to decline participation without giving any reasons. In addition we guarantee that your data will not be passed on to unauthorized individuals and that a deletion from the database is possible at any time.

Study duration

The length of the individual studies might vary from ten minutes to more than one hour. For some studies you will be invited only once whereas other studies imply several sessions. Of course you will be informed about the duration prior to your participation. How frequently your dog will be invited to our studies depends on the study and your dog’s motivation, but also on your own interest. Usually your dog will not be invited more often than three or four times a year.

Where to find us

Please click on the image to find the institute

entrance at the institute

Lab entrance

entrance at the institute

Registration for studies

If you and your dog would like to take part in our dog research, we would be happy to register you in our database to invite you to one of our studies. For this purpose, please fill in this registration form and send it to the following address:

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Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Dog Studies
Kahlaische Strasse 10
07745 Jena, Germany

or by email to: hundestudienshh.mpg.de
with subject: Registration of a dog

You can also phone us if you have questions or would like to register your dog:
Juliane Bräuer +49 (0)3641/ 686 935.
or visit us at facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hundestudien/