Every two years the dogs convene. Of course, I don’t mean actual dogs, I mean the people who study them. But then again I don’t mean just dogs either, I mean dogs, wolves, and related canids. And while we’re on it, I don’t just mean the people who study them, because anyone can attend the Canine Science Forum (Facebook).

Confused? How about this: picture all the headlines you’ve seen about dogs in the last two years, and then remember that people (and a lot of companion dogs and other canids) are behind those headlines. The Canine Science Forum is where researchers behind the headlines convene every two years to present and discuss their latest projects.

As the main international meeting devoted to canine cognition, behavior, ecology and biology, the Canine Science Forum draws not just researchers but dog enthusiasts like former executive editor at New York magazine John Homans, who wrote about the second Canine Science Forum in Vienna in his book What's a Dog For?: The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man's Best Friend. Held every two years, this interdisciplinary conference brings together scientists with different expertise on canines. And this year, we’re going to Italy!

Padova, Italy is the spot for this year’s Canine Science Forum, June 29 - July 1, 2016. This means if you go, you get to go to Italy! The program features invited speakers specializing in cooperation, visual perception, wolf ecology and conservation, vocal communication, working and service dogs, the dog-human relationship, canine olfaction, and more. We’ll also hear from Dr. Anna Kis, the recipient of the Early Career Scientist Award for her work on the effect of oxytocin on human-directed social behavior in dogs.

This is only part of the conference program. The rest is up to you. If you’re involved in any area of canine science, consider submitting an abstract to the Canine Science Forum. The scope of the conference is quite broad, as it aims to “enhance communication between various fields,” so talks might cover anything from canine genetics and temperament / personality to training methods and environmental enrichment and much much more (the scope is described here).

Abstracts are due by March 10, 2016 so, uhm, get to it if you’re planning to submit. Conference registration continues through June, although the price goes up on April 1.

See you in Italy?

Image: Italian Wolf © Andrea Losi; The Canine Science Forum logo is property of the Forum.