Want to legally mail your dog’s poop? How about share your dog’s likes and dislikes? Citizen science makes it possible for anyone in the world to contribute to real scientific studies, and when it comes to dogs, your help is much needed.
Whether you’re into collecting and providing data — anything from a poop or saliva sample to a dog video — or you'd like to comment on dog jealousy, eating habits, or personality, there’s a project out there for you. Take just 5 minutes or 50 hours (or more!) and join an ongoing dog citizen science project.
Last year I published a list of 10 online canine science projects. This year I’m back with an updated list of 19 projects seeking participants from anywhere in the world. Most of the projects listed below are active throughout 2015, but the first few will end soon, in one case, as early as tomorrow! So get dog sciencing!
Dog Ownership, Behaviour and Health survey
Ends June 30, 2015
Share details about your dog’s health and behavior.
Racing Greyhound Management Survey
Ends July 3, 2015
Researchers from the UK and Australia are conducting an international survey on peoples’ perceptions of racing greyhounds. Stay in touch at
Why Do Dogs Do What They Do?
Ends July 31, 2015
This survey investigates the factors influencing dog behavior and is open to dog- and non-dog owners alike. Participants also have the opportunity to win an Amazon voucher worth £150. More at @ABCWelfare
What's That Behavior?
Ends July 31, 2015
In this project, watch a short video and identify the dog's behavior category. That's right. You get to watch a dog video. What are you waiting for? Stay in touch on Facebook
Who’s Your Daddy?
Ends September 30, 2015
A vet student at the Royal Veterinary College in London is collecting details on where people acquire their dog as well as details about their dog’s health.
The following projects will be active throughout 2015 (and maybe longer). All are in English, and a few are in multiple langugages.
Canine Microbiome and Behavior Project
Is there a relationship between gut bacteria, health and behavior? Researchers are seeking samples of your dog’s stool, along with information on your dog’s health and behavior.
Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Attachment Bond between Humans and Pet Dogs
Are there cultural effects of dog ownership? This study investigates the attachments between pet dogs and their owners across cultures and environments. Researchers are seeking participants who are Latinos or non-Latinos living in the U.S., as well as Latinos living in Mexico.
Long-Term Dog Owner Survey
What factors lead people and dogs to stay companions over many many years? This survey seeks participants who have lived with a dog for at least three years.
Dog Relinquishment Survey
What factors contribute to people giving up a dog? If you have voluntarily given up a dog for any reason, this judgement-free project would like to hear from you. Read more about this project in an earlier Dog Spies post.
Dog Personality Survey
Can personality traits in dogs be traced from genes through the brain to behavior? Contribute to surveys exploring common core traits in dogs.
Your Dog, Inside and Out
How active is your dog, and how much food does he eat? Complete a survey to help researchers understand the relationship between activity level, feeding and a dog’s body condition. As mentioned above, you can elect to provide a sample of your dog’s saliva for DNA analysis.
Jealousy in Dogs
Happy, sad, but how about jealous? This questionnaire gathers your thoughts on jealousy in dogs. If you’d like, you can also share a video of when you consider your dog to be showing jealous behavior.
Canid Howl Project
What noise do wolves, dogs and coyotes make? Listen to vocalizations and learn to analyze the recordings. You can even share canid vocalizations, too.
Dog Personality and Vocalization Project
Is there a relationship between a dog’s genetic profile, their personality and how vocal they are? Complete a short questionnaire, and then provide two optional pieces of information: conduct a short behavior test with your dog and share the results and/or send the researchers a sample of your dog’s saliva for DNA analysis.
IS YOUR DOG LOUD?
So many noises coming from one species! Tell researchers about the different noises coming out of your dog. Participate in English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish or Hungarian. Read more about this project in an earlier Dog Spies post.
Emotional Content of Sounds
What do you hear in these sounds? Listen to noises and then rate them on how arousing they seem. Instructions in both English and Hungarian.
How do people react to everyday sounds, like dog barks? Woof!
Dognition members can sign up and play a variety of science-based games with their dog. Compare dog performance with that of other players.
Canine Behavior Assessment & Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ)
The C-BARQ is the longest-running questionnaire collecting data on dog temperament and behavior, and it has been the data source for countless studies. Contribute details about your dog’s behavior to the C-BARQ today.
Co-Sleeping With Dogs
Night, night. Where does everyone in your household hunker down at night? This survey investigates the sleeping habits of people and their pets, especially if you share the same bed or room (co-sleeping). Participate in English, German, or Hungarian. Consider completing this questionnaire before you go to sleep tonight.
Know of more online, dog citizen sciene projects that anyone in the world can join? Add them to the comments section below.
For updates on dog-related citizen science projects, check out the Dog Science Group (@mymoderndog) curated by Dr. Mark Evans (@MarkEvansTV), former RSPCA Chief veterinarian, and Dr. Emily Blackwell (@DrEmilyB), a lecturer in canine behaviour and welfare at the University of Bristol. Sign up and get updates on dog science projects that interest you!