Canine College Internship

Canine College is a veterinary student run program devoted to the enrichment of dogs housed within the CVM.  Veterinary students participate in a variety of skills laboratories that provide hands-on experience in the handling and physical examination of dogs. A stock colony of purpose-bred research dogs is maintained to help meet this learning objective. Several years ago, concern was raised following receipt of complaints from students and instructors that some of the dogs were fearful, hard to examine, and/or uncooperative during the labs. In response, the Canine College program was started.

The purpose of the Canine College internship program is to provide undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine the opportunity to participate in the enrichment of laboratory animals through Canine College. Upon completion of the program the student will have a better understanding of canine behavior and training techniques, an introduction to laboratory animal medicine, access to veterinary school lecture series, and create relationships with current veterinary students and CVM staff.

Intern Expectations

  • Students will be paired with a dog for the semester to provide a consistent interaction and be able to track the efficacy of the program.
  • Weekly interaction with dog focusing on four areas:
  1. Condition stock dog to the tasks asked of them during teaching labs
  2. Trains dog to leash-walking and other simple commands (e.g., sit, stand, down)
  3. Enhance enrichment of stock dog by increased human contact and activity
  4. Promote behavioral modification and humane handling techniques
  • Students must attend large-group and hands-on orientation sessions that provide a framework for the Canine College objectives and positive reinforcement-based training approach, an overview of the regulatory environment, and an introduction to biosecurity and the health and safety issues associated with working with animals.
  • Students document their participation using a group-access Google Drive document, including progress and challenges for each dog they interact with; this serves as a record of improvement, as well as working notes for the next person who works with a given dog.

Program Outcomes

At the end of the internship, students will have gained:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of behavioral conditioning, training, and enrichment of canines
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of animal care within laboratory animal medicine
  • Networking opportunities with current veterinary students and CVM employees
  • Students will be assigned a veterinary student mentor
  • Unique animal experience that can be put onto veterinary school applications
  • Opportunities to attend lunch meetings, lectures, and club meetings at the CVM

Internship Requirements and Application Procedures

Application Procedure:

Applications are submitted electronically to VetPAC using the URL below:

Canine College Application

You will need to submit your 1) resume, 2) tentative class schedule, 3) unofficial transcript, 4) letter of intent include your strengths and what you hope to gain from the internship (1 page in length), and names, title and contact information of two references. Students will be contacted and interviews scheduled prior to final selection. Internship shifts are scheduled by Canine College Staff with input from selected candidates prior to acceptance of internship position.

Students accepted into this program will be required to make a semester long commitment to the internship in order to receive their certification. The number of interns accepted each semester may vary due to the needs of Canine College, with a maximum of 10 per semester.

Spring and Fall Semesters:

Interns are required to complete a minimum of one interaction per week. Each interaction is about 1.5 hours in length based on time to park, change into appropriate uniform, and time spent with dog. Canine College hours are 7-5 pm Monday-Friday and 1-3 pm Saturday-Sunday. The final schedule is arranged with Canine College staff.

Program completion:

After completing the program the student may have the opportunity to apply for the K9 College Internship Coordinator position to become a student trainer for the next group of interns and take on more responsibility within the program. Additionally, students can choose to become a foster parent for adoptable dogs

Application Deadlines:

Fall semester applications must be received by 30th March, with interviews being conducted by 15th April. Spring semester applications must be received by 21th October at 5:00pm.

Eligibility Requirements

GPA- 3.0 cGPA
Academic Standing- Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors and Non-Degree Seeking (NDS) students
Coursework- BIO 181 and BIO 183 are required.  ZO 250 or ANS 205 is preferred.