Canine College Internship

Canine College is an internship program for undergraduate students devoted to the enrichment, and advancement of care for dogs housed within the CVM. A stock colony of purpose-bred research dogs is maintained to help veterinary students meet learning objectives through hands-on teaching labs. The purpose of the Canine College program is to provide pre-veterinary students the opportunity to participate in the enrichment and care of laboratory animals while conducting a semester-long project related to the enrichment and care of laboratory animals. Upon completion of the program, students will have a better understanding of canine behavior and training techniques, an introduction to laboratory animal medicine, and relationships with CVM staff and veterinary students.


Intern Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Students will be paired with several dogs for the semester to provide consistent interaction and be able to track the efficacy of the program.
  • Weekly interaction with dogs will focus on four areas:
    • Condition stock dogs to the tasks asked of them during teaching labs 
    • Train dogs on leash-walking and other simple commands (e.g., sit, stand, down)
    • Enhance enrichment of stock dogs by increased human contact and activity
    • 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 factors associated with working with animals. 
  • Each intern will work on a semester long project, which may serve as potential future research opportunities with their assigned dogs. 
  • Each intern will also complete a case report on a dog of their choosing.
    • Each student will be responsible for creating a case report as a means to summarize their interactions with their dogs.

Previous Canine College Projects

Previous Canine College interns have utilized new and existing data to create projects that include the following:

  • New data analysis: creating a real time data display of dog and student interactions, progression, and behavior to be used to update members on canine college performance, as well as provide a foundation for overall program efficacy evaluation.   
  • Previous data analysis: organizing and analyzing data from previous program years for key metrics of program efficacy, canine performance and adaptability, and student participation. 
  • Creating a Canine College newsletter: establishing a framework for club communications, university communications, and LAR communications regarding canine college progress and updating key stakeholders at appropriate intervals throughout the semester.
  • Dog identification catalog: creating a PowerPoint presentation of canine college dogs with each slide containing a picture of the dog in question, their name, and a brief blurb to serve as a tool for dog identification. The blurb will contain historical training data, training motivators (pets, treats, praise), and current training state.

Spring and Fall Semesters:

  • Interns are required to complete a minimum of one session per week. Each session is about 1.5 hours in length including time to park, change into appropriate uniform, and time spent with the dog.
  • Canine College hours are 9:00am-2:00pm Monday-Friday. 
  • Internship shifts are flexible to a student’s individual schedule within the time frame of established LAR hours of operation.
  • Students will check in with Canine College staff before starting sessions. Students must stay up to date with Canine College communications before starting shift.

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 CVM staff and veterinary students
  • Unique animal experience that can be put onto veterinary school applications
  • Certificate of completion
  • Graduation ceremony
  • Open house to present research projects to CVM faculty and staff

Application Requirements

The application window for the Fall 2024 Canine College Internship is March 27th  through April 5th, 2024. Interview offers will be sent by April 10th, 2024.

The mandatory, in-person Orientation for selected applicants will be Monday (time & date TBA) at CVM LAR. 

This program has 2 internship opportunities per year: spring and fall.

Eligibility Requirements

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

Minimum GPA of 3.30

Application Materials:

Applications must be submitted via the Internship Application Form with the following attachments:

  • Letter of Intent including your strengths and what you hope to gain from the internship (1 page in length)
  • Current resume
  • Tentative class schedule
  • Unofficial copy of your most recent transcript (transfer students must provide copies of their NCSU transcript and unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions)

Students will be contacted and interviews scheduled prior to final selection. Students accepted into this program will be required to make a semester long commitment to the internship in order to receive their certification.