Working Dog Training for the Twenty-First Century

Nathaniel J. Hall, Angie M. Johnston, Emily E. Bray, Cynthia M. Otto, Evan L. MacLean, Monique A.R. Udell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dogs are trained for a variety of working roles including assistance, protection, and detection work. Many canine working roles, in their modern iterations, were developed at the turn of the 20th century and training practices have since largely been passed down from trainer to trainer. In parallel, research in psychology has advanced our understanding of animal behavior, and specifically canine learning and cognition, over the last 20 years; however, this field has had little focus or practical impact on working dog training. The aims of this narrative review are to (1) orient the reader to key advances in animal behavior that we view as having important implications for working dog training, (2) highlight where such information is already implemented, and (3) indicate areas for future collaborative research bridging the gap between research and practice. Through a selective review of research on canine learning and behavior and training of working dogs, we hope to combine advances from scientists and practitioners to lead to better, more targeted, and functional research for working dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number646022
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jul 27 2021


  • assistance dogs
  • behavior
  • conditioning
  • detection dogs
  • learning
  • training
  • working dogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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