Canine Welfare Science
Carefully curated educational resources for dog breeders, pet families, shelters, rescues, and all those who care for and about dogs.
Welcome to the Canine Welfare Science Resource Site
Here you will find a wealth of educational materials and resources that have been carefully collected to help those that care for dogs. On this site, you will find information that is based in science and addresses the behavioral, health, and environmental needs of dogs as well as resources that assist caretakers to positively impact the welfare of dogs in their care. By gathering this information in one location, we hope to provide a convenient source of evidence-based information that fuels continuous educational improvement.
This space aims to bridge both potential knowledge gaps and dog-centric communities in a shared quest to improve the welfare of dogs living in breeding, research, teaching and sheltering kennels. Helping to improve pet families’ knowledge on responsible dog sourcing and ownership is critical to accomplishing these goals. Translating current science to expand our impact on the quality of lives dogs and people experience together is essential to support the human-animal bond and help keep pets in their homes. Together, with knowledge and effort, we can improve the welfare of dogs.
What is Animal Welfare?
Animal welfare is how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives.
How do we know how well an animal is doing?
“An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.” -OIE This can be assessed through internal and external physiological measures as well as behavioral measures.
“The welfare of an individual is its state as regards to its attempts to cope with its environment.”
– D. Broom
Evolution of the Dog-Human bond
Knowledge about how dogs evolved and who they are today provides the justification for the protection of their welfare, illuminates specific areas of risk, and informs the interventions required to ensure their welfare is good.
VIsit the Learning Library
Our library is organized into the three areas of the canine welfare science curriculum: behavior, health, and environment. Each curriculum area is then divided into topics and each topic has a “Learning Library” that includes different types of resources. They range from peer-reviewed scientific journal articles to checklists, website links, and photo and video examples. Each library’s first focus is to meet the welfare needs of dogs living in breeding kennels, large or small scale.
The content is relevant, solid information for all. After viewing the topic’s learning library, learners caring for dogs in other environments can also click on “Other Caretakers” to access specially selected additional resources and specific examples of applications tailored to their needs.
Canine Welfare Science Curriculum
Comprehensive dog welfare requires attention to all areas that impact welfare status. Convenient and easy to use, the curriculum makes evidence-based information readily available. Together, with knowledge and effort, we can improve the welfare of dogs.
Learners can also use the Canine Welfare Science Curriculum graphic to quickly navigate between the three areas of the curriculum. Click “Behavior”, “Environment”, or “Health” to go directly to the category’s resources in the Learning Library.
Ensuring the behavioral welfare of dogs requires supporting normal development, confidence, and positive mental and physical stimulation through socialization, enrichment, exercise, and social interactions.
Well-managed environments promote dog welfare by providing spaces that are clean, comfortable, adequate in size and function, and designed to promote behavioral, mental, and physical health.
The Canine Welfare Science Resource Site is a product of the Croney Research Group at Purdue University. The research group promotes the welfare of dogs through innovation in research, education, and outreach.