The Puppy Project!

Quinn Rausch’s PhD research focuses on the effects of early management on puppy behaviour. If you are a dog breeder in Canada or the United States or your dog had a litter of puppies in the last three years, we would love your help!

Want to participate? We have lots of opportunities coming up, see below for details! Feel free to contact Quinn with any questions:

In general, these projects will examine how early life experiences of puppies influence behavioural development and determine how dog breeders in Canada and the United States are managing breeding females and puppies.

Breeder Survey Series

Survey 1: Puppy Management

How do you care and manage your puppies’ environment from pregnancy to sale/adoption? We would love to hear about your strategies for raising and housing puppies!

Participate here:

Survey 2: Puppy Resource Management

How do you introduce puppies to resources like food, treats and toys? Have you found certain ways of presentation or management that work for you and your puppies?

Participate here:

Survey 3: Puppy Socialization and Training

How do you socialize and train puppies in the first eight weeks of their life before sale/adoption? Share your sources and thoughts on puppy socialization with us!

Launching soon!

Survey 4: Breeding Selection

How do you pick animals for breeding and what is important to you when selecting them? Do you look for certain things or avoid certain things?

Launching soon!

Survey 5: Bitch Management

How do you take care of breeding bitches and what practices do you find important when managing them with their litters?

Launching soon!

Puppy Development Video Project

Description: This is a cohort study that aims to determine how competitive behaviour develops in litters of puppies. It includes submission of a video of the litter nursing at 3 weeks of age, eating solid food at 6 weeks of age and playing at 6 weeks of age. These videos will be followed with completion of a short survey about management practices. Option to pass along information to future owners to complete a final survey about puppy behaviour at 6 months of age.

Inclusion criteria:

  • By legal definition the owner of a dog that will have a litter of puppies in the next 12 months
    • Note that you do not need to be a regular breeder of dogs to participate. Participation from individuals who occasionally breed their family dog or whose dog accidentally got pregnant and is having a litter of puppies are also encouraged to respond.
  • A current resident of Canada or the United States

For further information or to participate please reach out to us at