Participate in our fun, cognitive games. Contribute to citizen science.

For Students

Are you a student interested in research? Do you want to join our team? Learn more!


Do you have questions? We have answers! Learn more by clicking the link below!


Make an account on SONA

Request a SONA account using the button above

NOTE: You do not need to fill out the student ID

One account per dog

Check your email to receive your login info

You will receive an autogenerated password

Upon your first login

You’ll complete a form telling us about you and your dog. 

You’ll change your password


Before your visit: 

1. Upload documentation of your vet records here Additionally, your vet can send us documentation, or we can contact them on your behalf. 

  • Rabies only as of October 8 202

Day of: 

1. Call before leaving your home to give ETA at 617-552-3068. We use this to meet you downstairs

2. We have free parking! When you arrive, if you are not met downstairs, call and we will meet you downstairs with a parking pass. 

NOTE: Please do not come up to the lab before we meet you outside and complete additional pre-screening.

We ask that participants either be 18 or older. 


Initial Visits

An initial visit is your dog’s first-ever trip to the BC Dog Lab! During this visit, your dog plays some fun games and gets lots of treats! This visit is intended purely to introduce your dog to the lab space and our team.

Virtual Studies

We currently have two virtual studies that contribute to our thesis students’ projects. Can you help them out?


“Still Face” – Virtual Study

Will you help our thesis student, Kayla? Her project started online during COVID and needs to finish that way.

Kayla wants to know more about the way dogs understand normal versus abnormal social interactions with their humans. 

You need: A dog, a computer, zoom, and a stable internet connection. 

“Re-engagement” – Virtual Study

Mark needs help with his thesis study! His project also started during COVID and he needs ten more participants. 

Mark is investigating the way dogs interact with their play partners. You can sign up using the link below!

You need: Two people, a dog, a computer, zoom, and a stable internet connection. 

For Students

BC Library

At the Boston College Canine Cognition Center, we proudly mentor a team of dedicated, brilliant undergraduates. Every semester we recruit new research assistants who are ready to contribute to the field of academic inquiry.

We take students of all experience levels and ages, with an interest in supporting academics from all walks of life. Our lab deeply values mentorship and education; as a research assistant of the BCCC, you’ll have all the information and guidance that you’ll need.

Do you want to be a part of this elite crew of researchers? Click below to find out more.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why study dog cognition?

Humans and dogs share an environment. Don’t believe us? Well — don’t your neighbors have dogs? Additionally, dogs and humans engage in behavior that’s relatively rare, and that’s sociality. The fact that humans and dogs can co-exist with many other individuals is a special trait that may have evolutionary implications. All of this to say — dogs and humans have a lot in common. We’re interested in understanding the relationship between these commonalities to better understand what dogs can tell us about the evolution of humans.

2. What does your research look like?

Our research involves lots of treats and cognitive games! The games we do are relatively simple, but en-mass give us insight into the ways dogs make decisions.

3. Do I have to pay?


4. I signed -up on SONA. Now what?

Once you complete your pre-screening, you are now eligible to sign up for an in-person appointment.

If you are located in the greater Boston area, the first appointment you sign up for should be the initial visit. After the initial visit, you will receive invitations to participate in future studies for which you’re eligible.

Virtual Studies have a two-step sign-up process, the first being the completion on online consent forms. The consent forms are set up as a study and can be found on the “studies” page in SONA. They are labeled Part 1:”study name.” Then go to Part 2 to sign up for your virtual study slot.

All virtual studies are hosted in the EDT.

5. I have an in-person appointment. What do I do?

Follow the arrival protocol on the “visit” page! Please do not enter the building before calling us and completing pre-screening questions. 

6. I have a virtual appointment. What do I do?

Log onto your zoom link at the appointed time. This link will be sent in an automated email.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email