Penn Vet hosts working dog conference

working dog conference

Dogs can be a person’s best friend in many ways. They offer companionship, provide protection and alert owners when there’s danger ahead. Trained “working dogs” assist police and other law enforcement officials by detecting threats in places such as airports, train stations and elsewhere. They also help police search for criminals. Recently, working dogs aided rescuers in locating people following the earthquake in Haiti, and after the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center.

This month, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is hosting its first-ever conference, titled “Selecting Working Dogs for the Next Century.” The conference will be held at the School of Veterinary Medicine on March 12-16, and will bring the general public together with veterinarians, vet techs, dog handlers and members of breeding programs.

Dave Kontny, acting deputy director of the Protective Security Coordination Division of the Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the keynote address, sharing his nearly 30 years of experience in canine explosives detection and scientific advances that have helped working dogs.

During the conference sessions,noted scientists will present research on issues such as measuring the behavior of five types of guide/service dogs and predicting the success in training and working performance of the dogs.

“We’ll integrate scientific approaches and practical work,” says Cindy Otto, conference organizer and Penn Vet professor.

For more information visit the conference website:

Originally published on March 2, 2010