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ILAR J. 2006;47(4):326-47.

Selection, acclimation, training, and preparation of dogs for the research setting.

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Department of Laboratory Animal Science, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, PA, USA.


Dogs have made and will continue to make valuable contributions as animal models in biomedical research. A comprehensive approach from time of breeding through completion of in-life usage is necessary to ensure that high-quality dog models are used in studies. This approach ensures good care and minimizes the impact of interanimal variability on experimental results. Guidance related to choosing and developing high-quality laboratory dogs and managing canine research colonies is provided in this article. Ensuring that dogs are healthy, well adapted, and cooperative involves good communication between vendors, veterinarians, care staff, and researchers to develop appropriate dog husbandry programs. These programs are designed to minimize animal stress and distress from the postweaning period through the transfer and acclimation period within the research facility. Canine socialization and training programs provided by skilled personnel, together with comprehensive veterinary health programs, can further enhance animal welfare and minimize interanimal and group variability in studies.

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