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 Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

Sociability Hands-On Science Internship Workshop

A workshop exploring the scientific method from start to finish with live dogs & video - - -a mini scientific research project - - from hypothesis, to observation, to experiment. 

You'll deconstruct temperaments of both highly aggressive and highly sociable/friendly live dogs, specifying precise behavior and body language of both groups, from memory and opinion. Then, viewing videos of shelter dog cage presentations, you'll identify which are the most aggressive and which are the most sociable, observing and logging all body language and behaviors elements. We'll debrief that, trying out different behavior checklists to see which ones work and which do not. 

You'll create a cage presentation test with less than 10 individual steps. We'll examine their pros and cons, and what body language and behaviors they might identify or miss. Interns will devise a scoring system for their selected cage presentation test. 

Finally, we'll look at videos of traditional sociability tests of some dogs we previously viewed cage presentations on. Sue and Tim will explain and demonstrate sociability scoring and how it compares with cage presentation score sheets the interns have created. 


 Saturday: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM 

Scientific Method: Observation & Analysis

  1. Objective behavioral observation

  2. How to design experiments for testing ideas; Evaluations of behavior experiments, Scientific method, experimental design & how to collect data.


 Saturday: 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM 

Sociability Behaviors: Scoring a new "Quick Assessment" Test

Introduction to behaviors in a "quick assessment" sociability test: Study a validated, standard sociability test. Score pre-recorded behaviors with the "quick assessment" test digitally. Compare scores to all participants. Learn consistency, as you score up to 50 "quick assessments".

 Sunday: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM 

  1. Analyzing Saturday data: Does the surrogate predict sociability? Use as a model to analyze other behaviors. 

  2. Scoring traditional sociability test: Compare your results to those of highly trained behaviorists. 

  3. Comparing test results: "quick assessment" test vs traditional test.

 Sunday: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM 

1. Canine brain function: 

  • Overview

  • How dogs take in the world

  • Behavior effects


2. Review published information on dog behavior: 

  • What we know

  • how well we know it

  • how little is really known


3. Invitation: to participate in on-going research project back home: videotaping behavior & collecting data.

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Exploring Dog Sociability With You as the Scientist



Sue Sternberg

Dr. Tim Lewis



Animals for Adoption



February, 2017



Petaluma, CA




$175/both days

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Sue founded the shelter featured in an HBO documentary: Shelter Dogs ( She has developed national programs, such as Training Wheels® for community shelter outreach and dedicated herself to ensuring the quality of life of animals in their communities, at animal shelters and in safe adoptions. Her 30 years of canine behavior experience, includes as an animal control officer, behavior consultant at the ASPCA, shelter owner, successful competitor in dog sports, and a teacher of dog trainers world-wide. She is the author of Great Dog Adoptions: A Guide for Shelters(Latham Foundation publication) and Successful Dog Adoption published by Wiley.


 Dr. Tim Lewis 


Tim is an Eco-biologist, Professor of Biology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN and a widely published research scientist. In addition he is a popular lecturer on Canine Cognition at Camp Gone to the Dogs, VT and other venues nationwide.

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601175 Fairgrounds Drive

Petaluma, CA 94952

Click here for map


  • Take Highway 101 to the Washington Street Exit. 

  • Proceed west on Washington to the Fairgrounds 

  • The Fairgrounds is just two blocks west of Highway 101. 

  • Follow signs to Parking. 

  • Entry into the Fairgrounds Parking Lot is off Washington Street. 

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Early Bird Rates:  $90 per person per day and $175 per person for both days.

Regular Rates: $99 per person per day and $195 per person for both days

Group Rates: $155 per person for groups of 3-4. $135 per person for groups of 5 or more. 

For group discount registration & information call 917-699.6440


All deposits fully refunded, at any time, in case a person needs to cancel a reservation for any reason. There is never a cancellation fee. 






Due to space limitations, we will not be permitterd to have dogs in the meeting room (other than service dogs, of course.)


CONDUCT: During the lectures, please turn off all cell phone and pager audio alerts. Please take all private conversations outside while the speakers are presenting.

BABIES: The presence of a baby is likely to be distracting to other participants, so we ask that you refrain from bringing any babies or very young children into the lecture hall.

VIDEOTAPING: No videotaping or audiotaping is permitted. A selection of videotapes and books will be available for sale.


SHOPPING: A selection of books and videos will be available for sale.

PARKING: There should be ample parking at the seminar location.


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