Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Britty and Bretagne, Penn Vet Working Dog CenterInspired by the Search & Rescue Dogs that responded following the attacks on 9/11, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center opened on September 11, 2012 and serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs. Meet the heroic search dogs of 9/11 (PDF)...

With the United States national security under constant threat from attacks, detection dogs are still the best tool that we have to detect and mitigate potential threats. Search dogs are also critical for locating victims of natural and man-made disasters.

The special scenting ability of dogs also allows them to serve in important ways such as medical or conservation detection.

As pioneers in the working dog field, our goal is to increase collaborative research and the application of the newest scientific findings and veterinary expertise to optimize the performance of lifesaving detection dogs.

2020 Penn Vet Working Dog Conference

Our conference is coming soon. And we'll be posting more information on our conference page. the Penn Vet Working Dog Center has held the Working Dog Conference, a gathering of working dog professionals including veterinarians, academics, working dog handlers, breeders, students, behaviorists, and those interested in what makes a better working dog.

Learn More About the Working Dog Center

What our dogs do

Satchmo at Work
  • Prevent crime and acts of terrorism, working alongside military, police, TSA, and the Department of Defense.
  • Rescue victims of accidents or disasters, using expert search skills
  • Detect medical conditions such as cancer and infection.


What sets us apart

  • Collaboration with top minds at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Department of Defense, and Customs and Border Protection, among others
  • Innovation in collecting and analyzing genetic, behavioral, and physical data, and integrating the latest scientific findings to optimize the success and well-being of detection dogs
  • Sharing knowledge broadly with the medical and working dog communities as well as animal-lovers of all ages