New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Interships, Externships & Fellowships

Agility Training at the Working Dog Center

We offer a variety of options to become more deeply involved with the Working Dog Center, including internships, externships, apprenticeships, fellowships, and veteran fellowships.

Student Internships

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is excited to offer internships for college students seeking academic credit within the guidelines of their academic institution. 

Limited high school internships are available.

Internships are in the areas of veterinary medicine, dog training, behavioral science, non-profit management, criminal justice, database management, bioinformatics, and statistical analysis. An emphasis on research is integral to each of these areas.

Our internship program is designed for students with a serious interest in working dogs to gain practical experience while helping the Penn Vet Working Dog Center achieve our mission of developing a detection dog breeding/training program that will implement, test, and disseminate the knowledge gained.

Duties can be tailored to fit into different educational majors as much as practically possible such as non-profit management, digital media, marketing, fundraising, etc.

Intersession Interns

Rolling admission available for fall and spring; accepting applications now.

How to Apply

Summer Internships

We offer two (2) types of summer internships.

1. Research - Behavioral Science

Interns will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in research, including:

  • Environmental testing – dogs’ reaction to their environment (living &inanimate)
  • Analyzing how the dogs develop and progress through training
  • Data collection on various research studies
  • Data organization and analysis
  • Responsibilities include working with multiple databases, data collection and management, data analysis (e.g. biostatistics, modelling and hands-on behavioral testing with working dogs).
  • Interns will also see how we can use the dog's nose to develop an early diagnostic test for the detection of ovarian cancer.

2. Applied - Behavioral Science

Interns in this track will gain experience in behavioral analysis techniques. Interns will investigate the role behavior plays in affecting the success of working dogs across the canine career paths including:

  • Daily, hands-on interaction with working dogs in training
  • Opportunity to learn about dog training, veterinary medicine, and scientific research
  • Guidance from trainers and veterinary staff on operant and classical conditioning, positive reinforcement, basic dog training, canine behavior & body language, scent detection (i.e., search & rescue, law enforcement & medical), puppy development & socialization and fitness programs for canines.
  • Data collection for research & training
  • Responsibilities include supporting the research and training of the trainers, collect data and video tape training sessions and assisting with canine management through operant conditioning and positive reinforcement

How to Apply


  • Note: Summer internship application fee is $25.
  • Interviews are ideally conducted in person. However, video conferencing options are available.

Important Dates

  • February 26, 2020 - Application Closes
  • March 4, 2020 - All applicants will be contacted; selected applicants will be invited to schedule an interview
  • March 5 – 20, 2020 - Interviews
  • March 24, 2020 - Acceptances announced
  • March 30, 2020 - Confirmation of acceptance from student deadline

Veterinary Student Externships

  • The Externship rotation for veterinary students is Monday thru Friday. We are open from 7 am to 7 pm so students can plan on spending between 8 and 10 hours a day at the Center.
  • All aspects of working dog medicine including nutrition, behavior, training, dentistry, sports medicine, conditioning, disaster response, reproduction, emergency first aid, preventive medicine and genetics will be addressed.
  • There is both research and practical component to this externship.
  • Students in their clinical year are welcome to apply for a two-to-four-week rotation at the center. We accept summer interns as well. Housing is not provided. No stipend is provided.
  • Interested? Please complete the Penn Vet Externship application...

Requirements and Information

  • Students must provide a letter indicating current vet school enrollment, have an adequate rabies titer, health insurance and liability insurance.
  • The WDC does not provide housing and we do not handle visas.
  • We accept students only from AVMA accredited schools.

How to Apply

Ovarian Cancer Detection Veterinary Student Internship

This summer research internship at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is funded by the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization (OCSA). This is a paid summer internship for a first- or second-year veterinary student who is interested in learning more about medical detection and the role of detection dogs. The selected intern will be immersed in ovarian cancer detection research and gain hands on experience with our scent detection canines. There is a focus on study execution, data acquisition, data analysis and writing.



  • First- or second-year veterinary student
  • Comprehensive understanding of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center’s medical detection program and ovarian detection research
  • Attention to detail and ability to work well with others are essential
  • Dog handling experience is helpful but not necessary
  • Writing experience helpful, but not required

How to Apply

Application Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020
Acceptance Notifications Made By: Monday, March 16, 2020

Applicants will be required to provide the following:

  • Cover letter which should include your understanding of our program and describe the value your experience and knowledge will bring to our research and training program.
  • Resume
  • One letter of reference (minimum)

All applications will be reviewed by our research and training team and finalists will be invited for an interview. Please submit your application to

Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Internship

This summer, thanks to the support of our partners at Boehringer Ingelheim, we are able to offer a research internship with the key focus on data analysis and writing in preparation for peer reviewed papers.  This paid summer internship at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center will support several of our ongoing research studies on Working Dog health, performance and fitness. 

Check back for 2020 application information.

Veteran Fellowship

We appreciate the men and women who have served our country and recognize the special contributions that American soldiers make to the future generation of working dogs being training at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

We have partnered with organizations on campus to provide opportunities for Veterans wishing to continue to serve at home.