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Working Dog Community Classes

Interships, Externships & Fellowships


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

The Internship Experience

barrie-solomon-wdc-internOur internship program is designed for students with a serious interest in working dogs. 

Penn Vet Working Dog Center Interns gain practical experience while helping us achieve our mission of developing a detection dog breeding/training program that will implement, test, and disseminate the knowledge gained.


Student Internships

WHO: The Penn Vet Working Dog Center serves as a national research and development center and training center for scent detection dogs. 

WHY: Our dogs are trained to find victims of disasters; detect explosives, narcotics, invasive species, and diseases in humans and animals; apprehend criminals; and conduct search & rescue missions. 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.

WHAT: The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is excited to offer internships to college students seeking academic credit within the guidelines of their academic institution, or to those  seeking a meaningful experience during a “gap year”  before continuing their education. Please note, these are unpaid internships.  Internships are available in, but not exclusive to, the areas of dog training, behavioral science, canine fitness, psychology, law enforcement, bio-med, and  canine olfaction research.  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 their mission of developing a detection dog breeding and training program that will implement, test, and disseminate the knowledge gained. 

What you can expect:

  • Daily hands-on interaction with working dogs in training
  • Opportunity to learn about dog training and scientific research
  • Daily guidance from trainers and veterinary staff when available
  • Helping to maintain the well-being of our dogs and their training environment

Note that some internship positions may require rigorous activity 

WHERE: The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is located at: Pennovation Works (South Bank Campus), 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue, Building 470, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146.  Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student.  

WHEN: Internships are available during the school year (intersession) and during the summer. We are pleased to announce a new internship opportunity specifically for students who are taking a “gap year” and are seeking meaningful opportunities for a portion of that time.

Intersession Interns

Requirements

  • Minimum 12 week commitment  

  • Minimum 15  hours per week, typically 3 days per week, 5 hours per day

  • Unpaid position

  • Completion of project/research summary (if required by your institution)

  • 18+ years of age

  • Attendance and punctuality 

  • Adherence to dress code: long pants, closed-toed shoes, long-sleeve shirt, work gloves, treat bag, clicker, leash

  • Flexibility and willingness to learn 

  • Proof of full COVID vaccination required

Application Deadline

Rolling admission

2023 Summer Internships

Traditional Summer Internship  

  • May 31 through August 11, 2023

  • Application deadline is March 24, 2023

OR

NEW! Gap Year Experience, for recent high school or college graduates 

  • July 26 through October 6, 2023

  • Application deadline is May 26, 2023

 

Requirements

  • Monday through Friday , 35 hours/week (work hours may vary)

  • Unpaid position

  • Completion of project/research summary, if required by your institution

  • 18+ years of age

  • Attendance and punctuality

  • Adherence to dress code: long pants, closed-toed shoes, long-sleeve shirt, work gloves, treat bag, clicker, leash

  • Flexibility and willingness to learn 

  • Proof of full COVID vaccination required 

 

Application Process for all  internships   

Email your resume, cover letter, availability, and one letter of reference to PVWDC  Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator at pvwdcoutreach@vet.upenn.edu. For additional information visit our website www.vet.upenn.edu/working-dog-center or call 215-898-2200.

Questions? Contact PVWDC  Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator at pvwdcoutreach@vet.upenn.edu


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 a 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



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.