Dog Owners Needed for Research Study

Spot Study

The Behavioral Medicine Lab in the department of kinesiology is recruiting dog owners over the age of 21 for a study assessing the effects of obedience training on the dog-owner bond and human-health outcomes.

The requirements for owners are:

  • Come to UMass on four total occasions (orientation, baseline, six weeks, 12 weeks)
  • Attend six-week basic obedience training class (meets once per week for 45 minutes on campus) or maintain normal routine, depending on group assignment
  • Complete a survey packet and wear an activity monitor for seven days on three occasions (baseline, six weeks, 12 weeks)
  • Have their dog wear an activity monitor ( for seven days on the same three occasions
  • Have your height, weight and blood pressure measured on three occasions

Subjects are ineligible if they have previously attended an obedience training course with their current dog, have any condition that limits their ability to walk, or have uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes. Subjects will also be ineligible if they are a regular exerciser or walk their dog more than three days per week. Lastly, subjects are ineligible if they have a dog with an expired rabies vaccination or history of aggressive behavior.

In addition to a free or discounted six-week basic obedience training course with My Dog, LLC of Amherst, participants will receive up to $75.

To apply online go to To learn more about this study, contact the research team at