Does having a pet dog in the home contribute to a baby’s healthy development?
That’s the question postdoctoral fellow Dr. Nicole Sugden is trying to answer, alongside the Director of our Centre – Dr. Janet F. Werker, Killam University Professor and Canada Research Chair.
Our Centre is currently seeking families with infants to take part in a new research project examining how the presence of a dog in an infant’s home may contribute to enhanced language abilities in very young children.
Our studies here on the UBC campus are baby-friendly and fun; your little one would earn an honorary UBC degree certificate (their Bachelor’s in Infant Science!) as well as a little free t-shirt. Although the study itself would only take 15-20 minutes, we would book your visit for a total of 1 hour to allow plenty of time for you to speak with Dr. Sugden and fill out some paperwork about your baby’s language environment. If you are interested in participating with your baby in our Pets & Language study, you can sign-up here!
To learn more about this exciting project, you can read a Q&A with Dr. Nicole Sugden or watch the adorable video below! Dr. Sugden’s work has also been featured in a segment by City News as well as the Vancouver Sun,The Star, and variety of other news outlets.
The study is funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, which supports research on animal welfare and the human-animal bond.
UPDATE: The Infant Studies Centre has since completed this particular study – thank you to all the families who participated! Stay tuned for study results in the future. We are still looking for participants for the many other infant language studies we have ongoing; please feel free to follow the sign-up link above, and we will contact you about alternate study opportunities!