Refining Dog Use in scientific research


There are a number of Refinements to the life cycle of dogs which are effective at improving their welfare. This section presents some known Refinements and evidence of their efficacy.


Facility design and housing

Dogs will spend the majority of their lives in the home pen, and the overall design of the unit will have a significant impact on their welfare. Read about modifications to the design of facilities and home pens which can positively influence dog welfare.

Environmental enrichment

It is no longer considered acceptable to keep dogs in barren pens with no enrichment. However, enrichment has to be evaluated to ensure it is effective. Learn about forms of enrichment and their impact on welfare.

Human interaction

Contact with staff is an unavoidable part of life in the dog unit and has a considerable impact on welfare. Learn about the benefits of positive human interaction


While training protocols are becoming more common, there is a great variety of techniques used and little standardisation. This section describes different types of training, their efficacy and how to develop an effective positive training protocol.

Increasing predictability

Events in the animal unit can be unpredictable, which leads to increased arousal and decreased welfare. Research has shown that animals prefer signals to indicate when an event will happen. This section presents methods of increasing predictability for laboratory-housed dogs.