Penn Vet

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs.  They are trained to find victims of disasters, detect explosives and drugs, apprehend criminals, and conduct search & rescue missions.  Some dogs are Diabetic Alert Dogs and others are trained for ovarian cancer detection.  Penn Vet WDC makes a difference in our national security detection and medical research.  These dogs literally save lives!

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is excited to offer internships to high school and college students seeking academic credit within the guidelines of your academic institution as well as to those seeking internships without academic credit.

Internships are available in, but not exclusive to, the areas of, dog training, behavioral science and non-profit management. Externships are available in veterinary medicine.  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 also be tailored to fit into different educational majors as much as practically possible such as non-profit management, digital media, marketing, fundraising, etc.


  • 8 – 12 week commitment suggested; modifications can be discussed during interview
  • 3 days a week minimum, 12 hours per week minimum
  • Completion of project/research summary if receiving credit
  • 18+ years of age or permission of a parent for those under 18
  • High school students need to apply through their school
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Adherence to dress code: long pants, closed-toed shoes, long-sleeve shirt , work gloves, treat bag, clicker
  • Flexibility and willingness to learn

Application Process:

  • Please email a resume, cover letter, dates you wish to do your internship, and one letter of reference to
  • Applications for summer internships must be received by March 1st
  • Acceptances will be determined by March 30th
  • Summer Internships – conclude August 15th
  • Intersession Internships – rolling admission

What you can expect:

  • Daily interaction with working dogs in training
  • Opportunity to learn about dog training and scientific research
  • Daily guidance from trainers and guidance from veterinary staff when available
  • Help maintain the well-being of dogs and their environment
  • Some internship positions may require rigorous activity