About SPARCS & National Canine Research Council

Our past

The Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science (SPARCS) is a non-profit organization now maintained by National Canine Research Council. As the previous SPARCS incarnation was winding down in 2015, National Canine Research Council was revving up efforts to embed the study of canine behavior in the context of the human environment. The SPARCS platform offered an opportunity to make the best of this research accessible to everyone. A difference you will notice is that all SPARCS information is now free, as is all of National Canine Research Council's information, requiring no membership or fees of any kind. We hope you will find it a rich and rigorous source of the best of canine behavior research.

The first conference from the new SPARCS was on the topic of canine behavioral genetics and was held in 2018. Talks from six esteemed experts were live streamed and questions from those watching and participating on social media were incorporated into the panel discussions by conference science hosts Julie Hecht and Mia Cobb from Do You Believe In Dog? Over 5,600 viewers joined us from many countries around the world for the live stream. 


We are happy to announce that all of the content that was live streamed for #SPARCS18--as well as the original SPARCS content--was recorded and is available on this website (years 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018). National Canine Research Council is proud to make these resources available free of charge. We hope you enjoy the presentations, interviews, Q&A's, and panel discussions from previous years, and we look forward to you joining us for #SPARCS2020 on June 19th, 20th, and 21st.


SPARCS aims to promote public interest in canine science by providing academically rigorous research for scientists, journalists, policy makers, and the general public to access and further disseminate. You can expect future conferences with topics that investigate canine behavior research in the context of humans. We will also remain committed to raising expectations for canine behavior researchers, their methodologies and sources. As with all of National Canine Research Council’s resources, SPARCS content will remain free and accessible to all who wish to view it.

For more information about SPARCS, please see our general FAQs