The National Veterinary School of Toulouse (ENVT) has set up an unprecedented project in France: welcoming a breeding of Goldens Retrievers puppies into its enclosure. The Midi Dispatch was able to visit this breeding with multiple objectives.
Fourteen. This is the number of puppies that were born in the breeding housed by the Toulouse veterinary school. The little dogs were born to three different mothers, Délia, Odé and Ola. These births are part of the project “Toulouse gold cohort“, a scientific project led by students and teachers.
An 18-month educational project
This somewhat special breeding is supervised by student-veterinarians and their teachers. The primary objective is “to teach dog reproduction, pregnancy monitoring, newborn care and preventive medicine” explains Hanna Mila, researcher and project manager.
In all, about sixty students have taken turns since the birth of the first puppies in May 2022. Ilyas Bendahmane, doctoral student, admits: “There is nothing better than doing work on puppies, they are very effective animals, we don’t just do research, we also have fun with them”. The project is interested in puppies from birth until they are 18 months old.
Better understand certain canine diseases
The daily follow-up of the fourteen puppies makes it possible to better follow the behaviors, metabolisms and health of the little Goldens. The goal is to better understand canine diseases, and to establish links between dog anxiety and potential health problems. “This is non-invasive research”, explains Hanna Mila, “in order to detect certain diseases from an early age”.
Clinical examinations are characterized by taking the temperature, or even weighing the food using connected bowls.
Future assistance dogs
Several puppies raised in veterinary school are destined to become service dogs for people with disabilities. Eva, a student, will welcome one of them to her home to continue training the puppy: “First we will teach him cleanliness and then the different basic orders. We will train him in slightly more complicated situations. later,” she explains.
For the moment, the small dogs participate in socialization sessions. On the program: games, noises and situations of everyday life to train them for their future missions.