The first Canine Cognition and Aging Conference was held in Toronto, Canada in 1995. The aim was to provide a working interactive forum for scientists from two labs, headed by Dr. C.W. Cotman of the University of California - Irvine and Dr. N.W. Milgram of the University of Toronto, with the goal of sharing their research and discussing data and ideas of common interest in developing a canine model of cognition and aging.
Over the course of the last two decades the Canine Conference has shown impressive growth in both scope and attendance. This progressive increase reflects both a broadening scientific understanding of the utility of the dog as a model of human aging and cognition and also a more general increase in work focusing on the behavior of companion animals. In previous years, the conference combined two underlying themes: first, that of the dog as a model for human aging and second, interest in the dog for its own sake as a companion animal. This year's meeting will be on the behavior, cognition and aging of the dog as a companion animal.