Judith A Bassett Canid Education and Conservation Center - San Diego, CA

We are pleased to announce the planning and development of a new facility in San Diego County, CA dedicated to Canid Conservation.  No where else in the western US do you have the chance to meet one of the world renowned Russian domesticated foxes (RDFs) and scratch their fluffy ears, meet primitive dogs that have been unchanged genetically in over 8,000 years, and howl with a wolf/dog!! The JABCECC is an interactive facility focused on education, research, conservation and animal assisted therapy programs.  This amazing not for profit facility is focused on partnering with special interest groups, academic institutions, animal physiologists, anthropologists, and experts in domestication and canine cognition to offer research opportunities, seminars and conferences, and a chance to meet the RDFs and other unique canids.  The facility partners with the film and photography industry to bring these amazing domesticated foxes to the world in a way no other facility in the world.  And of course, we would love to offer our Ambassador animals and the facility for private parties and events, so everyone can have the chance to meet one of these phenomenal animals.  



Professional photographer Ted Walton and his colleague Alan enjoying the opportunity to photograph foxes

We have lots of work ahead of us to be able to share this center with the world. If you are interested in providing assistance in getting our center up and running please contact us.

Child giving a Russian Domesticated fox belly rubs





JABCECC Ambassador fox featured in this newly released book for children!!




The JABCECC is dedicated to advancing the understanding of domestication and animal behavior. Through well designed controlled studies, we develop evidence based solutions to many of the current canid problems.  We bridge the gap between academia and canid conservation efforts, by converting the results from our well controlled studies into real world solutions.  Our team of researchers and experts in canid behavior function as a think tank for canid problems and forage partnerships with other experts to strengthen the impact and reach of our work.  With our established relationships we are positioned to study canid problems like no other facility.   If you are interested in working together on a research protocol, please contact us.


Behavioral Testing of Foxes

Collaboration with Clive Wynne, Canine Cognition Expert


The JACECC is dedicated to education by interaction and collaboration. Opportunities include seminars at the center with guest speakers from experts in domestication, genetics, animal behavior, animal physiology, and canine cognition. We offer children's activities where children can learn about foxes and other canines while being able to interact with them. Story Time with the Cuppers coming soon.

 Dave Bassett demonstrating training of foxes.

Dave Bassett demonstrating training of foxes.

Amy and Dave Bassett with Jeff Corwin at his event in Tampa FL with Russian domesticated foxes

Jeff Corwinevent in Tampa FL with Russian domesticated foxes.


The JACECC offers the following services and events:

  • Story time with the Cuppers

  • Wine tasting with the Canids

  • Hiking with the canines

  • Film & photography

  • Private events and parties

  • Educational seminars

  • Trade shows and expos, faires

Events: by date and location
Meet and Greet: Hire us for your next event.  Pricing is for donation to the center. 


The JAB Canid Education and Conservation Center, utilizing the expertise of its team, focuses on both Nature and Nurture in creating, assessing, and training.  While our expertise is applicable across all canid species, what makes us very unique is our work with foxes and other primitive breeds.  We have pioneered the development of the following protocols for foxes and will begin development for other primitive breeds:

  • FITT Protocol: Assessment of intrinsic tameability of the foxes (Nature)

  • Socialization Protocol: Implementation of an intense socialization protocol (Nurture)

  • Training: Specialized training protocol developed by our animal behaviorist

  • Access to Russian domesticated foxes: An opportunity to meet the Russians foxes and see first hand the differences between the two.

FITT Protocol

FITT Protocol: Protocol to determine intrinsic tameability to humans (Nature) for selective breeding for tameness,
The protocol is based on the PAT (Puppy aptitude test) and ICG protocols utilized in their highly successful, ground breaking program.  The testing is performed in a novel environment by a novel individual (Dave).  Testing is performed at  4 and 6 weeks; however the kits selected are analyzed until they reach full maturity.  All testing is videotaped and scored by 3 different trained observers to ensure consistency, reliability, and reproducibility.  The scoring indicates the intrinsic tameness of the individual fox.  This testing helps us to better understand, in a measured manner, the impact of nature and nurture in a domesticated and non-domesticated canid.

Socialization protocol:

The robust literature on the impact and importance of socialization on domesticated dogs can be found; however the empirical study of the impact of nurture on a more primitive breed of canid has not been fully explored.  We will help you apply our intense Socialization Protocol, originally developed for foxes.  Understanding the canids socialization window can help us to better develop targeted socialization protocols to ensure the canid is introduced to a sufficient varied environment prior to hitting their fear stage. 


Our animal behaviorist has spent years interacting and observing canine and fox behavior (both Russians and US tame). His background is saturated with 40+ years of training dogs in obedience, SAR, and agility work. He has developed training protocols for canines and foxes in dealing with common undesirable behaviors, such as resource guarding and food aggression, harness and leash work, basic commands/obedience work (clicker or voice), preventing destructive behavior, potty training, and preventing aggression.  We conduct clinical studies to further explore and define the effectiveness of training techniques to provide evidence based solutions to pet owners, as well as those that have Ambassador animals.   Above all, we want to ensure a safe, happy, and healthy environment for all canids and their owners.

Our animal behaviorist, David, training

David, our animal behaviorist and fox expert training Sophia, a Russian domesticated fox.

Banner photo courtesy of Ted Walton Photography