The world of domestic dogs is changing dramatically.

Over the last decade, brilliant researchers at specialist universities, including the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, The Wolf Science Center in Ernstbrunn, Austria, the University of California at Irvine, and Eötvös Loránd, the oldest and largest, research university in Hungary, have taken up the canine challenge. Now we use non-invasive and harmless methods of proteome and genome analysis exactly as used with human subjects. We are discovering how to release ancient smart genes built into the canine brain, genes that allow dogs to develop their brain power, and grow much smarter, and live much longer, that we would ever have believed.

At the Colgan Institute of Nutritional Science, we have had multiple pet dogs in our families for more than four decades. We have also bred dogs and trained dogs the whole of our adult lives. We have been researching these great new discoveries for more than a decade. For the last six years we have had a professional dog training program that now trains dogs to National Competition level in Canada. We have developed some very smart dogs.

Although our work is human anti-aging research, and the training of champion athletes (12,13), our love of dogs prompted us to include them too. Gradually, canine research has advanced until the training methods we have acquired from dog training centers and universities around the world have become second to none.

Gradually, we have also amassed sufficient knowledge from the research (1-30) to produce a synergistic combination of brain nutrients and life extension nutrients for our dogs. This formula is a “NOOTROPIC”, a supplement that can enhance canine learning, memory and lifespan. We call it ON!


You will soon be hearing the word “NOOTROPIC” frequently in the news, because numerous companies are now developing nootropics for improvement of human intelligence, and extension of human lifespan. I have reviewed a lot of this work in some of my own books (9-10).The human brain works so much like the canine brain, that dogs are often used today as a model of human brain function (11).

Similar nootropics are currently being developed for training and nutrition of service dogs, rescue dogs detection dogs and competition dogs of every kind. We have used all the data from this research to develop our nootropic ON! Confident after extensive testing that it works, we are now offering it to dog owners everywhere through our new company, ALPHADOG TECHNOLOGIES. Different laboratories worldwide have recently published a mass of research on various combinations of nootropic compounds, and other naturally occurring, non-toxic, botanicals that influence the brains of dogs. These now total more than 700 different compounds that effectively stimulate brain development, and that can extend canine lifespan.

For scientific validity and efficacy, we adopted five criteria to select the best of them for ON! Compounds we selected had to be:

1. PLEOTROPIC. They have to affect more than one brain function.

2. SYNERGISTIC. They have to interact with at least one other chosen compound, to increase the efficacy of both beyond the effects of either alone.

3. NON-TOXIC. They have to be proven in controlled trials to be completely safe for long-term use with dogs of any breed and any size.

4. NON-ADDICTIVE. They have to be nutrients, not drugs, and must not have any addictive potential or withdrawal problems if you cease to use them.

5. SCIENTIFICALLY VALIDATED. They have to have multiple controlled trials supporting their effects, published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals. This criterion is critical. It’s nice to see Fido on Facebook doing amazing things which are attributed to his special dog food or training, but, these heartwarming single cases so often portrayed, mean nothing scientifically. We use only the data from university studies of groups of dogs, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials, examples of which are referenced herein. That’s how science works.

Our five strict criteria ruled out a lot of reports and a lot of compounds. With those that remained, we formulated ON! We are confident that our nootropic is effective, both for brain development and lifespan extension in dogs, large and small, playful dogs, working dogs, service dogs, detection dogs, every one of these delightful critters, from puppyhood to senior dog.


The design of ON! is complex and took us some years to reach the final formula, which we now use with all our own dogs, and with the dogs in our professional training program.

To describe all of it here would take a volume. From four decades of designing pharmaceuticals and supplements at the Colgan Institute, many of which are now used worldwide, we learned a lot of secrets about quality of ingredients, methods of extraction, methods of protection (dogs have very strong stomachs that will break down almost anything) methods of delivery, and methods of prolonging the action of the nutrients in the dog’s brain.

I do not want to tell all the secrets, however, because other companies would take this science, and without understanding the intricate details, would make a mess producing “me too” brain formulas that would not work. Nevertheless, I will cover some of the main ingredients and the science behind them, using the best consumer-friendly descriptions I can muster. I urge you to look up the example references for yourself (1-36)

They are representative of more than 1000 papers published in scientific journals in the last decade. I want you to be able to decide for yourself whether we made a good fist of the new science.

You can get all the papers simply by putting PUBMED into your browser which brings you to the US National Library of Medicine, our source for most of the science we use. I’m proud of the scientists, the computer folk, the administrators, everyone involved in ALPHADOG, and I want you to be able to see that they are pioneering a whole new life for our beloved canines.

ON! is an exclusive formula of 37 different nutrients, each one synergistic with some of the others, and all made of human grade nutrients, formulated to human-grade pharmaceutical standards. It’s a first for dogs, but our dogs deserve the best. We have employed a lot of the latest secrets in biochemistry in putting them together.

ON! comes in the form of dog treats, used as rewards each day when training your dog with our training program, and when asking you dog to follow simple commands such as, “Sit”, “Come”, “Wait”, and “Stay”. If your dog does not follow these basic instructions now, happily and consistently, then you are certainly in need of ON! and the training program we have developed to go with it.


Canine thoughts and emotions




1 Marshall-Pescini et al. Does training make you smarter? The effects of training on dogs’ performance (Canis familiaris) in a problem solving task. Behav Processes. 2008 Jul;78(3):449-54. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2008.02.022. Epub 2008 Mar 16.

2 Head E, et al. A combination cocktail improves spatial attention in a canine model of human aging and Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;32(4):1029-42. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-120937.

3 Opii WO, et al. Proteomic identification of brain proteins in the canine model of human aging following a long-term treatment with antioxidants and a program of behavioral enrichment: relevance to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2008;29:51–70.

4 Cotman CW, Head E, Muggenburg BA, Zicker S, Milgram NW. Brain Aging in the Canine: A Diet Enriched in Antioxidants Reduces Cognitive Dysfunction. Neurobiology of Aging. 2002;23:809–18. [PubMed]5 Milgram NW, Head E, Zicker SC, Ikeda-Douglas C, Murphey H, Muggenberg BA, et al. Long-term treatment with antioxidants and a program of behavioral enrichment reduces age-dependent impairment in discrimination and reversal learning in beagle dogs. Exp Gerontol. 2004;39:753–65. [PubMed]6 Milgram NW, et al. Landmark discrimination learning in the dog: effects of age, an antioxidant fortified diet, and cognitive strategy. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2002;26:679–95. [PubMed]7 Milgram NW, et al.. Learning ability in aged beagle dogs is preserved by behavioral enrichment and dietary fortification: a two-year longitudinal study. Neurobiol Aging. 2005;26:77–90. [PubMed]8 Pop V, et al. Synergistic effects of long-term antioxidant diet and behavioral enrichment on beta-amyloid load and non-amyloidogenic processing in aged canines. J Neurosci. 2010;30:9831–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed]9 Colgan M. Save Your Brain. Vancouver: Science Books. 2008.

10 Colgan M. Save Your Brain: Expand Your Mind. Sound Concepts: Indian Fork UT, 2012.

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12 Zań RS, et al. Diurnal and seasonal changes in endogenous melatonin levels in the blood plasma in dogs. Pol J Vet Sci. 2013;16(4):759-61.

13 Dunlap KL, et al Seasonal and diurnal melatonin production in exercising sled dogs. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007, Aug; 147(4):863-7.

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16 Tahvilzadeh M1, Hajimahmoodi M2, Toliyat T3, Karimi M4, Rahimi R5. An evidence-based approach to medicinal plants for the treatment of sperm abnormalities in traditional Persian medicine. Andrologia. 2016 Oct;48(8):860-79. doi: 10.1111/and.12676.

17 Turner EH, Loftis JM, Blackwell AD. Serotonin a la carte: supplementation with the serotonin precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan. Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Mar;109(3):325-38. Epub 2005 Jul 14. Review.

18 Moore MC1, Kimura K, Shibata H, Honjoh T, Saito M, Everett CA, Smith MS, Cherrington AD. Portal 5-hydroxytryptophan infusion enhances glucose disposal in conscious dogs. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Aug;289(2):E225-31. Epub 2005 Mar 8.

19 Türközü D1, Şanlier N. L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 May 24;57(8):1681-1687. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1016141.

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