Animal models of perinatal injury are the chief tools we have for understanding and developing therapies against perinatal brain injury. This is critical as perinatal brain injury causes immeasurable anguish for families and substantial on going costs for care and support of effected children. Interpretation of research data within the context of clinical observations and outcomes measures is paramount. This is due to the developmental and genetic differences between humans and research species. Furthermore, these differences also mean that no single model is capable of providing concrete certainly for predicting events in patient’s despite there enormous utility. Thus, within this presentation I will highlight the key characteristics of multiple small animal models for mechanistic and neurotherapeutic trials, and highlight examples of novel small animal physiological and behavioural testing that gives small animal preclinical models greater clinical relevance.