Advancing the Science of Dogs!

Marcie Davis on Pet Life Radio

World-renowned animal behavior scientist/consultant, Dr. James Ha visits with Marcie and Lovey about the unique aspects of applying scientific research to canine and human behavior. Dr. Ha shares fascinating information about how assistance dogs and their handlers communicate and develop trust and why some dogs are simply not able to be assistance dogs. He discusses the unique human-canine bond, his groundbreaking work as a legal witness expert, and his work as a scientific advisor to assistance dog organizations. 



My academic and practical training is in the social behavior of birds and mammals, with a special focus on highly social species. My background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Millersville University (1980), a Master’s degree in Biology from Wake Forest University (1983), a Ph.D. in Zoology, with a specialization in animal behavior, from Colorado State University (1989), and professional credentialing as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, the highest level of certification in applied behavior.

At the University of Washington since 1990, I am recently retired as a Research Professor in Psychology (Animal Behavior Program) where I continue to teach and conduct research in complex social behavior and co gnition of several animal species. I specialize in the behavior of birds and mammals, more specifically in dogs and cats, non-human primates, and crows and their kin. I am also a specialist in behavioral data collection methodology (developer of the EVENT-Palm and EVENT-Apps custom-written behavior data collection software), and the management of non-human primate breeding colonies (demographics,behavior, and population genetics).

I founded Animal Behavior Associates of Washington in 1999 and have conducted hundreds of in-home consultations, helping owners develop multidimensional plans to modify the problem behaviors of their companion animals. In addition, I have acted as an Expert Legal Witness in dozens of criminal and civil cases. I am a regular contributor to local media, having appeared in local newspapers and on local television news programs on numerous occasions. Most recently, I have been invited to be a regular monthly contributor to KIRO-Radio’s It’s Raining Cats and Dogs program.