In the Company of Animals

Lisa Smith-Putnam on Pet Life Radio

Today on the Your Pets My Dogs show our host Lisa Smith-Putnam welcomes Dr. James Serpell. Have you ever wondered why your pets will do certain things? Acts a certain way towards other pets? Ever wonder exactly what they are trying to tell you? Well- ASK no more! Dr. James Serpell answers some of those questions and much more. Our favorite question and answer is why do little dogs have such a “big dog” complex! Ha-ha-ha…are you laughing yet? We hope so, as we have fun with Dr. Serpell and learn so much about our human interaction with our pets…it is on one of our favorite shows.

Dr. Serpell’s main field of study is behavior and welfare of companion animals; development of human attitudes to animals; history of human-animal interactions; measurement of behavioral phenotypes in dogs and cats; ontogenesis of behavioral problems in companion and working dogs; animal-assisted therapeutic interventions…. Yes, Dr. Serpell is truly a gentleman and a scholar and we are so thrilled to welcome him to our show!


James Serpell holds the Marie A. Moore endowed Professorship in Animal Ethics & Welfare at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from University College London in 1974, and his PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of Liverpool (UK) in 1980. In 1985 he established the Companion Animal Research Group at the University of Cambridge before moving in 1993 to his current position at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches veterinary ethics, applied animal behavior and welfare, and human-animal interactions. His research focuses on the behavior and welfare of dogs and cats, the development of human attitudes to animals, and the history and impact of human-animal relationships. In addition to publishing more than 100 articles and book chapters on these and related topics, he is the author, editor or co-editor of several books including Animals & Human Society: Changing Perspectives (1994), The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior & Interactions with People (1995), In the Company of Animals (1996), and Companion Animals & Us (2000).