Patricia McConnell

Women in STEM
Patricia McConnell

Birth: November 16, 1948

Specialty: Animal Behavior

Major Contributions:

Written over a dozen books on animal behavior.

Hosted a Radio Show “Calling All Pets”

Expert on canine and feline behavior

Image Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Patricia McConnell uses her unique combination of science and experience with a benevolent and compassionate perspective on animal training to create her own training methodology. As an ethologist, a zoologist that specializes on non-human animal behavior, and Certified Animal Behaviorist, she is known worldwide as an expert on canine and feline behavior.  She earned her doctorate in 1988 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with her research focusing on dog behavior and communication between professional trainers and working domestic animals.

An adjunct professor, at Wisconsin-Madison she teaches The Biology and Philosophy of Human-Animal Relationships that includes topics related to evolution, domestication, comparative cognition, ethology, ecology, and the physiology of stress, as well as historical and current philosophical thought regarding our duties toward animals.  As a member of the Forum on Animal Research Ethics Committee she helped to facilitate a community-wide discussion on the use of animals in biomedical research at the university.

From 1994 until 2008 she co-hosted a weekly hour-long radio program on Wisconsin Public Radio entitled “Calling all Pets” where she shared information about animal research and gave advice on dealing with behavior. She has written over fourteen books on animal behavior including Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home, I’ll Be Home Soon! How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety and for you cat owners out there-The Fastidious Feline: How to Prevent and Treat Litter Box Problems.

Published in 2018, The Education of Will, is an honest look at McConnell’s own journey to healing past personal traumas while working with a troubled and aggressive young border collie, Will. This memoir shares the author’s work with troubled dogs and her own fight to reclaim her life from fear, anxiety, and guilt and how healing is possible for both people and dogs.

Stating that she is stupid in love with her dogs and that she is intellectually fascinated by this relationship, she studies interspecies communication to help improve relationships between people and animals all around the world. She regularly is a guest on radio shows and podcasts and speaks around the country but hates having to leave her two dogs, cats, and a very spoiled flock of sheep on their small farm.

Suggested By: Jennifer Lee

Written by Angela Goad


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