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Nicholas H. Dodman - BVMS, DACVA, DACVB: (Emeritus)

Nicholas H. Dodman




Dr. Dodman is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and Professor, Section Head and Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. Dodman is one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists. He grew-up in England and trained to be a vet in Scotland. At the age of 26, he became the youngest veterinary faculty member in Britain. It was at that time that Dr. Dodman began specializing in surgery and anesthesiology. In 1981, Dr. Dodman immigrated to the United States where he became a faculty member of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Shortly after his arrival, Dr. Dodman became interested in behavioral pharmacology and the field of animal behavior. After spending several years in this area of research, he founded the Animal Behavior Clinic - one of the first of its kind - at Tufts in 1986. He received an additional board certification in animal behavior from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Dr. Dodman began to see clinical cases in 1987 and since 1990, he has devoted all of his time to his specialty practice of animal behavior. Since the mid 1990s, Dr. Dodman has written four acclaimed bestselling books that have received a tremendous amount of national press. His first book, The Dog Who Loved Too Much (Bantam Books, 1995), was an unqualified success selling more than 100,000 copies as did his second book, The Cat Who Cried for Help (Bantam Books, 1997). His third book, Dogs Behaving Badly (Bantam Books, 1999) was again a bestseller while his latest, If Only They Could Speak (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002) was recently released as a trade paperback. Dr. Dodman is internationally recognized and sought after as a leader in his field.

In addition to his four trade books, he has authored two textbooks and more than 100 articles and contributions to scientific books and journals. He appears regularly on radio and television including: 20/20, Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dateline, World News with Peter Jennings, Discovery Channel, NOVA, Animal Planet, the BBC and CBC, CNN’s Headline News, Inside Edition, MSNBC, NOVA, NPR’s “Fresh Air” and A&E. He is an ad hoc guest on WBUR’s “Here & Now.” As a former senior editor for, he is currently a columnist for the American Kennel Club’s quarterly publication, AKC Family Dog, where his column was nominated for 2005 “Column of the Year.” Additionally, he is a Pet Expert for Time, Inc. and also writes a monthly “Expert Advice” column for LIFE magazine that is read by twelve million people. Dr. Dodman is also the editor of Tufts University’s forthcoming Puppies First Steps, which has been sold to Houghton Mifflin (2007). He is a consultant to and official national spokesman for a new line of pet products from Zero Odor LLC for whom he recently completed shooting a 28-minute infomercial that will air up to five times a week on cable television networks beginning the spring of 2006. In addition, Dr Dodman has recently completed a television pilot for a series of his own sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Dodman graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary School in Scotland where he received a BVMS (DVM equivalent). He was a surgical intern at the Glasgow Veterinary School before joining the faculty. He received a Diploma in Veterinary Anesthesia from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American Society for Veterinary Animal Behavior. Dr. Dodman holds ten US patents for behavior modification treatments, including a recent (2002) patent that details a novel treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans. Early work in the Harvard and Yale University Psychiatry Departments confirms the validity of this novel treatment. Dr. Dodman lives near Tufts University with his wife, Dr. Linda Breitman, a veterinarian who specializes in small animals, and their children.


  • BVMS - Glasgow University School of Veterinary Medicine - 1970

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists (ACVA)
  • American College of Veterinary Behavior (ACVB)
  1. Blaze, C.A., Faissler, D., Schneider, B., Maranda, L., Barton, B., Simon, R.F., Dodman, N.H. 2016. The effect of acepromazine on electroencephalographic activity in normal sedated dogs. International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Dodman, N.H., Ginns, E.I., Shuster, L., Moon-Fanelli, A.A., Galdzicka, M., Zheng, J., Ruhe, A.L., Neff, M.W. 2016. Genomic risk for severe canine compulsive disorder, a dog model of human OCD. International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Dodman, N.H. 2015. More on animal welfare. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  4. Krebsbach, S., Dodman, N.H. 2015. Letters to the editor: More on animal welfare. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  5. Borns-Weil, S., Emmanuel, C., Longo, J., Kini, N., Barton, B., Smith, A., Dodman, N.H. 2015. A case-control study of compulsive wool-sucking in Siamese and Birman cats (n = 204). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
  6. Dodman, N.H. 2014. Experience of breathing carbon dioxide. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  7. Tsilioni, I., Dodman, N., Petra, A.I., Taliou, A., Francis, K., Moon-Fanelli, A., Shuster, L., Theoharides, T.C. 2014. Elevated serum neurotensin and CRH levels in children with autistic spectrum disorders and tail-chasing Bull Terriers with a phenotype similar to autism. Translational psychiatry.
  8. Moya, P.R., Dodman, N.H., Timpano, K.R., Rubenstein, L.M., Rana, Z., Fried, R.L., Reichardt, L.F., Heiman, G.A., Tischfield, J.A., King, R.A., Galdzicka, M., Ginns, E.I., Wendland, J.R. 2013. Rare missense neuronal cadherin gene (CDH2) variants in specific obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette disorder phenotypes. European Journal of Human Genetics.
  9. Ogata, N., Gillis, T.E., Liu, X., Cunningham, S.M., Lowen, S.B., Adams, B.L., Sutherland-Smith, J., Mintzopoulos, D., Janes, A.C., Dodman, N.H., Kaufman, M.J. 2013. Brain structural abnormalities in Doberman pinschers with canine compulsive disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.
  10. Dodman, N.H., Aronson, L., Cottam, N., Dodds, J.W. 2013. The effect of thyroid replacement in dogs with suboptimal thyroid function on owner-directed aggression: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
  11. Cottam, N., Dodman, N.H., Ha, J.C. 2013. The effectiveness of the Anxiety Wrap in the treatment of canine thunderstorm phobia: An open-label trial. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
  12. Marini, A.M., Blondeau, N., Dodman, N. 2012. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2010, author response to letter by Don Henneke, Sheryl King, William Day and Pat Evans regarding Association of phenylbutazone usage in horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk. Food and Chemical Toxicology.
  13. Dodman, N.H. 2011. Protecting horses at the track.. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  14. Dodman, N.H., Winand, N.J. 2011. Debate continues on horse welfare issue. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  15. Moon-Fanelli, A.A., Dodman, N.H., Famula, T.R., Cottam, N. 2011. Characteristics of compulsive tail chasing and associated risk factors in bull terriers. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  16. Wrubel, K.M., Moon-Fanelli, A.A., Maranda, L.S., Dodman, N.H. 2011. Interdog household aggression: 38 cases (2006-2007). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  17. Ogata, N., Dodman, N.H. 2011. The use of clonidine in the treatment of fear-based behavior problems in dogs: An open trial. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
  18. Dodman, N., Blondeau, N., Marini, A.M. 2010. Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk. Food and Chemical Toxicology.
  19. Stewart, S.E., Jenike, E.A., Hezel, D.M., Stack, D.E., Dodman, N.H., Shuster, L., Jenike, M.A. 2010. A single-blinded case-control study of memantine in severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
  20. Dodman, N.H., Karlsson, E.K., Moon-Fanelli, A., Galdzicka, M., Perloski, M., Shuster, L., Lindblad-Toh, K., Ginns, E.I. 2010. A canine chromosome 7 locus confers compulsive disorder susceptibility. Molecular Psychiatry.

General Research Interests

  • Pharmacologic control of animal behavior problems.

Research Interests by Area

Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder models in dogs and cats, and autism model in dogs
Neuroscience and Reproductive Biology
  • Animal Models of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

    Animal models of are frequently used to elucidate disease mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic targets. A large number of preclinical models of psychiatric disorders have been developed in rodents. Additionally, spontaneous clinical models of psychiatric disorders, such as separation anxiety and compulsive disorder, have been documented in dogs. With regard to neurological disorders, conditions such as stroke, can be induced in rodent models and are also observed clinically in companion animals. Information regarding genetic predisposition, sex-specificity, and age-related factors can also be assessed using these types of animal models. Learn more

Reproductive Biology and Neuroscience
  • Genetic basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in animals and humans, Pharmacological management of OCD. Genetic basis of canine and feline behavioral disorders; drug therapy for behavior in dogs and cats.

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

Neurology and Behavior
  • Pharmacological management of obsessive/compulsive behavior disorders