Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Nicholas H. Dodman

Behavioral Pharmacology, Animal Behavior

Section Head and Program Director, Animal Behavior

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. The effect of thyroid replacement in dogs with suboptimal thyroid function on owner-directed aggression: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Dodman NH, Cottam N, Aronson L, Dodds WJ. J Vet Behav, (accepted for publication) 2012.
  2. The Effectiveness of the Anxiety Wrap in the Treatment of Canine Thunderstorm Phobia: An Open-Label Trial. Dodman NH, Cottam N. Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour, (accepted for publication) 2012.
  3. Characteristics of compulsive tail chasing and associated risk factors in Bull Terriers. Moon-Fanelli AA, Famula TR, Cottam N, Dodman NH. J Am Vet Med Assoc, Vol. 238(7) 883-889, 2011.
  4. Interdog household aggression: 38 cases (2006-2007). Wrubel KM, Dodman NH, Moon-Fanelli AA, Maranda LS. J Am Vet Med Assoc, Vol. 238(6) 731-740, 2011.
  5. The use of clonidine in the treatment of fear-based behavior problems in dogs: An open trial. Ogata N, Dodman NH. J Vet Behav, Vol. 6:130-137, 2011.
  6. Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk. Dodman NH, Blondeau N, Marini AM. Food & Chemical Toxicology 2010 Vol. 48: 1270-1274.
  7. A Canine Chromosome 7 Locus Confers Compulsive Disorder Susceptibility. Nicholas H. Dodman, Elinor K. Karlsson, Alice Moon-Fanelli, Marzena Galdzicka, Michele Perloski, Louis Shuster, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, and Edward I. Ginns. 2010 Molecular Psychiatry 15:8-10.
  8. A Single-Blinded Case-Control Study of Memantine in Severe obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Stewart SE, NM, D E, Hezel DM, Stack DE, Dodman NH, Shuster L, Jenike MA. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2010 Vol. 30 (1): 34-39.
  9. Comparison of the Effectiveness of a Purported Anti-Static Cape (the Storm Defender®) vs. a Placebo Cape in the Treatment of Canine Thunderstorm Phobia. Cottam N, Dodman NH. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2009 Vol. 119: 78-84.
  10. Clinical use of an herbal extract (Huperzine-A) to treat putative complex partial seizures in a dog. Schneider BM, Dodman NH, Faissler D, Ogata N. Epilepsy & Behavior 2009 Vol. 15: 529-534.
  11. Use of memantine in treatment of canine compulsive disorders: A preliminary, clinical trial. Maurer BM, Dodman NH. J Vet Behav: Clinical Application and Research 2009 Vol. 4:118-126.
  12. The Combined Effects of Memantine and Fluoxetine on an Animal Model of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Wald R, Dodman N, Shuster L. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2008 Vol. 17(3) 191-197.
  13. Comparison of remote versus in-person behavioral consultation for treatment of canine separation anxiety. Cottam N, Dodman NH, Moon-Fanelli AA, Patronek GJ. J Applied Animal Welfare Science 2008 Vol. 11 (1); 28-41.

General Research Interests

  • Pharmacologic control of animal behavior problems.

Research Interests by Area

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.
Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder models in dogs and cats, and autism model in dogs

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

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