Alexandra Horowitz headshot

Alexandra Horowitz

Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor


English, Psychology


Milbank 404
T 12-1pm & R 9:15-10am via Zoom


Alexandra Horowitz has been teaching at Barnard since 2004. Her research specialty is dog cognition. She is currently testing the olfactory experience of the domestic dog through experiments in natural settings. 

  • M.S., Ph.D.,  Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania

  • Naturalistic observations of domestic dog social play
  • Empirically testing anthropomorphisms 
  • Characterizing dog olfactory ability

  • ENGL BC3223 New York in Ten Objects: Research, Storytelling, and the Podcast (with J. Kassanoff) - FALL 2019-present
  • ENGL BC3120 Creative Nonfiction: Making facts sing 
  • PSY BC3390 Canine Cognition - SPRING 2014-present
  • Past courses:
  • BIO BC2280 Animal Behavior
  • FYS BC1460 Memory
  • PSY BC3381 Theory of Mind and Intentionality
  • PSY BC1001 Introduction to Psychology


see for 2019-present

Previous years:

April, 2019: Canine science symposium, San Francisco, CA

Feb, 2019: Representing animals, New York University, NYC

July, 2018: Living with dogs living with us, Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, Los Angeles, CA.

June, 2018. Aspen Ideas Festival, Colorado.

April, 2018: Can dogs sniff out time? Rubin Museum, NY, NY.

March, 2018: Isle of dogs: A scientific fact-check, Colonial Theatre. pdf of slides

November, 2017: Animal Consciousness, New York University, NY.

October, 2017: Writing animals: a symposium, New York University, NY.

July, 2017: On Observation, Open House New York, NY.

June, 2017. How we smell. With Stuart Firestein. New York Society Library, NY.

April, 2017. Delta Institute Dog Behaviour Conference, Sydney, Australia.

March, 2017. Dog Symposium, Oslo, Norway.

March, 2017. Academy for Teachers Master Class, New York, NY.

March, 2017. From the Faculty Lounge, Barnard College.

February, 2017. Savannah Book Festival, Savannah, Georgia.

February, 2017. Shulman Lecture @ Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

January, 2017. Mid-Manhattan Library, New York, NY.

December, 2016. Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

November, 2016. Characterizing Animals in Science and Fiction -- Columbia Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience. Columbia University, New York, NY.

November, 2016. Creative Writing Faculty reading, Barnard College, New York, NY.

June, 2016. The Art of Examination: Art Museums with Medical Schools Partnerships. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

April, 2016. Penn Vet Working Dog Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

April, 2016. Woods Lecture, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN.

April, 2016. Union Docs, Brooklyn, NY.


Why puppies bark. Time Magazine, September 23.

When your dog is a teenager. The New York Times, September 17.

Five best: books on dogs. The Wall Street Journal, September 16.

What do dogs know about us? The Atlantic, September 16.

The pleasures that lurk in the back of the book. The Atlantic, March 16.

Finnegan, dog known for his exemplary nose, dies at 14. The New York Times, February 21.


The return of dogs to the White House feels magnificently American., November 22.

Checking in on the culture of macaws, sperms whales and chimpanzees.The New York Times, April 14.

Dogs, at least, love home quarantine. The New York Times, March 27.

Tweak, memory. The Academy for Teachers, January 25.

2019 and earlier

We know a dog is not a chair. The law says otherwise. Globe & Mail, September 7.

Dogs are not here for our convenience. The New York Times, September 3.

What does it feel like to be a dog? Wall Street Journal, August 22.

Things people say to their dogs. The New York Times, August 2.

Is this dog actually happy? New York Times

Learn to sniff like a dog.

How to master your sense of smell. TED-Ed video

Your dog smells you. CNN. Oct 22, 2016

How do dogs "see" with their noses? TED-Ed video

Fledgling Grief.  The New York Times. Nov 9, 2014

Mutts at Westminster. The New Yorker. Feb 12, 2014

Growth. Smithsonian. Dec, 2013

The limits of detection. The New Yorker. Apr 25, 2013

What the dog knows. The New Yorker. Feb 23, 2013

Walk like a fish. The New York Times. Dec 16, 2012

Story time, debunked (with Ammon Shea). The New York Times. Jan 1, 2012

Is your dog smarter than a 2-year-old? The New York Times. Nov 19, 2011

De-noted. The New York Times. Oct 9, 2011

Are bees sad on Wednesday? (with Ammon Shea). The New York Times. Oct 8, 2011

Think you're smarter than animals? Think again (with Ammon Shea). The New York Times. Aug 20, 2011


Can dogs smell their "reflections"? The Atlantic. Aug 17, 2017.

How do dogs recognize us? (book review). New York Times. Nov 8, 2016.

A dog's life. CBS Sunday Morning. Oct 30, 2016

How dogs use smell to see -- and save -- the world. Washington Post. Oct 27, 2016

Book review. Boston Globe. Oct 27, 2016

Learning from Dogs as They Sniff Out Their World. New York Times. Oct 10, 2016

Apparently Dogs Can Tell Time with Their Noses. New York Magazine. Oct 5, 2016

On Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Oct 4, 2016

Dog Story, by Adam Gopnik. The New Yorker. Aug 8, 2011


(2022). The year of the puppy: How dogs become themselves. Viking: New York, NY.

(2019). Our dogs, ourselves. Scribner, New York, NY.

(2016). Being a dog: Following the dog into a world of smell. Scribner, New York, NY.

(2016). Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell, and know -- Young readers edition. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

(2014). Editor. Domestic dog cognition and behavior: The scientific study of Canis familiaris. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. (pdf of Preface & ToC; pdf of Horowitz & Hecht "Looking at dogs: From anthropomorphism to canid umwelt")

(2013). On looking: Eleven walks with expert eyes. Scribner's: New York, NY. (website)

(2009). Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell, and know. Scribner's: New York, NY.

Horowitz, A. (2023, in press). Dignity in dogs. In M. Challenger (Ed.), Animal Dignity: Philosophical reflections on nonhuman life. Bloomsbury.

Volsche, S., Gunnip, H., Brown, C., Kiperash, M., Root-Gutteridge, H., Horowitz, A. (2023). Dogs produce distinctive play pants: Confirming Simonet et al. (2001). International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 35.

Volsche, S., Root-Gutteridge, H., Korzeniowska, A.T., Horowitz, A. (2022). Centring individual animals to improve research and citation practices. Biological Reviews.

Andrews, E., Pascalau, R., Horowitz, A., Lawrence, G., Johnson, P. (2022). Extensive connections of the canine olfactory pathway revealed by tractography and dissection. Journal of Neuroscience, 42(33), 6392-6407.

Kerns, K.A., Dulmen, M.H.M., Kochendorfer, L.B., Obeldobel, C.A., Gastelle, M., Horowitz, A. (2022). Assessing children’s relationships with pet dogs: A multi-method approach. Social Development. doi:10.1111/sode.12622

Horowitz, A. (2021). Considering the "dog" in dog-human interactions. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. (link to full text)

Horowitz, A., West, E., Ball, M., Bagwell, B. (2021). Can dogs limbo? Dogs' perception of affordances for negotiating an opening. Animals, 11, 620. (link to full text)

Horowitz, A. (2021). Naming and looking. In M. DeMello (Ed.), Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies, 2nd ed. Columbia University Press.

Horowitz, A. (2021). The Mall in St. James's Park. In M. Mitchell (Ed.), The Sleeve Should Be Illegal & Other Reflections on Art at the Frick. Delmonico-Prestel.

Horowitz, A. (2020). Discrimination of person odor by owned domestic dogs. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 33. (link)

Horowitz, A., Franks, B. (2020). What smells? Gauging attention to olfaction in canine cognition research. Animal Cognition, 23(1), 11-18(pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2020). L'olfaction: le point de nez du chien. (Olfaction: A dog's point of nose). In S. Jeannin & T. Bedossa (Eds.), Comportement et bien-être du chien: Une approche interdisciplinaire. Dijon: Educagri.

Duranton, C., Horowitz, A. (2019). Let me sniff! Nosework induces positive judgment bias in pet dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 211, 61-66(pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2018). Behavior. In L. Gruen (Ed.), Critical terms for animal studies (pp. 64-78). University of Chicago Press. (pdf)

Franks, B., Sebo, J., Horowitz, A. (2018). Fish are smart and feel pain. What about joy? Animal Sentience, 21(16). (full text)

Horowitz, A., Franks, B., Sebo., J. (2018). Fill-in-the-blank emotion in dogs? Evidence from brain imaging. Animal Sentience, 22(20). (full text)

Horowitz, A. (2017). Smelling themselves: Dogs investigate their own odours longer when modified in an "olfactory mirror" test. Behavioural Processes, 143C, 17-24. (pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2017). Making scents. In V. Henshaw, K. McLean, D. Medway, C. Perkins, G. Warnaby (Eds.), Designing with smell: Practices, techniques and challenges (pp. 237-238). Routledge.

Horowitz, A., Hecht, J. (2016). Examining dog-human play: The characteristics, affect, and vocalizations of a unique interspecific interaction. Animal Cognition, 19, 779-788(pdf; DOI 10.1007/s10071-016-0976-3)

Horowitz, A. (2015). Reading dogs reading us. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 159, 1-15(pdf)

Hecht, J., Horowitz, A. (2015). Seeing animals: Human preferences for dog physical attributes. Anthrozoos, 28, 153-163. 

Hecht, J., Horowitz, A. (2015). Introduction to dog behavior. In S. Zawitowski, E. Weiss, & H. Mohan-Gibbons (Eds.), Animal Behavior for Shelter Veterinarians and Staff. Wiley-Blackwell. (pdf)

Horowitz, A., Hecht, J. (2014). Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9, e15.

Horowitz, A. (2014). Canis familiaris: Companion and captive. In L. Gruen (Ed.), The ethics of captivity (pp. 7-21). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. (pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2014). The dog at the side of the shot: Incongruous dog (Canis familiaris) behavior in film. In A.L. McLean (Ed.), Cinematic canines: Dogs and their work in the fiction film (pp. 219-234). Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, NJ. (pdf)

Horowitz, A., & Hecht, J. (2014). Looking at dogs: Moving from anthropocentrism to canid umwelt. In A. Horowitz (Ed.), Domestic dog cognition and behavior: The scientific study of Canis familiaris (pp. 201-219)Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. (pdf)

Horowitz, A., Hecht, J., & Dedrick, A. (2013). Smelling more or less: Investigating the olfactory experience of the domestic dog. Learning and Motivation, 44, 207-217. (Link to article preview; pdf)

Hecht, J., & Horowitz, A. (2013). Physical prompts to anthropomorphisms of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8, e30.

Horowitz, A. (2012). Fair is fine, but more is better: Limits to inequity aversion in the domestic dog. Social Justice Research, 25, 195-212. (Link to abstract; pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2012). "Wild minds—What animals really think": A museum exhibit at the New York Hall of Science, December 2011. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 15, 294-296. (Link to article preview.)

Horowitz, A. (2011). Theory of mind in dogs? Examining method and concept. Learning & Behavior, 39, 314-317. (Link to abstract; pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2011). Empirically testing anthropomorphisms of the domestic dog. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 6, 75.

Horowitz, A. (2010). Origin's Origins. Ethology, 116, 381-382.

Horowitz, A. (2010). Anthropomorphism. In M. Bekoff (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, 2nd ed. Greenwood Press, Santa Barbara, CA, 68-73. (pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2009). Disambiguating the "guilty look": Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour. Behavioural Processes, 81, 447-452 (Link to abstract; pdf)

Horowitz, A. C. (2009). Attention to attention in domestic dog (Canis familiaris) dyadic play. Animal Cognition, 12, 107-118 (Link to abstract; pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2009). Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) use visual attention cues when play signaling. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 4, 53-54.

Horowitz, D., and Horowitz, A. (2009). A comparison of dog owners' claims about their pets' guilt with evidence from dog behavior. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 4, 104.

Horowitz, A. (2008). Review of Dog behaviour, evolution, and cognitionQuarterly Review of Biology, 83,399.

Horowitz, A. C., and Bekoff, M. (2007). Naturalizing anthropomorphism: Behavioral prompts to our humanizing of animals. Anthrozoös, 20, 23-35. (pdf)

Horowitz, A. C. (2007). Anthropomorphism. In M. Bekoff (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT, 60-66. (pdf)

Horowitz A. (2004). Dog minds and dog play. In M. Bekoff (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT, 835-838.

Horowitz, A. C. (2003). Do humans ape? Or do apes human? Imitation and intention in humans and other animals. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 117, 325–336(pdf)

Horowitz, A. (2002). The behaviors of theories of mind, and A case study of dogs at play. PhD dissertation, University of California at San Diego. (pdf)

In The News

Barnard professor and canine cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz — an authority on how dogs perceive the world — shares her expertise, right on time for her new children’s book release and National Therapy Animal Day.

April 29, 2024