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What happens when two canine scientists decide to become pen pals in an era of digital media?


Like most New Yorkers, Julie wears a number of hats, although she only wears metaphorical hats because real ones flatten her hair. Julie is a canine behavioral researcher and manages Alexandra Horowitz’s Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. As a science writer, Julie’s column for The Bark covers everything from humping and crotch sniffing to dog daycare and word learning in dogs. 

In 2010, she founded Dog Spies with the motto, “What good is all this dog behavior research if it remains holed up in academic journals?” She blogs, lectures and holds programs for the general public, student groups and dog enthusiasts on the science behind dogs and the dog-human relationship. She also crafts courses and curricula on, yes, dog behavior and cognition and teaches Applied Animal Behavior to Anthrozoology Masters students at Canisius College.

In March 2013, her blog, Dog Spies, joined the Scientific American Blog Network. Her work has been featured in various print, television and digital media. Her latest obsession is Mia Cobb’s brainchild, Do You Believe in Dog?. Julie was always getting in trouble for passing notes, and now she can do it legitimately and internationally. Take that, Mrs. Cooper!

Julie entered the world of dog under the tutelage of Dr. Patricia McConnell at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Masters from the University of Edinburgh in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare and conducted research on the “guilty look” in dogs with the Family Dog Project in Budapest. 

At the end of the day, she'd really just like to meet your dog.

View Julie Hecht's's profile on LinkedIn