Karen London

Flagstaff, AZ


  • Association of Pet Dog Trainers
  • Animal Behavior Society
  • dogbehaviorblog.com
  • CoreCAAB

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Pet Dog Trainer and writer who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems, including aggression, in dogs. She received her B.S. in Biology from UCLA and her Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin. Her research and scholarly publications cover such diverse topics as interactions between species that live together, defensive and aggressive behavior, the evolution of social behavior, communication within and between species, learning, and parental investment.

Karen London was trained by Dr. Patricia McConnell at Dog’s Best Friend, Ltd., and worked there for four years as a Behaviorist and Trainer. She then worked as the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and taught training classes at the Upper Valley Humane Society in New Hampshire. She currently writes two columns for The BARk Magazine (Ask the Behaviorist and Play By the Numbers), as well as The London Zoo animal column in the The Arizona Daily Sun newspaper, and served for three years on the Animal Behavior Society’s Board of Professional Certification.

Karen London has written widely about training and behavior and is a popular speaker on many aspects of dog behavior. Karen used to live on Catalina Island, teaching marine biology, island ecology, snorkeling and kayaking to kids. She has spent a lot of time in the tropics, especially during graduate school when she was studying the defensive behavior of tropical social wasps in Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Mexico for her dissertation. Karen was one of the instructors for Northern Arizona University’s Tropical Forest Insect Ecology class, which included a two-week field component in Nicaragua. She also gives guest lectures in animal behavior courses at various universities.

She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her husband and their two young sons. Dealing with children is a lot scarier and more challenging than facing aggressive dogs daily, but she feels confident that her dog expertise is enhancing her parenting skills, and does apply many behavioral techniques from her years in clinical practice with dogs to the task. Only her sons, and in later years, probably their therapists, will be able to comment intelligently on whether or not this was wise.

Her dog Bugsy (half Black Lab and half handsome stranger) was a hodge-podge of behavioral issues, including aggression, and inspired her in many ways—to be persistent, to be creative, to be patient, to look for answers from every possible source, to value a team of collaborators, and above all, to be sympathetic to clients struggling with their dogs’ behavioral issues. He also taught her that if any trainers or behaviorists have never had a dog with serious issues, then they have missed out on that greatest of educational opportunities—real life.