Lisa M Gunter

canine scientist

Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA is a Maddie's Fund Research Fellow at Arizona State University in the Department of Psychology and conducts her research in the Canine Science Collaboratory. Before beginning her graduate studies, she worked for nearly a decade with dogs in animal shelters and with dogs and their owners. The goal of Lisa's research is to better the lives of dogs. To this aim, she has investigated the breed labeling of shelter dogs, their breed heritage, post-adoption interventions focused on owner retention, temporary fostering, and behavioral indicators of welfare for kenneled dogs. Under the mentorship of Clive Wynne, Lisa earned her Masters in 2015, and her PhD in 2018 as a graduate student in the behavioral neuroscience program at Arizona State University. 

Prior to her graduate school, she worked as a behavior consultant and trainer in San Francisco where she taught group classes and consulted with owners experiencing issues of fear, anxiety, and aggression with their dogs. Her interest in canine behavior began in 2002 as an animal shelter volunteer, training dogs in basic skills and assisting in shelter dog playgroups. That interest grew into a career where she managed the behavior programs of several shelters throughout the West.

These experiences led Lisa to co-found Wagfield Academy, an online dog training and behavior resource for owners (which was recently acquired by the Humane Society of the United States Pets for Life program), and the Institute for Shelter Dogs with Dr. Erica Feuerbacher, where they combine the latest in shelter research with the current best practices in workshops for staff and volunteers.

Download Lisa's CV


"We're essentially detectives, gathering as much information as possible to provide us with the best understanding of what the dog is experiencing. It's the best we can do, without being dogs."