Dog biology for the rest of us

Series Description: Most of us know what dogs are. After all, they have been comingling with humans for at least 20,000 years. But most of us do not know how they work, or why that would matter. What's inside does matter, biology matters, and knowing a bit about it will certainly help you if you live with dogs, see dogs on a regular basis, or even just encounter them occasionally. We will look at the biology of dogs through three different lenses: theirs and how they view the world, ours and how we encounter them, and finally some nuts and bolts on caring for them.

Series Information: Three week series, beginning on Thursday, February 10, 2022, 10:00-11:40 a.m. This is a live-streamed, online program. Registrants will receive information by email to access the program. The actual Join URL will be sent out to registrants two business days prior to the first session. If you have not received it by then, please contact the Selim Center ( immediately.

Series Educator: Tim Lewis has a PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studies a wide range of animals from turtles to domestic dogs. His classes include the biology of dogs, neuroecology, ecology, natural history, and evolution. He is a Professor of Biology at the University of St. Thomas in St. LPaul. An award-winning teacher, he gives talks about dog biology around the country. He recently published Dog Biology: From Gonads, Through Guts, to Ganglia, available in English and now in German. Two border collies allow him to cohabitate in their home.

Fee for the series: $45.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card on our secure page, click on this link   Important note: you must register before 8:00 a.m. on the program day in order to receive the Join URL for the session.

To register by check or cash, or to redeem a voucher, please complete this registration form and mail back to the address on the form. Winter 2022 Registration Form

Series Syllabus:

DateSession Description

February 10

A Dog's View of the World: We are visual creatures relying on sight for most of our encounters. Dogs rely more heavily on scent in ways we literally cannot imagine. They see and hear differently than we do, too. In this session we will learn how dogs encounter the world, and in the process learn more about how we do.

February 17

Our View of a Dog: We encounter dogs in many walks of life using them to perform important jobs and have done so for at least 20,000 years. Breeds mostly exist because we shaped them for these jobs. We encounter breeds and mixes in many ways, even if we do not live with them. In this session we will explore the human canine relationship through a biological lens.

February 24

Dogs are People, Too. At least that is what many people think. They aren't, and knowing how they differ can better inform us on how we care for them. From humane societies to diets and vet trips, we will explore how society can better care for dogs and how individuals can use biology to enhance the lives of the dogs they live with.