MEET ALLISON

Allison Scagel, Ph.D. (Owner, founder)

 

Hi! I’m Dr. Allison Scagel, the owner and founder of Scholars with Collars, LLC. My work with dogs began after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation biology and minors in both psychology and animal behavior. I then began working under Dr. Kristina Spaulding, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, assisting her with basic training classes as well as with private behavior clients for three years. Being able to work directly with training and behavior cases under the guidance of a certified professional was an invaluable experience and solidified my path towards opening my own dog training and behavior business in the future. I also served as the dog kennel attendant for the Humane Society of Rome for two years, where I helped dogs find their new families and implemented training protocols to teach dogs basic skills to ease their stay at the shelter and their transition to new homes.

From there, I started graduate school at the University at Buffalo. As part of the behavioral neuroscience doctoral program, I studied canine cognition and behavior, specifically focusing on canine memory and abstract concept formation. My research at UB involved training dogs to perform complicated cognitive tasks to demonstrate their memory of their own actions, their ability to conceptualize “same” and “different,” and their ability to innovate behaviors on cue. I have presented my work at annual conferences held by the Animal Behavior Society and the Comparative Cognition Society, and my first published paper, “Do that again! Memory for self-performed actions in dogs (Canis familiaris),” published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, won the 2022 Robert W. Rice Memorial Award for Early Excellence in Research.

 

Allison Scagel and Todd dog training

The Story Behind the Logo

 

These two dogs started it all. I grew up with a border collie named Bow who, though he was a loving member of the family, exhibited stranger aggression. My family managed his behavioral issues by simply accepting he would not be a dog who could mingle with the public, and he was able to live a long, happy life. Still, I knew there must be other dogs out there like him whose stories did not always end so happily, particularly if their families did not have the tools or means to address their behavioral issues. This was the initial spark that ignited my passion and put me on the path to my future career.

Then, while working at the Humane Society of Rome, I met a little long-haired chihuahua (at the time named Iron Man) who was surrendered to the shelter and was terrified of everyone and everything. After gaining his trust, I brought him home to foster him but quickly realized he had found a permanent home with me! Since adopting him (and renaming him Todd), I have used my education in training and behavior to provide him with the help he has needed to find the world a little less scary, something I wish I could have done for Bow.

Having experienced first-hand what it is like to live with dogs struggling with behavioral challenges, I know how hard it can be to manage a reactive, aggressive, or anxious dog and am dedicated to giving clients the tools they need to find some relief for both themselves and their dogs. As the inspiration for all my work with dogs, Bow and Todd are front and center as the Scholars with Collars logo.

Allison Scagel, Ph.D. (Owner, founder)

 

Hi! I’m Dr. Allison Scagel, the owner and founder of Scholars with Collars, LLC. My work with dogs began after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation biology and minors in both psychology and animal behavior. I then began working under Dr. Kristina Spaulding, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, assisting her with basic training classes as well as with private behavior clients for three years. Being able to work directly with training and behavior cases under the guidance of a certified professional was an invaluable experience and solidified my path towards opening my own dog training and behavior business in the future. I also served as the dog kennel attendant for the Humane Society of Rome for two years, where I helped dogs find their new families and implemented training protocols to teach dogs basic skills to ease their stay at the shelter and their transition to new homes.

From there, I started graduate school at the University at Buffalo. As part of the behavioral neuroscience doctoral program, I studied canine cognition and behavior, specifically focusing on canine memory and abstract concept formation. My research at UB involved training dogs to perform complicated cognitive tasks to demonstrate their memory of their own actions, their ability to conceptualize “same” and “different,” and their ability to innovate behaviors on cue. I have presented my work at annual conferences held by the Animal Behavior Society and the Comparative Cognition Society, and my first published paper, “Do that again! Memory for self-performed actions in dogs (Canis familiaris),” published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, won the 2022 Robert W. Rice Memorial Award for Early Excellence in Research.

 

The Story Behind the Logo

These two dogs started it all. I grew up with a border collie named Bow who, though he was a loving member of the family, exhibited stranger aggression. My family managed his behavioral issues by simply accepting he would not be a dog who could mingle with the public, and he was able to live a long, happy life. Still, I knew there must be other dogs out there like him whose stories did not always end so happily, particularly if their families did not have the tools or means to address their behavioral issues. This was the initial spark that ignited my passion and put me on the path to my future career.

Then, while working at the Humane Society of Rome, I met a little long-haired chihuahua (at the time named Iron Man) who was surrendered to the shelter and was terrified of everyone and everything. After gaining his trust, I brought him home to foster him but quickly realized he had found a permanent home with me! Since adopting him (and renaming him Todd), I have used my education in training and behavior to provide him with the help he has needed to find the world a little less scary, something I wish I could have done for Bow.

Having experienced first-hand what it is like to live with dogs struggling with behavioral challenges, I know how hard it can be to manage a reactive, aggressive, or anxious dog and am dedicated to giving clients the tools they need to find some relief for both themselves and their dogs. As the inspiration for all my work with dogs, Bow and Todd are front and center as the Scholars with Collars logo.

The Story Behind the Logo

These two dogs started it all. I grew up with a border collie named Bow who, though he was a loving member of the family, exhibited stranger aggression. My family managed his behavioral issues by simply accepting he would not be a dog who could mingle with the public, and he was able to live a long, happy life. Still, I knew there must be other dogs out there like him whose stories did not always end so happily, particularly if their families did not have the tools or means to address their behavioral issues. This was the initial spark that ignited my passion and put me on the path to my future career.

Then, while working at the Humane Society of Rome, I met a little long-haired chihuahua (at the time named Iron Man) who was surrendered to the shelter and was terrified of everyone and everything. After gaining his trust, I brought him home to foster him but quickly realized he had found a permanent home with me! Since adopting him (and renaming him Todd), I have used my education in training and behavior to provide him with the help he has needed to find the world a little less scary, something I wish I could have done for Bow.

Having experienced first-hand what it is like to live with dogs struggling with behavioral challenges, I know how hard it can be to manage a reactive, aggressive, or anxious dog and am dedicated to giving clients the tools they need to find some relief for both themselves and their dogs. As the inspiration for all my work with dogs, Bow and Todd are front and center as the Scholars with Collars logo.