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Assistant Professor, Animal Science, Boise State University

Shelly Volsche is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin – River Falls, where she teaches courses on companion animal training and behavior and the role of pets in our world, while overseeing numerous hands-on learning opportunities for students. Inspired by our ever-changing relationships with nonhuman animals, particularly dogs, she looks at proximate and ultimate factors and how they can be applied in training and welfare settings. Her recent work investigates dog-human play and the potential for nonverbal communication to enhance the bond. She is a member of many academic and professional organizations including the International Society of Applied Ethology and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her work has been featured in the media (e.g., National Geographic, BBC), on multiple radio outlets (e.g., NPR’s Fresh Air), and on podcasts (e.g., DogLab with Brian Burton). During her off time, Volsche can be found roaming with her husband and their dog, Lucy, or playing video games – especially those that include positive portrayals of the human-animal bond.


  • 2023–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - River Falls
  • 2021–2023
    Clinical assistant professor, Boise State University
  • 2019–2021
    Lecturer, Boise State University


  • 2017 
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas, PhD Anthropology