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About Dr. Reisner

Ilana Reisner, DVM, PhD, DACVB

Dr. Ilana Reisner has been a veterinary behaviorist, a veterinarian board-certified in behavioral medicine, since the specialty of veterinary behavior was established in 1995. As a veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Reisner has expertise in both normal (though often undesirable) and abnormal behaviors of all companion animal species.

Previously a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where she headed the Behavior Service at Penn's Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Reisner provided clinical services to pet owners, served as mentor in a clinical residency program, and taught both clinical and undergraduate veterinary students. Dr. Reisner's ongoing research interest is canine aggression, from both clinical and public health perspectives. She has published and spoken extensively on the subject of dog bites, with particular attention to the safety of children and their families.


Dr. Reisner received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from both Oregon State University School of Veterinary Medicine & Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and a PhD in Behavioral Physiology from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Reisner is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB).

Postgraduate and Clinical Experience

Dr. Reisner completed a small animal internship at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a residency in behavioral medicine at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

From 1985-1989, Dr. Reisner was an associate at Porter Square Veterinarian in Somerville, Massachusetts. In 1989 she began her behavior training and doctoral (PhD) program at Cornell University. From 1995-2001 Dr. Reisner had a behavior referral and consulting practice in the central New York area. From 2001-2011, she headed the Behavior Clinic at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital and was on faculty at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Research, Writing, & Speaking

Dr. Reisner has published original studies in the areas of feline early handling, neurobiology of aggression, and canine aggression, with a current research focus in canine aggression, public health and dog bites to children, recently in collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Professional Memberships

Dr. Reisner shares her home with four dogs, Zev and Breeze (Australian Shepherds), Ivy (Rat Terrier mix) and Henry (Cattle dog mix), Reuben, a one-eyed cat with excellent depth perception, three English budgies, a cockatiel and an African Grey parrot.