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Our Story

Carol Harris

Founder and Partner, Educator


Carol has loved animals all her days and has devoted her professional life to animal studies, training and behavior modification. Carol holds a certification in Applied Animal Behavior from the University of Washington and has studied under James Ha, CAAB (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist), Ph.D., one of the foremost animal behaviorists 


Since the early 1990s, Carol is been a highly-regarded trainer and evaluator of dog behavior. She was educated by and worked under a veterinary behaviorist, and served as an assistant in behavior consultations in the San Diego area. She was also the study coordinator in a groundbreaking investigative study of prospective pet anti-anxiety medication. 


Since she opened her own practice in 1998, Carol has contributed multiple articles to pet-related publications and co-authored chapters in the books Cat Behavior and Training  and Dog Behavior and Training. Her sought-after classes have been attended by several San Diego veterinarians, who, in turn, have referred their patients’ animals to her for basic training as well as to resolve behavior problems. She is also an evaluator for dog rescue organizations and therapy dog providers. The Educated pet has assisted the local Department of Animal Services in their staff training, as well as their programs for animal enrichment.


San Diego Magazine has recognized Carol as The Best Dog Trainer in San Diego and she has been featured several times on KPBS’s program, These Days.


A member of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS), Carol earned her Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior (UW-ABB) from the University of Washington in  the Professional and Continuing Education program, a prestigious and rigorous course of study drawing students from around the world. Graduates are well-equipped to relate modern Behavioral Ecology Theory to solving companion animal issues and provide expert witness support in matters of civil and criminal litigation. 

Carol’s professional affiliations also include the APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers), and Animal Behavior Associates. She earned her certification in Applied Animal Behavior from the University of Washington


Michael Harris

Partner, Educator

Michael earned degrees in Life and Physical Sciences, and earned the certification for Applied Animal Behavior from the University of Washington. He participates with Carol in conducting research projects with Dr. Ha, providing scientific and mathematical expertise and support. 

Before joining Carol as The Educated Pet’s office manager, assistant trainer and behaviorist in 2012, Michael spent 30 years as a professional chemist and laboratory director of an environmental testing business. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology, with Genetics emphasis, from San Diego State University, awarded with highest honors and distinction. He earned a Chemistry M.A. degree from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. awarded jointly from the University of California — San Diego and San Diego State University. He has also taught college Chemistry courses in the San Diego area.

Our Qualifications


The Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior is awarded by the University of Washington to students who have successfully completed its program in the Department of Psychology under the instruction of James Ha, Ph.D., CAAB and Renee Ha, Ph.D., who are recognized experts in the field. The curriculum includes the study of different principles of animal behavior with the aim to apply this knowledge to animal care. Included is the examination of behavioral differences between animal species and how these reflect their evolution and habitat adaptation. Moreover, the program is geared to provide insights into evolutionary theory, learning theory and biology to provide better care for animals — particularly companion animals — and diagnose and treat a variety of behavior issues. The Certificate attests to the holder’s competence in:

  • Basic principles of evolution and natural selection as they relate to animal behavior.

  • Application of animal behaviors to human-animal interaction.

  • The latest scientific research on the training and care of companion animals.

  • Methods to integrate theory with real-world practice in treating and improving behavior.






Expert Witness Services


The Educated Pet is a full-service animal behavior consulting and training practice. The Educated Pet has trained the animals of several San Diego Veterinarians and has evaluated many of their clients on a referral basis to deal with difficult and intractable behavioral problems. Approximately 80% of the consulting cases of The Educated Pet concern dog aggression. The Educated Pet has served as a consultant for the San Diego Department of Animal Control. The certified staff of The Educated Pet can provide forensic services for civil and criminal cases involving dangerous animal potential, risk evaluation, owner negligence, animal abuse and aggression, temperament evaluation and event reconstruction. The Educated Pet is interested solely in a fair and honest assessment of every situation and will provide impartial assistance with the best opinion on each case.


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