Alexandra Horowitz

Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know; Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell; and Our Dogs, Ourselves. She is a dog-cognition researcher and teaches at Barnard College, where she runs the Dog Cognition Lab. She has written about topics as varied as attention, imitation, fairness, guilt, captivity, patents, play, and footnotes; from animal representation in children’s books to things people say to their dogs; from anthropomorphisms of animals to dogs in movies. She has been described as “a New World reverse of the Oulipo eminence Georges Perec,” a “skilled investigative reporter,” and a “reasonably sane adult human.” She lives with her family and two large, highly sniffy dogs, one cat, and one puppy in New York City.

3 words to describe Nature?

Integral. Formidable. Omnipresent

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect the unknown

There is wisdom in tree growth and bird activity and mosses. 

Nature is everywhere.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Among giant redwoods 

On a walking path in the Japanese Alps 

In our local forest surrounded by my family

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Awed. I'm humbled by the ocean, which does not care about me. I treat it carefully. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Delighted that there is such a community without people. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

I've never seen a volcano 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Pleased to have color vision.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Moved to go indoors. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like smelling into the breeze. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Remembering camping with my dog among quaking Aspen in the high country of Utah, my senses are all awakened: between the perfect clarity of the air, the smell of drying grasses and sage, and the sound of Aspen leaves gently tinkling against each other.