Dr Pauleen Charmayne

Dr Pauleen Charmayne Bennett

Director of Regional Operations (School of Psychological Science), Associate Professor

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Psychology and Counselling

AS2 3.16, Bendigo


Bachelor of Arts La Trobe University; Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours) La Trobe University; Masters of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) La Trobe University; Doctor of Philosophy Monash University



Membership of professional associations

Member Australian Psychological Society; President International Society for Anthrozoology; Chair Australian Anthrozoology Research Foundation

Area of study


Brief profile

I love all aspects of teaching and learning and enthusiastically combine my work at La Trobe with a range of community activities designed to improve human-companion animal relationships. I lead a very busy and productive research group (www.anthrozoologyresearchgroup.com), act as President of the International Society for Anthrozoology (www.isaz.net), serve as associate editor for the journal Anthrozoös, and function as inaugural Chair of the Australian Anthrozoology Research Foundation (www.anthrozoologyfoundation.org), a non-profit foundation set up to raise money to support students investigating the potential benefits for human health of engaging with companion animals. I have adjunct appointments at Monash University and The Ohio State University and co-supervise higher degree students enrolled at several Australian Universities. I'm also totally fascinated by animals who have adapted to living closely with humans, and I spend my free time hanging out on my farm with my dogs, cat, horses and goats - who make me laugh every single day and enrich my life in immeasurable ways.  To see a brief video of me talking about my work, click this link: www.latrobe.edu.au/psy/research/social-psychology 

Research interests

Social psychology

- Human-Animal Relationships

Teaching units

PSY3RPA: Research Project in Psychology A

PSY3RPB: Research Project in Psychology B

PSY3HAR: Psychology of Human-Animal Relationships


Recent publications

Bradley, L., & Bennett, P.C. (in press). Pet’s effectiveness in managing chronic pain in adult community members. Anthrozoös, accepted April 2015.

Thorn, P., Howell, T.J., Brown, C., & Bennett, P.C. (in press). The canine cuteness effect: owner perceived cuteness as a predictor of human-dog relationship quality. Anthrozoös, accepted April 2015

Bennett, P.C., Trigg, J.L., Godber, T., & Brown, C. (in press). An experience sampling approach to investigating associations between pet presence and indicators of psychological wellbeing and mood in older Australians. Anthrozoös, accepted October 2014.

Zito, S., Paterson, M., Vankan, D., Morton, J., Bennett, P., & Phillips, C. (in press). Determinants of cat choice and outcomes for adult cats and kittens adopted from an Australian animal shelter. Animals, accepted April 2015

Mornement, K.M., Coleman, G.J., Toukhsati, S.R. & Bennett, P.C. (in press) Evaluation of the predictive validity of the behavioural assessment for re-homing K9's (B.A.R.K.) protocol and owner satisfaction with adopted dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, accepted March, 2015.

Howell, T., King, T., & Bennett, P. (2015). Puppy parties and beyond: the role of early age socialization on adult behavior and retention in the home. Invited review, Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, 6, 143-153. http://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=21539

Cobb, M., Branson, N., McGreevy, P., Lill, A., & Bennett, P. (2015). The advent of canine performance science: offering a sustainable future for working dogs. Behavioural Processes, 110, 96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.10.012

Payne, E., Bennett, P.C., & McGreevy, P. (2015). Current perspectives on attachment and bonding in the dog-human dyad. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 8, 71-79.

Howell, T., Mornement, K., & Bennett, P.C. (2015). Companion rabbit and companion bird management practices among a representative sample of guardians in Victoria, Australia. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, doi: 10.1080/10888705.2015.1017095

Mornement, K.M., Coleman, G.J., Toukhsati, S., & Bennett, P.C. (2014). Development of the Behavioural Assessment for Re-homing K9's (B.A.R.K.) Protocol. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 151, 75-83.

Edwards, S., & Bennett, P.C. (2014). Tales about tails: is the mutilation of animals justifiable in their best interests or in ours? In Appleby, M.C., Weary, D.M., & Sandoe, P. (Eds.), Dilemmas in animal welfare. Oxfordshire, UK: CABI International (pp. 6-26).

Howell, T., Conduit, R., Toukhsati, S., and Bennett, P.C. (2013). Do dogs use a mirror to find hidden food? Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8(6), 425-430.

Howell, T., Conduit, R., Toukhsati, S., and Bennett, P.C. (2013). The Perceptions of Dog Intelligence and Cognitive Skills (PoDIaCS) survey. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8(6), 418-424.

Kerswell, K.J., Bennett, P.C., Butler, K.L., & Hemsworth, P.H. (2013). Self-reported comprehension ratings of dog behavior by owners of adult dogs. Anthrozoös, 26(1), 5-11.

Alberthsen, C., Rand, J., Bennett, P.C., Symons, M., & Lawrie, M. (2013). Cat admissions to RSPCA animal shelters in Queensland, Australia: description of cats and risk factors for euthanasia after entry. Australian Veterinary Journal, 91(1-2), 35-42.

Mornement, K.M., Coleman, G.J., Toukhsati, S.R., & Bennett, P.C. (2012). What do current and potential Australian dog owners believe about shelter practices and shelter dogs? Anthrozoös, 25(4), 457-474.

Testa, R., Bennett, P.C., & Ponsford, J. (2012). Factor analysis of nineteen executive function tests in a health adult population. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 27, 213-224.

Howell, T., Conduit, R., Toukhsati, S., and Bennett, P. (2012) Auditory stimulus discrimination recorded in dogs, as indicated by mismatch negativity (MMN). Behavioural Processes, 89(1), 8-13.

Rohlf, V.I., Bennett, P.C., Toukhsati, S., Coleman, G.J. (2012). Beliefs underlying dog owners’ health care behaviours: results from a large, self-selected internet sample. Anthrozoös, 25(2), 171-186.

Toukhsati, S.R., Young, E., Bennett, P.C., Coleman, G.J. (2012) Wandering cats: attitudes and behaviours toward cat containment in Australia. Anthrozoös, 25(1), 61-74.

King, T., Marston, L.C., and Bennett, P.C. (2012). Breeding dogs for beauty and behaviour: why scientists need to do more to develop valid and reliable behaviour assessments for dogs kept as companions. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 137, 1-12.

Grant, M., Ponsford, J., & Bennett, P.C. (2012). The application of Goal Management Training to aspects of financial management in individuals with traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: An International Journal, DOI:10.1080/09602011.2012.693455

Howell, T., Conduit, R., Toukhsati, S., & Bennett, P.C. (2011). Development of a minimally-invasive protocol for recording mismatch negativity (MMN) in the dog (Canis familiaris) using electroencephalography (EEG). Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 201(2), 377-380.

Howell, T. & Bennett, P.C. (2011). Can dogs (Canis familiaris) use a mirror to solve a problem? Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 6(6), 306-312.

Howell, T. & Bennett, P.C. (2011). Puppy Power! Using social cognition research tasks to improve socialization practices for domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 6(3), 195-204.

Mornement, K.M., Coleman, G.J., Toukhsati, S.R., & Bennett, P.C. (2010). A review of behavioural assessment protocols used by Australian animal shelters to determine the adoption suitability of dogs. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13, 314-329.

Kerswell, K.J., Butler, K.L., Bennett, P.C., & Hemsworth, P.H. (2010). The relationships between morphological features and social signalling behaviours in juvenile dogs: the effect of early experience with dogs of different morphotypes. Behavioural Processes, 85(1), 1-7. 

Rohlf, V.I., Bennett, P.C., Toukhsati, S.R., Coleman, G.J. (2010). Why do even committed dog owners fail to comply with some responsible ownership practices? Anthrozoös, 23(2) 143-155.

Rohlf, V.I., Toukhsati, S.R., Coleman, G.J., & Bennett, P.C. (2010). Dog obesity: can dog caregivers’ (owners’) feeding and exercise intentions and behaviours be predicted from attitudes? Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13(3), 213-236.

McGreevy, P.M., & Bennett, P.C. (2010). Challenges and paradoxes in the companion-animal niche. Animal Welfare, 19, 11-16.

Older publications

Higher Degree Student Projects Supervised to Completion  

  1. King, T. (2014). Identifying ‘ideal’ companion dogs: Development of the Canine Amicability Assessment (CAA). Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  2. Rohlf, V. (2013). Beliefs underlying dog owners’ management practices. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  3. Howell, T. (2013). Behaviour and Beyond: Three ways to examine dog cognitive processing. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  4. Schaan, J. (2011). Dogs as a psychological asset for professionals: a qualitative study of the psychological benefits of human-dog companionship. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  5. Ley, J. (2009). Describing and Assessing Canine Personality. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  6. Kerswell, K. (2008). The Relationship between Morphology and Social Communication in the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris). University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
  7. Grant, M. (2008). An evaluation of goal planning in patients with executive problems. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  8. Riley, S. (2007). Functional Assessment of Executive Planning Ability in Schizophrenia Using the Action Planning Task. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  9. Marston, L. (2006). Factors affecting the adoption of dogs from animal welfare shelters. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  10. Testa, R. (2005). The Fractionation of Executive Functions: A Study in a Normal Population. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
  11. Dwyer, F. (2004). The development of a multidimensional human-canine relationship questionnaire-the Monash dog owner relationship scale. Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Research projects

New technologies to develop canine partners for securing food, water and the environment - supported financially by La Trobe University Securing Food Water and the Environment Research Focus Area.

A new method for evaluating successful training of glycaemia alert dogs - an innovative approach to improving quality of life for people with diabetes - supported financially by the Phyllis Connor Memorial Trust, managed by Norman Bourke and Equity Trustees, and by the Australian Anthrozoology Research Foundation