Veterinary Public Health Institute, Animal Welfare Division


Alja Mazzini

Doctoral Student

+41 31 684 22 13
Postal Address
Animal Welfare Division
Veterinary Public Health Institute
University of Bern
Länggassstrasse 120
3012 Bern

Current Research

Reward sensitivity in dogs – risk factor for addictive behaviour and key to trainability

I graduated in veterinary science at the Veterinary University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). During my studies, as well as after the graduation, I worked at the biggest animal shelter in Slovenia. I continued my career as a vet at a small animal clinic in Germany. I was mostly interested in soft tissue surgery and ethology, especially in the recovery process and wellbeing of hospitalized patients and effects of stress on illness development. To deepen my knowledge I took a postgraduate course “General practitioner in small animal behaviour medicine” organized by Improve International as a partner organisation of the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS). After passing the exam and gaining the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert(AnBeh)) I continued with my MSc in “Clinical Animal Behaviour” at the University of Lincoln (UK). My dissertation focused on assessing impulsivity in shelter dogs using DIAS questionnaire.

In September 2018 I started my PhD project at Vetsuisse Fakultät with focus on reward sensitivity in dogs.