Dog bite expert & animal behavior specialist

Richard H. Polsky, PhD, CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

Dr. Richard Polsky - The Dog Expert


Bio for Dog Bite Expert, Richard Polsky, PhD, CDBC

Richard Polsky, PhD., began his career as an academic conducting research in animal behavior at various universities in the United States and England. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Leicester in 1975. The University of Leicester is ranked in the top 1% of all Universities in the world. Dr. Polsky chose Leicester for his doctoral studies for number reasons, but particularly because of the excellent program it offered in animal behavior.

Subsequently, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Birmingham (England) (1974-1976) and later a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at UCLA (1976-1981).  After 10+ years in academics, Dr. Polsky phased-out a planned career in academics to pursue a career in the private sector as an applied animal behaviorist.  He open his office in Santa Monica, CA. in 1981.  At that time he limited his work to dogs. In 1984 he expanded the practice to include cats.  Shortly thereafter, he moved his office to the Rancho Park section of Los Angeles where he has remained ever since.

In over 30 years of private practice as an applied animal behaviorist, Dr. Polsky has been retained to help dog and cats owners solve a wide variety of behavioral problems, ranging from territorial and dominance aggression in dogs to litter box problems and compulsive disorders in cats.  In 1985, he started his Head Start Puppy Training Classes which he taught without interruption for 25 consecutive years. The dog training classes functioned to train owners to train their puppies in humane and scientifically proven ways. Dr. Polsky has counseled owners and their dogs and cats on over 10,000 occasions.  Dr. Polsky is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

In addition to his behavioral counseling services and training services, Dr. Polsky has served as a paid consultant in animal behavior to Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation and the Los Angeles SPCA.  In the late 1980s when the pit bull dog bite epidemic first became a concern, he helped formulate the guidelines in determining dangerous dog criteria for use by the Los Angeles City Department of Animal Control.

Dr. Polsky has been public speaker and seminar leader on many occasions to veterinary groups and dog clubs in California. He is author of the text User’s Guide to the Scientific Literature on Dog and Cat Behavior, 2nd edition. He has authored over 50 papers published in the animal behavior and veterinary literature, many of which are peer-reviewed.

Dr. Polsky has been frequently retained by attorneys as an expert witness in both criminal and civil matters (read references).  He served as the expert for the defense in the well-publicized San Francisco dog mauling case, and he has served both prosecution and defense on other dog mauling cases throughout the United States. He has qualified in civil matters at trial using Kelly-Fry and Delbert standards. 

His professional affiliations include the Animal Behavior Society,  International Society of Applied Ethology,  International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

Dr. Polsky has a strong interest in keeping abreast of the current scientific literature in dog and cat behavior for the purpose of applying these findings to the analysis of dog and cat bite cases. Dr. Polsky lives with his human family, and two loyal and trustworthy canines: a mixed terrier, MoJo and a Border collie, Swoozy.

Watch video of Dr. Polsky’s testimony

Summary of Qualifications