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


Did the owner manage the dog in a negligent fashion?

The failure of the dog owner or property owner to demonstrate prudence with respect to the prevention of the dog bite incident in question, usually Negligence dog biteis the general theme underlying negligence complaints in dog bite lawsuits. In some states, the victim may only be able to recover damages mainly on the basis of negligence theory, while in other states common law theory or strict liability statutes may also be used simultaneously with negligence arguments.

The degree of negligence usually depends on the circumstances. For example, it may be negligent for an owner to walk a dog on leash in a crowded mall as opposed to walking the dog in a park. A person in a crowded mall who trips on the leash and injures herself may have a valid basis for a negligence claim against the owner, whereas this approach may not be as valid if the incident happened in the park.

The dog behavioral expert can scrutinize the circumstances in question and explain what could have been done to prevent the incident. In dog injury cases involving bite injury or knockdown injury, it also helps to know what the behavioral propensities of the dog in question were, and if the particular incident that injured the plaintiff was foreseeable given the circumstances. As such, common negligent issues in dog related injury cases often are about faulty enclosures, lack of adequate latches or locks on a gate or door, failure to muzzle dog, use a certain kind of training equipment, and failure to restrain the dog properly given the circumstances in which the dog was placed.