Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Golden retriever dog bite attack questionable

Golden retriever dog bite attacks on people seldomly happen, and in one instance in which this was claimed to have occurred, Dr. Polsky was retained to evaluate the behavioral propensities of two Golden retrievers in question.

In this dog bite case, the plaintiff claims that two golden retrievers attacked her and her daughter after having escaped from the defendant’s enclosed backyard. The plaintiff and defendant lived approximately three houses apart. On the day of the incident, the plaintiff testified that she and her daughter were in their garage taking trash cans out to the street when suddenly the defendant’s dogs entered the garage in a vicious fashion in what the plaintiffs’ believes was an attempt to attack her own small dog which was tethered in the backyard behind the garage.

In her attempt to stop the defendant’s dogs from entering the backyard and protect her dog, the mother grabbed one of the golden retrievers by the collar and her 10 year-old daughter grabbed the other golden retriever by its collar. In the process, both plaintiffs were injured and dragged. Further, the daughter claims that she was bitten on the knee after being dragged a substantial distance from the garage to the front of the house.

Important issues in this case focused on the temperament of the golden retriever dogs, their ability to drag a person over distance, and the golden retrievers’ willingness to enter an unfamiliar garage to attack an unfamiliar person. Did these dogs possess a temperament consistent with a dog who would aggress against an unfamiliar person in unfamiliar surrounds? Did the dogs possess the willing and strength to drag a 70 lb. child? Dr. Polsky conducted a behavioral examination on the Golden retrievers dogs in order to generate information that would address these issues. One test performed during the behavioral examination consisted of walking the Golden retrievers past the plaintiffs’ property in order to determine how these dogs would react.


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