A Message for Everyone Who Consults On Aggression Cases

If you are working with aggression cases of any kind – dog-dog or dog-person, in any advisory or problem resolution capacity, you can’t afford to not watch this video.  Did you know that your records – all of them – can be subpoenaed for a lawsuit?  If a dog bites someone, or causes someone to be injured by his behavior, and the injured party decides to sue your records may become evidence in the case.

You need to know how to keep records that are fair to your client and also accurately represent what you said and did. Watch the video below to discover the first step in this process.


Here’s the links to register for the courses mentioned in the video:

How to Write Professional Behavior Reports
In Less Time That Provide More Benefits to Readers and Enhance Your Reputation

How to Be an Expert Witness in Dog Bite Cases

And as we told you, joining Behavior Education Network is your BEST value!


  • Suzanne-Dan

    May 9, 2017

    Great questions Almudena! In answer to the first one – if you can’t identify the triggers/eliciting stimuli, then I would just state that – you could say something like “it is unclear exactly what the eliciting stimuli are” or the dog reacts inconsistently, and then describe the general situation. In our experience, when it’s not clear exactly when a dog will “go off” and when she won’t, that makes them more dangerous because they are unpredictable. Owners tend to let their guard down, thinking “Oh, she was OK last time so now maybe I don’t have to worry”, and they cease being proactive in their management, and then first thing you know, the dog does it again, the owners aren’t prepared, and we have a bite injury.
    In answer to your second question – many people charge more for aggression cases in general, for just that reason, because they tend to be more time consuming. The more you can use templates for reports, where you can have some pre-written cautions for example, and you just need to change some details for each case, it will shorten your report writing time. But in a legal case, we have an hourly fee, for everything we do – including writing reports.
    Hope that answers your questions!

  • Almudena Ortiz Cué

    May 4, 2017

    Hello Suzanne and Dan
    Excellent video/reminder of the intricacies of working on aggression cases and the reports on the case. I have a couple of questions:
    1. How do you deal with the written report in cases where the triggers/stimuli for the response of the client’s dog is not so clear cut? Often the triggers can be established per example Suzanne’s example: dog on leash if other dog approaches within 6 ft… but other times we are left wondering what exactly is triggering the dog’s reaction.

    2. Do you advise that when we deal with aggression cases we charge beyond the hourly fee to counteract the amount of time it takes to write a thorough and necessary report after the Initial consult?

    Thank you!

  • Suzanne-Dan

    April 29, 2017

    While your no-liability clause may prevent an owner from suing you, it doesn’t prevent a 3rd party who could be injured from doing so. Owners (or anyone) can’t sign away the rights of others without their consent. I’ve had several cases where trainers told their clients to “socialize” the dog by taking him to public places and the dog bit a person. The injured parties named those trainers in the lawsuit because they told the owners to do what they did. IME owners whose dog bites someone are usually on the hook for something, but the amount of damages and whether they they are charged with negligence are greatly influenced by the circumstances. So the “winning” as an all or nothing isn’t always the way it plays out – criminal charges are often plead to something lesser and with civil suits, it’s all about how much money will be awarded.

  • Kurt Hertrich

    April 29, 2017

    Thank you for the helpful information if a lawsuit should happen. Personally, I have been in the Schutzhund sport for over 40 years and have a fair amount with dog to dog, dog to people aggression. We mostly work with German Shepherds and if I have a client who is able physically and mentally do to what it takes to correct the behavior, I’ll take the person for a client, if not, I recommend and help finding another place for the dog.

    If I take one, first, a no-liability clause. One can’t be liable for someone else’s actions. Plus I talk about super caution at all times.With other words, do all that’s possible to prevent bites or suits.
    I have experienced suits, but unless there is a direct aggression from the person bit in my experience there little chance the owner of the dog wins.

    What has your experience been in such cases?

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