A young girl who took horse back riding lessons at riding academy in New Jersey was bitten in her face by the barn dog at the academy. The girl, age 9, knew the dog for over 2 years. On the day of the incident the dog was lying in the doorway to the main indoor riding ring. She reached down to pet the dog, which jumped up and bit her in the face by her mouth and nose inflicting serious bodily injury.
The riding academy claimed the girl provoked the dog and claimed she was at fault because the dog was friendly and never attacked anyone before.
I was hired by the plaintiff as an expert in canine behavior and aggression. Upon investigation I found out that there were 3 other aggressive incidents that had occurred that the academy had hushed up prior to this incident. I designed a temperament test that would show whether or not the dog was aggressive and displayed reactive aggression, territorial aggression and resource guarding. I went to the dog to evaluate him. The tests showed that dog did in fact display reactive and territorial aggression as well as resource guarding. We were able to prove that the owner knew about the dog’s aggression and failed to prevent an aggressive interaction.