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Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D.

Website author

Expert Witness for the defense

Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA.

Q. Were Bane’s and Hera’s displays of aggression towards dogs reflective of their aggressive nature towards people?

A. The science of animal behavior tells us that dog-dog aggression is motivationally distinct from a dog’s motivations to attack a human. In other words, dogs who have a penchant to attack or fight other dogs often do not have the same desire to fight or attack humans.

Therefore, Bane and Hera’s incidences of aggression towards other dogs, as described by the bad-dog witnesses, should not have been used by Hammer to infer Bane’s and Hera’s dangerous nature towards people. Hammer did this to support to support his arguments and in doing so he misled the jury.

If one eliminates the dog-dog aggressive encounters, of which there were approximately 8, this leaves approximately a dozen instances in which either Bane or Hera displayed their aggression solely towards a person. In only 3 of these instances did they actually bite and in each instance the bite was not severe.