Risk Assessment of Aggressive Animals

Instructors: Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Daniel Q. Estep, Ph.D., CAAB

Aggression is one of the most common and serious complaints heard by veterinarians, behavior consultants and trainers. The first thing owners need is an unbiased assessment of the risk that their animal presents to others. Owners need these assessments to make informed decisions about what to do about the problem. Risk assessments can also be ordered by courts after a bite incident, and should be performed by ALL rescue groups and shelters prior to placing animals for adoption.


  • Do you know what the scientific basis is of risk assessments?
  • Do you know how risk assessments relate to temperament tests, adoption screening tests and behavioral evaluations?
  • Do you know what formal risk assessments have been shown to be valid and reliable?
  • Do you know why validity and reliability are important?

In this 2 ½ hour course, you’ll learn the answer these questions and more. We’ll discuss how to talk to clients about the results of the assessment and how to help them make decisions about their aggressive animal. Finally we’ll discuss other contexts for risk assessment including assessing animals at shelters or in rescue situations and assessments for legal proceedings.

This class will be valuable for any animal professional who deals with potentially aggressive animals including veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other veterinary staff members, dog trainers, behavior consultants, shelter and rescue workers, groomers, pet sitters, pet day care providers and boarding facility workers. Whether or not you do assessments yourself, you should be aware of what assessments can and cannot do and what means of assessment are currently available.

Here’s what previous students had to say about the class:

“Thanks for offering this class – it was a good one! Very well organized, smooth, and of course full of useful info. Looking forward to other parts in a series about this subject.”
Kristina G.

“I very much enjoyed the Risk Assessment Class, particularly part two in which you discuss instrument and observer validity and reliability. I thought your example of the dog that was well liked in the Shelter but bit a child at home demonstrated this point very well.”
Joann K.

Click Here to view the course outline

Listen to a 4 minute sample of Dr. Hetts and Dr. Estep teaching this class

This course has been approved for the following CEU credits;
CPDT-KSA Knowledge:1
CBCC-KA: 1.5
CBCC-KSA Knowldege:1.5

Take this class ON DEMAND now! The ON DEMAND class is the webinar recordings with the full content of the live class including class discussion and class notes. You have TWO WEEKS online access to all class sessions and an opportunity to ask questions of the instructors via email. Their answers to your questions will be recorded and emailed to you within a week.

You can earn CEUs by submitting emailed answers to questions asked by the instructors during the recorded class. We’ll provide the details once you register.

Still have questions about the course? Email for more details info@animalbehaviorassociates.com

Registration Fee: $77

Register here for the On Demand Course


If you were a Pro Member of the Behavior Education Network you would have access to this course as a Pro Member benefit.

Click Here to learn more about our Behavior Education Network.  If you are a current BEN Pro Member LOG IN to BEN and purchase the class from within BEN.


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