The Forensics of Aggression: Working With and Evaluating Canine Aggression

  • Overview

  • Required

  • Schedule

  • Prerequisites

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: November 6, 2024

Duration: 4 weeks

Instructor: Jim Crosby M.S., PhD., CBCC-KA, CDBC

Course type: Instructed Course

Graphic Content Warning: Course contains images of fatal dog bites and injuries.


Jim Crosby is widely recognized as an expert in the field of dog bites, dog aggression, and fatal dog attacks. In this four-part course, Jim is sharing his hard-won knowledge and experience about dog aggression, bites, communication, and what we can do with all of this as we go through our personal and professional journeys through the canine world.


Four Modules, four live meetings (Full Students only), and experience that literally only exists in a hand full of places in the world, Jim is here to share those experiences and the understanding he has gained in nearly twenty years of dealing with the worst of the worst – and a few dogs too.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the purpose of aggression and when it is or is not appropriate
  • Analyze how bites happen and what evidence they leave
  • Evaluate WHICH dog did it, and the basis of inclusion and exclusion of potential suspects
  • Exchange signals with problem dogs and build the beginnings of trust
  • Explore dog case evaluations and their application to individual dogs



  • Auditors do not attend online meetings
  • Meetings are not recorded
  • Meetings take place on Wednesdays at 12:00 pm Eastern (first meeting November 13th)
  • Meetings are 1 hour in duration
  • There are 4 meetings for this course

Auditors must review all course materials. This will be verified in the Learning Management System.


Full Students must review all course materials, attend the four weekly class meetings, and complete quizzes.

Students who miss more than one meeting will not receive credit for the course.

Full Students should expect to spend an average of 2 hours per week on course material and viewing, depending on individual speed of learning and the week’s materials.

This is a 4-week instructor-led course. Each week includes a recorded lecture and a scheduled live discussion (Full Students only).

Students will have access to the course material for 1 year from the date of their most recent IAABC Foundation purchase.

Week 1 - Aggression Overview

This module provides an overview of aggression; reasons why it exists, how it affects a dog’s world, and how aggression impacts the human-dog relationship. You will learn how to recognize and understand the purpose of aggression without imparting human values that don’t apply to dogs. You will gain a recognition of where aggression is and is not appropriate.

Week 2 - Forensic Dog Bite Investigations

This module takes you into Jim’s working world, the world of forensic dog bite investigations. A bit messy but firmly based in science, forensic work with dogs bites is both highly technical and highly rewarding. You will learn how bites happen and what evidence they leave. You will learn how science tells you far more than, “The dog did it!”. You will learn how to determine WHICH dog did it and the basis of inclusion and exclusion of potential suspect. Speaking of suspects, this module will also discuss breed, “The Usual Suspects”, and how the things you think you know might not be quite so.

Week 3 - Communication and Negotiation

In this module, you will learn how dogs communicate with each other and with us (Hint: IT IS NOT WHISPERING!). You will learn about signals and noise, two-way exchange of information, and how to actually send messages that your dog can understand. You will develop trust, and then use that two-way trust to meet each others’ needs. Finally you will learn how to exchange signals with problem dogs and build the beginnings of trust that allows you to discover, then evaluate and maybe even treat the problems they tell you about.

Week 4 - Dog Case Evaluations

The last module attacks the touchy subject of dog case evaluations and application to individual dogs. We all have a favorite “evaluation” tool. Adoptions and placements are frequently based on the use of these "tools". But what does the science say? Is there another way to interpret results? Can we, as trainers, guarantee that the dog we think is Scooby-Do isn’t Scooby-Don’t? Who is really in the monster costume?

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Full Student:


Cost: $300



Cost: $180

Cancellation Policy: We will refund 90% up to 30 days pre-event. A 50% refund will be available up to 15 days pre-event. After these deadlines, no refunds will be issued.

Instructor: Jim Crosby M.S., PhD., CBCC-KA, CDBC

Retired Lieutenant James W. Crosby M.S., PhD., CBCC-KA, CDBC (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville, FL, USA) has extensive canine behavior training and expertise and served as chief of two Florida Animal Control agencies. Jim (he/him) served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Animal Control Association and has worked with and assisted FACA, the Southeastern Animal Control Association, and several others across the US and Canada. Jim assisted the Department of Animal Services for the Australian Capital Territory, leading a National Study on Dangerous Dog policy and procedure.


Jim is an internationally recognized authority and court accepted expert on canine attacks and aggression. Jim’s specialty is investigating dog bite related fatalities, especially evidentiary and behavioural factors involved in these deaths. Jim’s on-scene investigation of over 30 fatalities and post-attack evaluation of over 50 subject dogs has been essential in numerous successful prosecutions. He assists prosecutors and agencies facing these cases.


Jim assists in dogfighting investigations and was the expert on a Polk County, GA case wherein the subject was sentenced to fifty years for dogfighting, the longest sentence for that crime in US history. Jim serves as an expert consultant regarding the use of deadly force by police officers against companion animals. Jim earned his Master’s Degree in Veterinary Forensics from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida and months away from completing his PhD.


Jim lives in Florida with his dear wife, The Queen of Darkness, a couple of Curly-Coated Retrievers, and a rescued Jack Russell Terrorist.