3 October 2009 No Comments

logosMr David Ryan

Spring Cottage, Linstock, Carlisle, CA6 4QB

tel 07734 446158 fax 01228 501055



Areas of Expertise: Canine behaviour and training; Police dog handling and training; Dangerous Dogs Act; Animals Act; Companion animal behaviour.

Background information: David Ryan retired from Cumbria Constabulary in 2007 following a 32 year police career, including 26 years as a police dog trainer and instructor with full Home Office accredited qualifications.

During his police career David had extensive experience of report writing, court prosecutions and procedures. He has given evidence in court on numerous occasions and is well versed in legal protocol. As a police dog instructor he was responsible for the maintenance of training records for dogs and handlers and their assessment under the National Police Dog Assessment Model, including failures to meet grades and remedial actions.

He produced records of competence for dogs and handlers in support of prosecutions and worked in conjunction with the force legal team in defence of allegations made against them. He was also involved in the monitoring of all dog bites inflicted by the constabulary’s police dogs and advised the force on all aspects of dog related matters, including prosecutions of alleged dangerous dogs.

In 2002 he completed a postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction, from Southampton University, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal behaviour studies.

In 2008 he was Certificated as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, the highest possible independent accreditation, recognised by both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Psychological Society.

He now works with local charities helping to re-home their more problematic dogs and provides an expert witness consultancy concerning both civil and criminal litigation involving dogs and other companion animals.

From 2009 to 2012 David was the elected Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, the leading association in its field, and still serves on the business committee.

David has lectured on canine behaviour to organisations such as the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, BSc Animal Behaviour Students and Pet Rescue/rehoming Centres, including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Wood Green Animal Shelter.

In 2010 David wrote the RSPCA’s definitive guide on dealing with aggression in dogs, a version of which is available for the public on their website at and presented “Guidance for handling dogs and the use of equipment to ensure the health and safety of handlers, others and the welfare of dogs” for the RSPCA at the National 2012 Status Dogs Summit.

David is an invited member of the expert panel for the DEFRA commissioned review of human directed dog aggression currently being undertaken at the University of Liverpool, and a visiting lecturer on two modules of Newcastle University’s MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

In 2011 David oversaw the production of training for Local Authority Authorised Officers on behalf of the Scottish Government in preparation for the introduction of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010.

In both 2011 and 2012 David was an invited contributor to the PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report

In 2012/13 David prepared and is presenting a module in canine behaviour to Police Officers attending Dog Legislation Officers Courses.

David has been an independently vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses since 2008 and a Sweet and Maxwell checked expert since 2012 and consequently is well versed in the latest requirements of the Civil and Criminal Procedure Rules in relation to expert witnesses.

Geographical area of work: All of UK


  • Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) 2008
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction (PD dip CABC) 2002
  •  Home Office Accredited Police Explosives Search Dog Instructor 1996
  • Home Office Accredited Police Dog Instructor 1992
  • Police dog handler 1982


  • Ryan, D. (2010) Dominance meme: out-lived extreme? Veterinary Times Vol 40(7)
  • Ryan, D. (2010) Dog secrets.  Lulu, UK.
  • Ryan, D. (2010) Our relationship with dogs. In Appleby D (ed) The APBC Book of Companion Animal Behaviour (2nd ed) Souvenir, London.
  • Ryan, D. (2008)Stop!” How to control predatory chasing in dogs. Lulu, UK.

Membership of professional associations:

  • Member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
  • Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group (BSAVA affiliated)
  • Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Fees: available on request

If you would like to take advantage of David’s unique combination of legal expertise, experience and theoretical knowledge of canine behaviour you can contact him here.