Shaun Hesmondhalgh

Shaun Hesmondhalgh

Dog Expert Witness

Full Member

Founder and Director of The Way of the Dog Ltd an expert witness, behaviour modification, and breed-specific dog training consultancy based in Bolton, Lancashire.

Shaun is an experienced and accredited Canine Clinical Behaviourist and Expert Witness specialising in dangerous dogs and associated legislation. Expert Witness duties extend to supporting both prosecution and defence counsel during civil proceedings, at criminal court, or coroners’ inquests following canine related human fatalities.

Possessing a BSc (Hons) Canine Clinical Behaviour (First-Class) from the University of Chester, a Professional Diploma in Education (Distinction) from the University of Bolton, and a Graduateship from the City and Guilds Institute for Leadership and Management, Shaun is a dog training and behaviour modification specialist with leading qualifications. Working with dogs professionally for over three decades he developed his skills, techniques and understanding in both the Armed Forces and latterly the civilian sector.

A former Royal Air Force Police Service Police Dog Handler and Kennel Manager with huge experience in developing Service Police dogs for the protection of high value military assets, counter terrorism, and counter insurgency related duties. Training his first police dog in 1989 he worked with dogs operationally for 19 years, handling police dogs and managing police dog sections in the UK and during overseas operational deployments.

Leaving the RAF in 2012, Shaun has been training dogs and modifying their behaviour daily. Working across the spectrum of breeds he has encountered a fascinating range of dog behaviour and training issues priding himself on investigating the motivation behind inappropriate behaviour, providing appropriate modification and management solutions, and supporting owners to live in harmony with their dogs. Specialising in dog aggression, Shaun works with all breeds, notably guardian breeds, and is focused on seeking successful outcomes.

Additionally, Shaun is former criminal investigator and crime manager who is meticulous in the gathering and presentation of evidence. Possessing industry leading qualifications in investigative interviewing and the investigation and reporting of serious crime, he is experienced in presenting detailed material to the court. Such professional competencies are used to great effect in his role as an Expert Witness specialising in Dangerous Dog Legislation. He is an accredited Expert Witness and full member of the Expert Witness Institute (EWI).

Shaun is a full member and accredited behaviour practitioner with the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association (CFBA) and is the Canine Criminal Law Consultant for the Pet Education Training & Behaviour Counsel (PET bc). He is a full member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers (BIPDT), the former Honorary Secretary & Legal Secretary, now the Trustee, of the British Police & Services Canine Association (BPSCA), and is a signatory of the Registration Council for Dog Training and Behaviour Practitioners (RCDTBP).