By Wendy Young
Last Updated September 13, 2021

Cesar Millan is in hot water, after a recent alleged attack by his dog Junior left aspiring gymnast Lidia Matiss unable to compete. In the lawsuit, Matiss claims that the dog was known to be aggressive, after attacking one of Queen Latifah’s dogs and mauling them to death.

This wouldn’t be the first time the controversial dog trainer has come under fire, with other dog behavior experts arguing that self-taught Cesar lacks a fundamental understanding of dog behavior and genetics. As such, this lawsuit is simply the most recent example of how the celebrity has become the center of controversy and criticism in the dog training world.

More importantly, however, it appears that this outdated knowledge has led to his allegedly becoming aggressive and attacking not only other dogs – but people, too.

Lidia Matiss, according to the lawsuit, was a “star gymnast” who was performing at Level 10, as part of the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Program. In other words, she was at the top of her game and ready to make her mark on the gymnastics world. Apparently, even the University of Pennsylvania was in the process of actively recruiting her, which would mean she would likely receive a scholarship for her studies, too.

However, her gymnastics career has since come to an abrupt end, after Cesar Millan’s dog allegedly attacked her, while she was visiting the office in which the celebrity dog trainer presides. Her mother used the same offices, as she worked for Cesar, and the dog – a pit bull breed named Junior – was allowed to roam freely. This is in spite of the allegations that the dog was known to workers as being aggressive.

While at the office, Matiss states that she was mauled, with the dog repeatedly biting her legs, including her left calf. Lidia went to the ER, where it is said that her injuries were severe. As such, Matiss’ legal team, made up of Omar G. Qureshi and Brian M. Adesman, claim that she can no longer compete. In particular, the claim states that she suffers from physical and emotional pain as a result of the attack.

However, the lawsuit goes further, stating that the dog was known to be aggressive and, in the past, had attacked and mauled several other dogs. One such pup included star Queen Latifah’s dog, who was killed by junior. It alleges Cesar had told employees to cover up the attack and to tell Latifah that her pooch had been hit by a car, instead.

If true, the consequences are damning for all involved. Of course, Cesar Millan has responded to the suit, stating that Matiss was aware of the aggressive nature of the dog and acted negligently around Junior. It does not, however, claim how Matiss was negligent. Nor does the response – given what we know so far – counter-argue the claim that other dogs have been attacked by his dog.

A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.

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