How to Use Food Intelligently in Lure-Reward Dog Training

Based on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s lecture (of the same title). Only available on The All Access Pass at DunbarAcademy.com Food is extremely useful when training a dog … Food is simply unmatched for...

Choosing Your Puppy

Choosing a puppy is a very important decision, and everyone who lives in the household should agree before any puppy is brought into the home. If the puppy is to truly become a member of the family,...

Give Your Dog The Gift of Sniff with Nosework!

Flirt Pole Fun!

What if We Practiced Dog Ownership First?

  We’ve all heard the familiar pleas: “Can we get a dog?” “I want a dog, look how cute he is!” Dogs are tons of fun and having a canine companion is great, but what’s involved with owning

The Importance of Early Socialization

Socialization is the process of becoming familiar with all kinds of animals, people, places, and things; as well as learning how to behave in society. All puppies need socialization regardless of
Embedded thumbnail for Flirt Pole Fun!

Flirt Pole Fun!

One of my top tips for students to improve their dog’s training performance is to play interactive games. Play will enhance your relationship with your dog and the stronger your relationship, the better your training will go. 

 

By interactive games, I mean games that include you, not other dogs. Fetch is a fun game that can reinforce your pup’s desire to return to you, which can help you with your recall. Chase games are great, if exhausting, but only work to your advantage if you are the one chasing your dog, never the other way around. Tug is an awesome way to both build...

 

How to Use Food Intelligently in Lure-Reward Dog Training

Based on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s lecture (of the same title). Only available on The All Access Pass at DunbarAcademy.com

Food is extremely useful when training a dog …

Food is simply unmatched for classical conditioning and is incredibly useful as both lures and rewards when teaching basic manners. 

… Unless it becomes a bribe

If you're not careful, however, food can become a bribe and the food's ability to influence your dog's behavior for the better will gradually deteriorate as your dog progressively ignores you and your food lures more and more. Resorting to smellier, tastier treats

training goals require maps

Training Goals

In my last post I wrote about the training process and how it is so important to break every task you’d like a dog to learn into tiny segments in order to orchestrate many frequent, measurable, successful moments to build upon and link together to create an easily navigable staircase to your destination. 

With that in mind, today I’m thinking about goals. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t know both where you are today and where you’re headed. One must have a clear starting and end point in mind to properly draw up a functional map. 

This morning as I pondered where I would like to go on...

 
Tags:  dog training
I love my pibble

Open Letter to Rescue Groups

Earlier this year, I had a table at a 'Pet Awareness and Adoption' event that changed the way I feel about these events, and some of the rescue groups who participate in them. I have spent many hours, and sleepless nights, thinking about the events of this day, and what we can all learn from it. 
 
I am not going to name the location because I do not wish to focus on the hosts, nor on the individual rescue group personally.. This could have happened at any public adoption event, and to any of the countless rescue groups or animal shelters that showcase adoptable dogs at these events.
 
I was...

Belgian Tervuren Mars With Orange

Starting Over In Dog Training

It has been so long since I’ve written anything here at The Dog Star Daily Blog that it feels like I’m starting over. Recently, I’ve started training my young dog, Laz and my new pup, Mars for a dog sport that I haven’t attempted in over ten years. So it kind of feels as though I’m starting over in dog training, too. Here’s to new beginnings! 

As with anything new, it’s a very good idea to break a task down, start with small goals, and gradually increase complexity and duration. At the moment I am being reminded of this daily by my coaches as I plan training sessions for the very long,...

What if We Practiced Dog Ownership First?

 

We’ve all heard the familiar pleas: “Can we get a dog?” “I want a dog, look how cute he is!” Dogs are tons of fun and having a canine companion is great, but what’s involved with owning a dog can catch a person off guard.

So how about this rogue idea for first timers or parents teaching their children – set up practice sessions (think training trials for humans) and actually do several of the things involved with being a dog guardian BEFORE actually getting a real live dog? Test the waters so to speak. A stuffed animal dog would be a light and funny surrogate, a form of “successive...

The Bite Scale

Click here to download Dr. Dunbar's Bite Scale

Dog aggression is such a difficult subject to speak objectively about. People are always emotional when they talk about their dogs, but never more so than when they talk about issues with reactivity or aggression, whether it's a problem of fighting with other dogs or biting people.

When a dog "attacks" or acts aggressively towards a person, it can be hard to separate the scariness of the experience from how dangerous or damaging it actually was.

The size and the breed of a dog has a huge effect on people's perception of aggressive behavior. Little

 

Fight:Bite Ratio

An Objective Assessment of Danger of Fighting Dogs

Ian Dunbar PhD, BVetMed, MRCVS

Establish the number of full-contact fights (#Fights) plus the number of fights in which the opponent was taken to a veterinary clinic for treatment of bite wounds, i.e., fight that resulted in actual significant physical damage (#Bites). 

The ratio between # Fights and # Bites indicates the level of bite inhibition and whether or not the dog is dangerous. The greater the number of fights with no damage indicates the better the dog’s bite inhibition. 

Most dogs clearly fall into one of two categories...

 

AN EXCITING NEW CURE FOR SEPARATION ANXIETY

Given that we developed the AutoTrainer nearly 26 years ago, I find it surprising that only recently, (largely due to feedback from dog owners and trainers), we have discovered that the device is extremely effective for the rehabilitation of dogs with severe separation anxiety. 

We designed the AutoTrainer to reduce recreational barking and other vocalizations, which it does extremely effectively, as evidenced by reviewing the barking history and plotting the decrease in number of barks per day. Our original research showed that in addition to reducing barking, the dogs paced less and spent...

Dr. Ian Dunbar's Top Ten Tips For Success

Ian Dunbar's Top Ten Tips To Become A Successful Dog Trainer

We recently posted a free course on DunbarAcademy.com: The Top Ten Tips to Become a Successful Dog Trainer

1. What's Common & What's Not 

You need to understand what are the common issues and problems that dog owners (your potential clients) are likely to face with their dogs. Although the types of behavior and training problems are truly unlimited, just a handful represent the vast majority of cases. Learn 1-2-3 solutions for these few predictable problems and don't get bogged down with the rare cases.

2. What's Dangerous & What's Not 

You need to be able to accurately assess...

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