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...

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

We recently posted a free course on 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...

We Need A New Kind of Dog Training Show On TV

I love dogs. Obviously. Dog behavior has been my life for nearly 50 years and for me, dog training has always been the most intriguing aspect of the whole field of animal behavior. I have always found...

The SAFE Program Promotes Practical Dog Bite Prevention

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a dog trainer is not being able to get information across to the people that really need it the most, especially when it comes to dog bite prevention. Or,

Ian Dunbar Seminars, Books and DVDs Online for Just $10 per month

Over the past 45 years, I have given over 1300 one-day seminars and workshops around the US and worldwide. All in all, a whole lot of fun. But realistically, giving the same seminar over and over in...

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,...


Modern Muttly Monikers

See Spot. See Spot run. See Spot run out of steam as a popular dog name, along with Fido, Rex and Lassie. Today’s muttly monikers are creative, humorous, and sometimes downright odd. Consider the following categories:

Playing Against Body Type: At a rescue center I worked with, we had an enormous white German shepherd/wolf mix. His name was Tiny. At the other end of the spectrum, a training client’s teacup Chihuahua was named Goliath. And a perfectly proportioned, pert and cute teacup yorkie I trained is named Quasi Modo.

Human Names: Bob. Bill. Hank. Sadie. Are they your friends? Co-workers? Nope. They’re dogs. Somehow I find watching someone instruct their poodle, “Bob, stay!” a bit disconcerting. Then again, I once dated a guy named Spike. Who am I to question anyone’s taste?


Dog/People Training in Vietnam: Entry- June 5th 2007 Hanoi

Friday night here in Hanoi. Everybody is out & about doing what people all around our planet do on a Friday night, be with loved ones. Here the young just do it Vietnamese-style. They cruise around on Scooters cuddling each other as they weave through some of the most insane traffic I have ever seen. I have learned to cross the street fairly well now. Proven by the fact that I am sitting here writing to you still intact and upright......


Report From France

Bonjour! I am writing this entry on a train that has just left Paris and is heading for Toulouse, France. The wonderful people of Animalin, Catherine & Alain, invited me and some of our other Dog Star Daily bloggers to speak to French dog trainers at an educational conference hosted by Animalin in the City of Lights. I feel very honored to have been included in the three-day line-up of international speakers.

Dog Star Daily’s own Roger Abrantes flew in from Denmark to be there, and DSD’s Dr. Ian Dunbar came from California, as did the brilliant and talented Ms. Donna Duford of the San Francisco Animal Care and Control.


Saving Ollie - Part 5 in a series about a shelter dog with severe behavior problems

Click to read Part 1
My series on Ollie the Great Dane has been on an unplanned hiatus for the last month. I hope some are still reading as I start examining some of the larger questions my experiences with Ollie and AAF have raised for me.


The Alaskan Pug: A whimsical story involving Pugs

The Alaskan Pug

First, it’s important to explain the differences between the Alaskan pug and the normal pet variety. The Pug dates originally to 400 B.C., was once the pet of Tibetan monks, and flourished in the sixteenth century as a lap dog. Since the temperament and personality of the Pug is already tenacious, brilliant, devilish, competitive and hardy, people began to dream of using the Pug to compete in various canine sports. Therefore, towards the end of the nineteenth century, breeders began deliberately enhancing certain traits in their litters to establish performance characteristics. Soon there were Pugs competing in protection sports, agility, police work and dog sledding, among other things. Thus: The Alaskan Pug.


3rd Entry- May 24th '07 Hanoi, North Vietnam

Challenges I face in Hanoi: Many people have asked me about the challenges I face here training dogs. The challenge is not so much the dogs as it is the people.

I am in North Vietnam folks. These people in my most honest opinion are so awesome. I love the culture here. It is not for some, and yes, some do eat dogs as a specialty. Enough on that. The people I have a love affair with, I cannot believe our government had to try to bully these loving people. Look what happened to us. They kicked our butts all around the jungle and rivers.

They had their own dogs of war.That will be a separate entry.


Gimme Shelter

In the 90s, I spent many hours each week at the Los Angeles city shelters. I began as a volunteer and eventually became a volunteer coordinator, training other volunteers. One comment I heard over and over from the visiting public was, “How can you stand to be here day after day? It’s so depressing!” Well, it’s true that there are aspects of shelter work that can be upsetting and even depressing. But I cannot express how fulfilling volunteering at a shelter can be, on so many levels.


Gardening with Dogs

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
- Margaret Atwood

There are only a few things that I love as much as dogs. They are fresh dirt, new plants and cheesecake. Cheesecake has nothing to do with this post, but it’s always worth mentioning.

I’m one of those crazy people who think yard work is synonymous with total relaxation. The excitement of creating something that wasn't there before, rearranging what is there and being surprised at what appears on it's own (like the Elderberry tree that volunteered in exactly the right spot last year) is more satisfying to me than anything else I can think of. Well, okay, excluding THAT.

This year, however, is the first time that I am gardening with the help of five dogs. Two of them did an excellent job of pruning my palm tree. Really, they did it perfectly!


Breed Haiku Challenge!

Stubborn little nose
Finds its way without a map
GPS on paws

Tri-colored and keen
Pleading eyes and happy soul
The hound of my heart

Several years ago, Jessie Beagle and I visited a veterinary specialist two hundred miles away in the Windy City. Jess was fifteen at the time, which is old by anyone’s canine standard, but she was still active and spry, and I wanted to get to the bottom of some health issues she was having. I was fortunate to find a young veterinarian in Chicago, trained at Iowa State Veterinary College. She was a spitfire from Scotland and was a good sport about her Scottish accent, amidst so many Midwesterners. She quite clearly loved animals, and had a special penchant for my old, very white beagle. For the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to her as McTavish.


Dog Training in Vietnam: Part Deux

Yesterday was another EPIC day for all my students and me. The subject matter was "Socialization". Well, they did not understand what and why initially but thanks to a top notch translator my job has been rather smooth in getting them to see and understand things in a new way.  



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