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Beauceron Jumping Fun Dog Training

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 dog training to be interesting, challenging, fulfilling, beyond useful, exciting, tantalizing and above all, fun. 

Training is the very essence of sharing life with a dog. How we communicate with our best friend, i.e., teaching them ESL, so they understand what we would like them to do. How we motivate them to want to do what we would like them to do. How we ask them questions? Yes, objective,...

Dog Bite Prevention

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, seeing solid information about dog emotion,stress signals, and body language go in one ear and out the other of the general public. Just five minutes on Facebook speaks volumes. The range of inappropriate and sometimes dangerous videos and pictures of children interacting with dogs being shared by our own friends and relatives tells us that our messages about bite prevention are not reaching the

Dr. Ian Dunbar and American Bulldog, Dune

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 city after city is not an efficient means of information transfer and also, spending nine months of the year in hotels on the seminar trail, albeit enjoyable, was not an efficient use of my time. Fortunately though, the technological age is a game-changer for education. Indeed, Jamie has spent the past three years filming my seminars and now they are all available online for downloading or...

Shelter dog, "Cowboy" is a K9 Nose Work superstar!
Cowboy searching vehicles for the target scent, birch

K9 Nose Work® for Shelter Dogs - Enrichment for Both Ends of the Leash

K9 Nose Work® for Shelter Dogs – Enrichment for Both Ends of the Leash

by Genie Tuttle, CPDT-KA, CNWI

The thought of visiting an animal shelter, much less regularly volunteering at one is daunting for many animal lovers, especially those of us who sense the animals’ pleas to find a new home as we walk past kennel after kennel of ever hopeful eyes. Up until recently, I was that person during visits to my local shelter, walking around in tears wearing dark sunglasses, while avoiding eye contact with other “two-leggeds”. It felt so overwhelming and hopeless.

Times have changed! The animal shelter...

Welcome to Your New Home…

It's that time of year isn't it?  When people consider having a pup or rescue dog join the family. It always strikes me as unfair when people bring home a new puppy or rescue dog and indulge them in privileges which in the longer term, they don’t actually want them to have. They allow the new dog to get away with certain things, which in time could encourage annoying or sometimes even dangerous behaviour.

When my latest foster arrived, he was shown the rules of the house from the moment he walked through the door. Despite the fact that he was terribly neglected, emaciated and somewhat

Distractions Happen

If you're a student of dog training, you're probably well aware of the oft suggested protocol of teaching new behaviors in a low distraction environment and slowly adding in distractions until the behavior becomes reliable. This is, of course, the easiest way for a dog to learn what you'd like them to do and to be able to do that thing regardless of distractions. However, in the real world, distractions happen.

To avoid them completely until the dog is "trained" is simply unrealistic.  

In my training classes, there are times when I'm teaching my students how to teach their dogs to be calm and

Dr. Ian Dunbar and Dune the American Bulldog

BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE — FOR 110 YEARS?

Edward Lee Thorndike showed that behavior is modified by its consequences and in 1905, he published his Law of Effect, basically stating: Any behavior followed by pleasant consequences will increase in frequency and be more likely to occur in the future, whereas any behavior followed by unpleasant consequences will decrease in frequency and be less likely to occur in the future. The notion of binary feedback is the quintessence of learning theory. The Law of Effect was a wonderful start but as theory was put to practice in education and training, something went very wrong along the way. Over...

Empathy for the Reactive Dog – Keepin’ it Real

Living with a reactive dog is a humbling experience on many levels. The understanding of the world that humans gain via language, experience and rational explanations for nearly everything are not part of the reactive dog's natural repertoire. However, we might be more similar at a basic level than we choose to admit. Taking time to shake off the clinical topography and protocols now and then and just reconnecting with how fear really feels can make us better trainers.

One of my dogs, Niki, came to us at 2 years old from the greyhound racing industry where he grew up and raced his entire

Dr. Ian Dunbar and Hugo Pup Post Potty Break Cuddle

Why Purchase a Puppy that is NOT Housetrained?

I’ve raised a few puppies in my time and it has always puzzled me why anyone would want to purchase a puppy that hasn’t already been housetrained, especially since house soiling and other behavior problems, such as excessive barking and destructive chewing, are a major source of frustration for new owners. Most kennel-bred puppies are allowed to eliminate anywhere and everywhere, chew anything and everything, bark at will and run around uncontrolled, which of course, is exactly what they’ll do in their new homes. Consequently, far too many eight-week-old puppies already have behavior...

Cradling a puppy at the vet

Why Don’t We Adequately Socialize Young Puppies With People?

Dogs may be taught manners and basic obedience at anytime in their lives. However, training puppies is just so much fun and so, why wait? Similarly, behavior problems may be resolved at any time in a dog’s life but of course, they are annoying and frustrating for owners and so, why not teach good habits from the outset? Temperament problems, however, must be prevented during early puppyhood because rehabilitating adult dogs is complicated and extremely time-consuming. For example, whereas It takes just a few days, or a week at the most, to resolve incipient signs of shyness, fearfulness,...

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