Kelly Gorman Dunbar


Kelly Gorman Dunbar is a cofounder and the executive editor of and a contributing editor at and Animal Cafe.

She is the Founder and President of Open Paw, a non-profit organization devoted to addressing the unwanted animal problem in a whole new way, arming communities worldwide with valuable user and animal friendly training and behavior information with the goal of keeping cats and dogs out of shelters by keeping them in their original homes. Kelly lectures internationally on the principles of Open Paw and consults for animal shelters regarding layout, and staff-and-animal training protocols and procedures.

She is a Director of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior, a multi-faceted business that focuses on teaching people how to train their dogs to be the best canine citizens possible via fun and efficient training techniques involving games and environmental enrichment as rewards for desired behavior. She is a Director for the K9 Games Corporation, a venture dedicated to bringing fun and games to the process of dog training in order to make it easy, entertaining, and accessible for all people, including children.

Kelly recruits and trains the instructors for Dr. Ian Dunbar's SIRIUS Puppy & Dog Training company based in Berkeley, CA. She is the creator of the SIRIUS Sniffers scent-dection curriculum and is also in the process of bringing the French sport of cavage to the United States. Kelly has titled her French Bulldog Hugo-Louis via National Association of Canine Scent Work and enjoys competing in both NACSW nose work and AKC rally trials with her dogs.

Blog posts by Kelly Gorman Dunbar


Ian & I AudioWoo!

I’m loving the new forms of communication that are cropping up on the web. Audio is really having a resurgence.

My new favorite resource is Audioboo. It allows you to post short audio clips, pics, and even shows your posting location coordinates. I tried my own out first, asking for feedback on a difficult question that was recently posed to me. And then promptly convinced Ian to give it a try with me as well. We talked about aggression at dog parks.

Do let me know what you think via Twitter or here in the comments section.

Adios de Mexico!


Best Accomplishments

 Lately on The DSD Dog Blog there has been lots of talk about what not to do when training dogs, who is wrong and why, etc. This kind of discourse can be useful, but often simply deteriorates into ugliness and intolerance. I’d like to step away from that for a moment to focus on the good stuff in dog training by asking our readers: 

What dog training/behavior accomplishment are you most proud of in you and your dog? What is your proudest moment and/or best achievement? How did you get there? 


Does Your Dog Have A Job?

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day and lots of people who don’t normally take their dog along with them to their workplace will do so today. Hopefully it will go well. A dog’s got to be well trained, socialized, and have a solid temperament in order to both enjoy the experience and serve as a model canine ambassador to help persuade more businesses to become dog-friendly year round. So please only take your dog to work with you if he or she is ready for it.

There are many benefits to dog ownership, such as mood elevation and stress reduction, most of which could also benefit people in the workplace.


Dog-Friendly Summer Tips With A Twist

Summer is here and animal lovers are being inundated with important safety tips such as how to keep your dog cool, symptoms of heat stroke, and reminders not to leave dogs in parked cars – especially with the window up! This information is terribly important and I implore you to read all of the tips you come across on the topic even if they seem redundant because it’s info that could save a life.


Angels and Expectations

I just finished reading Nicole Wilde’s blog post musing about how we humans are often surprised and disappointed when our dog doesn’t like another dog. There are probably a few reasons why we react the way we do.  One may be embarrassment.  Generally when a dog doesn’t “like” another dog it is communicated by growls or snaps, occasionally by pinning or biting too.

There can be harsh social consequences for owners of dogs that dare to vocalize or act like a dog in public (butt sniffing? …And Dog forbid if they hump!); it makes us owners a bit squirmy and overly-apologetic, not to mention overbearing, interfering, busybodies in our dogs social lives.


Dogs, Not Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

The good people at New World Library asked me to pass this contest along to Dog Star Daily readers:

Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling Angel Animals series authors and
founders of the Angel Animals Network, are sponsoring a contest to gather
true stories of the unique relationships between women and dogs. They are
looking for experiences women have that show the benefits of finding
unconditional love, acceptance, protection, healing, and fulfillment with
dogs as partners in the dance of life. They welcome stories of remarkable
women and dog companions who give service in extraordinary ways and fulfill
their life's purpose. The Andersons consider each contest entry as a
possible story for publication in their next book, Dogs and the Women Who
Love Them, to be published by New World Library in Fall 2010.


Cruel Intentions or Coward?

Yesterday I learned of a police officer shooting and killing a neighborhood dog in Danville, VA. When I first heard the news my mind immediately created the scene I predicted I’d read about: A tense situation, perhaps a chase on foot, running through somebody’s yard, adrenaline high, and the stakes too. Maybe the cop was chasing an armed assailant. Suddenly a large, intimidating dog (maybe a guard dog) was running towards the officer, full frontal attack imminent, or maybe someone set the dog on the man. It was self-defense.

Then I actually read the story and watched this video. I was very surprised by the actual scenario, it was nothing like I imagined. There was no tense situation, well, not by police standards anyway, the guy was serving two warrants to a neighbor of the dog owner.


Is It A Bribe & A Lure?

Some people still don't get it.

Bribes and lures are not the same thing. Not the same thing! Bribing is not a training method, but a weak management strategy and one I would generally not recommend because it can really become a crutch, and just as likely, the part of the antecedent cue of the training scenario.


Puppies Doin' Time

Sometimes people just can’t see the forest for the trees, and when it comes to puppy raising this can be a grave mistake indeed. Yesterday on Twitter, WellBalancedPup brought a letter to my attention that appeared in the ChicoER. In the editorial letter the author is enraged because she feels taken advantage of by the local animal control because she has to pay a fee to impound her puppy for a ten-day bite quarantine.

I too, was enraged by the decision to quarantine a young pup for nipping, but for different reasons entirely. Sure quarantine costs and municipal fines are costly and damage the pocketbook, but money comes and goes, it’s material. The true cost of this situation is far greater than losing a few bucks and the damages are much more difficult to recover.

Berk Claude 2.jpg

Ch Ch Ch Changes

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or something like that. I’ve just spent two years keeping a close watch on Hugo-Louis to keep him on track with his potty training. Yes, you read right. He’s been good for a looooong time now, but I must say he was a tough nut to crack potty-wise.

He’s a Frenchie, and while I thought that wouldn’t matter (potty training is easy as pie after all and I am darn good at it, even tough cases) something made it difficult for him to learn to pee exclusively outside. Not one of my finer moments in training. The first year was rough and I stayed in my hyper-vigilant-pee-patrol role for way longer than I anticipated.

Well, Hugo turned two in April and I decided I could chill a bit now. He’s a big boy and gets the game. It’s exhausting to always be on alert. Sigh of relief.



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