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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...

Open Paw Shelter Program

How a Radio Show Changed How We Train Dogs Forever

Eighteen months ago, I was driving from Heathrow Airport to the farm in Hertfordshire on Christmas Eve, when I heard Kelly’s voice come over the car radio. She was talking about sheltering and rehoming dogs. A decade beforehand Kelly saw major problems with the existing shelter model and so, provided a solution … Open Paw. www.openpaw.org

Open Paw transforms shelters into a cross between a Canine University and a Canine Country Club, so that resident dogs (and cats) enjoy their stay while receiving an education, and hence, are more likely to be adopted and stay adopted.

Instead of feeding from...

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...

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