Help Every Puppy Get the Education They Deserve

Please, please, PLEASE help us make sure every new puppy gets the education they desperately need and deserve this holiday season. 

All Puppies Deserve a FIRST Chance — an EDUCATION!

Owners and their new puppies are still getting the short end of the stick.

Dominance and Dogs: Who is the Boss?

Dogs often act as connectors in society.

Getting a Puppy Over the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time to add a puppy or dog to your family, but the holidays also present plenty of challenges.

New Free Course – Six Simple Steps to Solve Your Dog's Behavior Problems

We've just published a new FREE course on Dunbar Academy called Six Simple Steps to Solve Your Dog's Behavior Problems

Puppies and Shelter Dogs: Two Sides of the Same Coin

I am a dog trainer and I lead a double life. Of sorts. Behaviorally speaking.

Dog Performs Heimlich on Choking Owner

You might think someone got into the catnip here, no, but you read that right…A Maryland newspaper reported that forty-five-year-old Debbie Parkhurst was enjoying an apple at home when a piece got lodged in her throat. She attempted the Heimlich maneuver on herself to no avail. Luckily, as Debbie frantically beat on her chest, Toby, her two-year-old Golden Retriever, leaped into action. Like any self-respecting young retriever, Toby jumped up, put his front paws on Debbie’s shoulders, knocked her to the ground, then began to jump up and down on her chest.


Lure Reward Training

In pet dog training, there is an endless quest for the quickest, easiest, most enjoyable and most expedient route to produce equipment-free and gizmo-free response reliability. The choice of training technique will have a huge influence on “time and trials to criterion.” As the quickest, and one of the simplest of all training techniques, lure/reward training is the technique of choice for most owners to teach their dog basic manners. For behavior modification and temperament training, food lure/reward training should be mandatory. There is extreme urgency to prevent and resolve behavior problems. Simple behavior problems, such as housesoiling, destructive chewing, and excessive barking, kill dogs. Time is of the essence. Similarly, biting, fighting, and fearful dogs are hardly happy, or safe to be around, and so there is simply no time to mess around with time-consuming techniques.


Dialogue With Amy Tan

Dr. Dunbar was lucky to enjoy a few woofs with Amy Tan following a book-signing at Book Passage in Marin County. Extracts from this dialogue were previously published in The Bark magazine.

ID: Tell us what your Yorkies mean to you.

AT: How can I summarize this in a sound bite. Well, my Yorkies are… second to Lou. (Amy’s husband.) I am actually pretty dog obsessive, most people know that I travel with my dogs. They go everywhere with me. I’m involved with Yorkie rescue and I’ve done fund raising events for that. Also, I’m involved with the Canine Health Foundation.

ID: Do Bubba and Lilly ever give you any problems?

AT: Well Yorkies are notorious for getting very excited and puffed up with adrenaline…

ID: Really?!?


Dialogue With Eddie

Dr. Dunbar chats with Moose (better known as Eddie — the Dog Star on NBC’s Frasier) and his trainer Mathilde Decagny at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Annual Conference in San Diego. Extracts of this dialogue were previously published in The Bark magazine.

ID: What is Eddie really like?

MD: Eddie has his own personality. I got him when he was about two years old and he was a terror…a tyrant…selfish, mischievous and with lots of negativity.

ID: What sort of things did he do?

MD: Constantly trying to escape and get away, chasing squirrels, getting into trash and dog fights. His recall was nonexistent? I could never get him to come back to me. And I wasn’t the first one that had tried. He would pee everywhere and he was just very, very…

ID: He sounds like a normal, human film star.


Dialogue With Omaha Beagle

Dialogue With Omaha Beagle

Ian Dunbar PhD, MRCVS

ID: Why do dogs misbehave?

OB: Who's to say we misbehave. We dogs hold that our behavior is quite exemplary.

ID: Okay. We, the people, think dogs misbehave. Let's be a little more precise then and ask; why do dogs chase, chew, dig, snarl, snap, bark and bite?

OB: Largely because we're dogs, I suppose. Surely you'd be a mite surprised if we flew, did crosswords, kept bones in the fridge, mooed, miaowed, and urged lawyers to sue our adversaries?

ID: Okay, okay! Granted, all dogs' activities are quite normal and necessary ingredients of the natural canine behavior repertoire. So, it's not so much that the behaviors are abnormal in themselves but rather the behaviors are simply inappropriate in the domestic setting.


Body Language

Even though few of us are fluent in the many dog languages, most of us can tell the difference between a friendly dog and an unfriendly one. The dog seems to get the message across with very little difficulty. It is as easy to sense the aura of a confident, relaxed and easygoing dog as it is to observe specific behaviors and body postures. Such dogs fairly exude warmth and friendliness — head held high with a big doggy laugh, gamboling gait and curved tail wagging the dog's rump. Similarly, one can literally feel the tension emanating from a dog that is not friendly — head lowered, ears flattened, piercing stare, teeth bared and growling, pilo-erection along the back, stiff-legged, and tail held high, straight, stiff and usually vibrating.


Dog Friendly Training: Please Try This at Home!

My affinity for dogs was strong, unwavering, and readily apparent, by the time I was five years old. This attraction was almost certainly genetically pre-determined by generations of ancestors (including my parents) smitten with canines.



Dominance is such a pop word ...

Dominance is such a pop word, used by many owners, vets & trainers alike. It feels so right, yet it's very wrong. It is so believable, yet it’s so deceptive. I would like to give you the ability to hear this word and laugh at the mere concept that our beloved pets are trying to take over! I am also hoping to prevent you from labeling any dog as dominant, and then performing a potentially damaging rank reduction program on him, as a solution to this "problem".


Oliie is Little! web.jpg


Today, February 6th, 2007 is my first morning without my dear little Ollie. He passed away just 25 hours ago. Yesterday morning came early, and with a jolt, first at 2:45 a.m. and then again at 5. Five am in the winter is a sinister hour, dark with a biting chill and virtually lifeless. I couldn’t help but reflect on this thought as I drove to the pet emergency clinic in the predawn hours of yesterday.

I slept late this morning, well, late for me, up at 7:10 even though I went to bed early last night. My body must have needed it because yesterday was an incredibly draining day.


Happy Birthday Puppy Training!

Welcome to the Dog Star Daily! This is indeed an auspicious date to launch into a new era of The Digital Age of Dog, because the world’s very first puppy class was taught 25 years ago today. It was the beginning of a new and progressive era in dog training and we are proud to begin DSD on this very special anniversary. This month the concept of creating a class specifically for young pups who are still at their most impressionable and that is designed to teach the necessary skills for pet dogs, is 25 years old! What an innovation, it has changed the world of dog training immeasurably!



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