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. I am the Director of SIRIUS Puppy Training, a San Francisco Bay Area puppy training school. Our mission is to teach new...

Quick Tip: The Gift of Gab – Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Training by Talking to your Dog!

Your voice is one of the most useful tools you have in dog training. Sadly, it's also one of the most underutilized. Many dog owners don't understand how much they can communicate by using their

Quick Tip: Just Stuff It - How to Use Food Stuffed Chew Toys to Solve Home Alone Problems

The easiest and most effective tool in dog training is hands-down, the humble hollow chew toy filled with food. It's so powerful because it trains your dog tirelessly, for hours, without any

Quick Tip: The Keys to the Kingdom – How to Use Life Rewards to Motivate Your Dog

Teaching your dog what you want them to do is just the first step in training. The second step is motivating your dog to WANT to do what you want them to do, and this actually represents the vast

Education Used to Be Expensive; Now, it’s Affordable for All — Anytime, Anywhere

Back in the day, when we used to buy books and DVDs and travel to dog training seminars, workshops and conferences, furthering our education could be pricey. A three-day seminar or five-day conference...

All Puppies Deserve a FIRST Chance — an EDUCATION!

Owners and their new puppies are still getting the short end of the stick. Dog problems are invariably blamed on “irresponsible dog owners” BUT they are simply at a loss for what to do, and, no...

Quick Tip: The Gift of Gab – Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Training by Talking to your Dog!

Your voice is one of the most useful tools you have in dog training. Sadly, it's also one of the most underutilized. Many dog owners don't understand how much they can communicate by using their voice, and as a result, they fail to give their dogs the feedback they need to learn how to behave. 

Of course, your voice is most powerful when you use words that your dog understands, but even when you use words they don't understand your dog will appreciate the tone and intensity and that can communicate quite a lot!

Watch the video below to learn more:

 

Education Used to Be Expensive; Now, it’s Affordable for All — Anytime, Anywhere

Back in the day, when we used to buy books and DVDs and travel to dog training seminars, workshops and conferences, furthering our education could be pricey. A three-day seminar or five-day conference could easily end up costing $300-$2000, or more. Once you factor in seminar registration, travel, accommodation, shopping and hotel-food costs and time away from family and work, education was expensive, time-consuming, often inconvenient and not that effective — How much information from a one-day seminar was actually retained?

Nowadays, online education is either open-source or very affordable...

 
Tags:  education

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Why so much learning theory doesn’t work too well in practice.

An applied learning theory is essential for teaching/training all animals, people included 

These days we are being increasingly advised that dog training should be based on peer-reviewed, published studies. I feel this is a bit silly because there are so few research studies on dog training. In fact, there are next to none. Certainly, there are wonderful studies on the behavior of wild canids, on feral or free-roaming domestic dogs and there are some really interesting studies on cognition in companion dogs but … there...

 

Quick Tip: Handcrafted – How to make the best use of your HANDS during training

You have to know how to use your hands correctly if you want to be a good dog trainer. Excellent dog handlers know how to use their hands to energize, calm, lure and reward.

On the other hand, when owners don't know what they're doing, they can accidentally train their dog to become afraid of human hands, which can lead to anxiety and aggression problems.

And of course, the best thing about your hands is that they are one of just a few tools that you always have with you!

To learn more, watch this video:

 

Quick Tip: Superfood – What You Should and Should not be Feeding Your Dog

For many dogs, the most important aspect about the food you feed your dog is whether or not you use it in training. If your dog has behavior problems, you can, and should, use their regular food to help solve those problems.

That's why it's well worth considering a dry kibble that will be convenient to use in training. For many people, if it's not convenient, it's not going to happen, and when you fail to use food in training you really handicap yourself. 

To learn more, watch this video:

 

Quick Tip: Ditch the Dish – The First Step to Resolving Your Dog's Behavior Problems

When it comes to dog training and behavior problems, the number of different solutions are as great and varied as the number of different problems.

But whatever your problem is, there's a good chance that the first step you're going to want to take is getting rid of your dog's food bowl. Feeding your dog form a food bowl really undermines your ability to use food in training, and food, used properly, can make training much, much easier.

To learn more, watch this video:

 

Dunbar Academy Gets a Make-Over

Dunbar Academy is our online dog training and behavior school and presents a more structured and curated learning experience than Dog Star Daily can provide.

But it wasn't always that way. When we started Dunbar Academy a couple of years ago, it primarily consisted of video recording of Ian's many dog behavior seminar and workshops. 

But in the past few months we've totally revamped the website to make it into a very streamlined set of courses that are each tailored to one of several important groups of doggy people: regular pet dog owners, dog trainers and other doggy professionals

 
Dunbar Academy is now on YouTube

Announcing the Dunbar Academy YouTube channel

We're excited to announce that we've launched a new YouTube Channel!

It's going to feature videos of all three of the Dunbars dispensing top-notch dog training informaiton and entertainment! Our goal is to add at least one new video each week and so we've been doing A LOT of filming lately.

We'll feature some of the videos here, on Dog Star Daily as well, but certainly not all of them, so if you don't want to miss any, you should definitely subscribe to the channel on YouTube.

At the moment, we've got three "series" going:

First, there's Mail Bag with Ian, where he answers questions from our...

 
BamBam waits patiently in his crate away from the search area in Nose Work class

Why there is No Nose-to-Nose in Nose Work

Group dog training classes are always fun and entertaining in addition to being useful on several different levels. Watching other dog/owner teams work out some of the same issues you are facing is both comforting and educational.

 

For new nose work students one of the first eye-opening things about an official K9 Nose Work ® class (if taught by an instructor certified by the National Association of Canine Scent Work) is that all dogs must be crated or safely secured away from the scent field when it is not their turn to work. The dog that is working, does so with just his owner and the

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