Make Muzzle Wearing Fun!

The Importance of Early Socialization

Socialization is the process of becoming familiar with all kinds of animals, people, places, and things; as well as learning how to behave in society. All puppies need socialization regardless of

When Can I Stop Rewarding My Dog?

Stay Proofing

Is Your Aggressive Dog Dangerous? Dr. Dunbar Says, Probably Not

This video clip was taken from the new online seminar by Dr. Ian Dunbar: Dog-Dog Reactivity, only available on the Dunbar Academy All-Access Pass. Try your first month for just $1.  Do you have an...

What To Do About Canine Flu: Canine Influenza Type A H3N2 & H3N8

As you probably know, there is currently an outbreak of Dog Flu in the South Bay and more recently, a number of cases have cropped up in other areas around the Bay. All dog owners, including myself,...
Belgian Tervuren Mars With Orange

Starting Over In Dog Training

It has been so long since I’ve written anything here at The Dog Star Daily Blog that it feels like I’m starting over. Recently, I’ve started training my young dog, Laz and my new pup, Mars for a dog sport that I haven’t attempted in over ten years. So it kind of feels as though I’m starting over in dog training, too. Here’s to new beginnings! 

As with anything new, it’s a very good idea to break a task down, start with small goals, and gradually increase complexity and duration. At the moment I am being reminded of this daily by my coaches as I plan training sessions for the very long,...

What if We Practiced Dog Ownership First?


We’ve all heard the familiar pleas: “Can we get a dog?” “I want a dog, look how cute he is!” Dogs are tons of fun and having a canine companion is great, but what’s involved with owning a dog can catch a person off guard.

So how about this rogue idea for first timers or parents teaching their children – set up practice sessions (think training trials for humans) and actually do several of the things involved with being a dog guardian BEFORE actually getting a real live dog? Test the waters so to speak. A stuffed animal dog would be a light and funny surrogate, a form of “successive...

The Bite Scale

Click here to download Dr. Dunbar's Bite Scale

Dog aggression is such a difficult subject to speak objectively about. People are always emotional when they talk about their dogs, but never more so than when they talk about issues with reactivity or aggression, whether it's a problem of fighting with other dogs or biting people.

When a dog "attacks" or acts aggressively towards a person, it can be hard to separate the scariness of the experience from how dangerous or damaging it actually was.

The size and the breed of a dog has a huge effect on people's perception of aggressive behavior. Little


Fight:Bite Ratio

An Objective Assessment of Danger of Fighting Dogs

Ian Dunbar PhD, BVetMed, MRCVS

Establish the number of full-contact fights (#Fights) plus the number of fights in which the opponent was taken to a veterinary clinic for treatment of bite wounds, i.e., fight that resulted in actual significant physical damage (#Bites). 

The ratio between # Fights and # Bites indicates the level of bite inhibition and whether or not the dog is dangerous. The greater the number of fights with no damage indicates the better the dog’s bite inhibition. 

Most dogs clearly fall into one of two categories...



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 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.

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

Ian Dunbar Seminars, Books and DVDs Online for Just $20 per month

The All-Access Pass on

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...


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