Enjoy The Ride

I recently did some foundation puppy raising and training with a lovely little dog I’ll call Bob. (His name has been changed to protect the pup and his people’s privacy.) It’s joyful and...

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

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...

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

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

Dog Owner Education: Factual Learning Online; Hands-On Practice in Training Class

Many years ago, one of my Japanese students conducted a survey of off-leash puppy classes in the SF Bay Area. A basic index that she scored was the percentage of time that puppies were off-leash,...

The Key to Kibble

Folks that have read my books and seen my videos know my sentiments about dog training: If you can’t train your dog while enjoying a cup of tea, reading a book, or watching television, then you’re doing something wrong.

I would regularly train my Malamute Phoenix while watching football (soccer) matches on the television. During the advertisement breaks, I would ask her to leave the couch and sit in her dog bed directly in front of the television. When she sat in her bed, I could barely see the bottom of the screen over the massive dome of her head. It was easy then to lie back on the couch, to take a sip of tea and to read a few pages while keeping just one eye on her solid sit stays. If at anytime, I could see the entire screen, I knew that she was sinking and that it was time to remind her of her Sit Stay.


Sit List

David Letterdog's List of Things Dogs Cannot Do While Sitting


Puppy Personality Development

All owners hope that their young pup will develop into a happy-go-lucky, well behaved, good-natured adult dog that above all, lives to a fine old age. Without a doubt, appropriate puppy education is the single most important factor to ensure this outcome. The nature of the puppy's socialization and training depends very much on the changing physical and mental capabilities and constraints during the various stages ofpersonality development from birth to maturity.


BEFORE You Get Your Puppy

This book is simply a MUST READ for anyone thinking of getting a puppy. Puppies should be raised in an errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training set-up. This is very easy to do and everything you need to know is described in this little book.


Sirius Introduces Me to the Dog's Point of View

In 1971, I moved to the US to research dog sexual behavior at UC Berkeley. This might sound like a strange choice (the research topic not the place) but at the time, I was a veterinarian with an intense interest in both animal behavior and obstetrics and my two favorite domestic species were cows and dogs. A coin toss came down in favor of dogs and so, dog sexual behavior was a logical research choice. Berkeley was not necessary a hotbed of canine sexual activity but rather, the site for the longest running study on dog behavior.


Open Paw’s Guide To The First Two Weeks With Your New Dog

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! With a little work, some planning, and forethought, your new dog will be an effortless, well-behaved companion for years to come. It is important to recognize that first impressions are lasting ones and habits begin to develop from day one. Be sure to instill good manners and habits from the first day you bring your new puppy or dog home. Remember, good habits are as hard to break as bad ones. If you follow these simple guidelines, your dog’s transition into your home will be a piece of cake for both you and your new best friend.


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 breed, type, or temperament. Please do not take this for granted, regardless of your breed description. Even dogs from breeds that have a very good reputation for loving people will need to be thoroughly socialized as puppies, to make sure that they have lots of great experiences being around all kinds of different people. And more importantly, breeds that are known to be less social (often described as aloof) must be socialized to grow up to love to be around people in order to be good canine citizens (and not end up in news headlines).


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?!?



Subscribe to Front page feed