Dr. Ian Dunbar

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Dr. Ian Dunbar is a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and writer. He received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) and a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at the University of California in Berkeley, where he spent ten years researching olfactory communication, the development of hierarchical social behavior, and aggression in domestic dogs.

Dr. Dunbar is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the International Society for Applied Ethology, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Sierra Veterinary Medical Association, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (which he founded).

Dr. Dunbar joined the Society for Veterinary Ethology (now the International Society for Applied Ethology) over 35 years ago, at which time he was the only member specializing in dog and cat behavior problems. Later he was involved in the establishment of the American SVE (now the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior).

He has written numerous books, including How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks, the Good Little Dog Book and a series of Behavior Booklets—separate educational booklets on each of the most common pet behavior problems. Additionally, he has hosted eleven videotapes on puppy/dog behavior and training, including SIRIUS® Puppy Training, Training Dogs With Dunbar and Every Picture Tells A Story. All of his videos have won a variety of awards. The famous SIRIUS Puppy Training video (the first dog training video ever produced) remains the all-time best selling dog video. For three years running the SIRIUS® video has always been voted the #1 BEST DOG TRAINING VIDEO by the Association of Pet Dog trainers-the largest and most influential association of dog trainers in the world. His books and DVDs can be found at: James and Kenneth

Before SIRIUS® Puppy Training Classes there were simply no puppy classes-Dr. Dunbar developed them in 1981.

Certainly, the SIRIUS® Puppy Training video had a dramatic influence on the pet dog fancy, completely changing the way dogs are trained in a number of countries around the world. Dr. Dunbar’s unique lure/reward, off-leash training techniques provided a delightful alternative to inane and inhumane leash jerking. In a sense, SIRIUS took the jerks out of training. SIRIUS techniques have been adopted and adapted by most thinking and caring dog trainers worldwide. For more information go to: Sirius Puppy Training

Dr. Dunbar was invited to develop and write (for over seven years) the American Kennel Club's Gazette "Behavior" column, which was voted Best Dog Column for a number of years in succession by the Dog Writers' Association of America.

In 1993, Dr. Dunbar founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) APDT in the United States and organized the first two Annual Conferences. Dr. Dunbar's current project is the creation of the K9 GAMES®-an exciting spectator event featuring fast-moving, motivating, competitive games for dogs and owners.

He has been lecturing to veterinarians and dog clubs for over thirty years. In fact, since 1986 he has conducted over 800 days of seminar and workshop for trainers and veterinarians around the world. There are very few educated trainers who have not been strongly influenced by Dr. Dunbar's fun & games, from-the-animal's-point-of-view, dog friendly dog training.

Dr. Dunbar is peerless in his field; there is simply no other person who has his qualifications, experience, and expertise in the realm of modern psychological dog training and behavior counseling-fields which Dr. Dunbar has played a major role in developing over the past 25 years. 

Dr. Dunbar's books, CDs and DVDs are available from the DogStarDaily online digital store.
Also, many of Dr. Dunbar's multi-day seminars for dog trainers and
veterinarians are available on DVD from Tawzer Dog Videos, and
his "Give Them A Scalpet and They Will Dissect A Kiss: Dog Training
Past, Present and Future
" lecture is available from Dogwise.


Dr. Dunbar's Upcoming Seminars & Appearances

Products from Dr. Ian Dunbar

Blog posts by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Puppies vs. Adult Dogs and Breeders vs. Shelters/Rescues

I am often asked, (actually, “criticized” and “chastised” might be more accurate terms): 1. Why most of my seminars, articles, books and DVDs focus on puppy raising and training rather than adult dog training? and 2. Why I promote (which I don’t) buying pure-bred puppies from breeders instead of adopting adult mixed-breeds from shelters?

1. Why Puppies? Basically, because every adult dog was once a puppy. More specifically, every adolescent/adult dog with difficult-to-resolve behavior, temperament, or training problem was once a puppy that was literally begging for an education to learn how to...

 

Litter Longevity Index

Breeding for Longevity

Initially, dogs were domesticated and bred as working dogs, for hunting, herding, draft and protection. Later they were bred for competition in their working abilities, plus conformation, obedience, agility, etc. In the past century or so, many of these dogs were invited into our homes as companion dogs.

When breeders selectively breed for work, show or competition, they significantly “cull” the litter by selecting the best puppies (by physical or behavioral phenotype) and offering the rest for sale as pet dogs. In fact, for a long time in the dog world, the term...

 

Eugenics or Dysgenics

Natural Selection is nature's fail-safe method to maintain eugenics (good genes and fine offspring). All dogs are different; individual variation is an inherent characteristic of sexual reproduction. Different dogs fair differently in different situations: those dogs best suited to the immediate environment (the genetically fittest) do well; the less fit do less well; and the unfit usually die. In the wild, the process of natural selection promotes the survival of the fittest and the elimination of nature's mistakes.

Additionally, nature has a wonderful way to promote good breeding —...

 

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 one is telling them. Consequently, their puppies develop predictable and preventable, relationship-destroying, behavior, temperament and training problems and sadly, many are surrendered to shelters in search of a “second chance”.

DunbarAcademy.com has recently embarked on a new program to educate new puppy owners, so that all puppies get a first chance — an education that they so rightly deserve and so...

 
Tags:  puppy training

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, being trained by their owners, interacting (socializing) with other people, or playing with other puppies as opposed to the percentage of time that puppies were on-leash, while owners sat in chairs listening and watching the instructor lecture, or demonstrate. The results were quite shocking. In all of the classes surveyed, puppies spent 50–75% of the time on-leash! Neither an efficient nor an...

 

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...

 

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, are understandably concerned about what they can do to reduce the likelihood that their dogs will be infected. However, there is no need to panic. Although Canine Influenza, or dog flu, is extremely infectious, it usually causes only mild symptoms for a few days to a couple of weeks and the dogs normally make a full recovery despite treatment. Yes, complications from the flu can occasionally be...

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...

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