Kelly Gorman Dunbar


Kelly Gorman Dunbar is a cofounder and the executive editor of and a contributing editor at and Animal Cafe.

She is the Founder and President of Open Paw, a non-profit organization devoted to addressing the unwanted animal problem in a whole new way, arming communities worldwide with valuable user and animal friendly training and behavior information with the goal of keeping cats and dogs out of shelters by keeping them in their original homes. Kelly lectures internationally on the principles of Open Paw and consults for animal shelters regarding layout, and staff-and-animal training protocols and procedures.

She is a Director of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior, a multi-faceted business that focuses on teaching people how to train their dogs to be the best canine citizens possible via fun and efficient training techniques involving games and environmental enrichment as rewards for desired behavior. She is a Director for the K9 Games Corporation, a venture dedicated to bringing fun and games to the process of dog training in order to make it easy, entertaining, and accessible for all people, including children.

Kelly recruits and trains the instructors for Dr. Ian Dunbar's SIRIUS Puppy & Dog Training company based in Berkeley, CA. She is the creator of the SIRIUS Sniffers scent-dection curriculum and is also in the process of bringing the French sport of cavage to the United States. Kelly has titled her French Bulldog Hugo-Louis via National Association of Canine Scent Work and enjoys competing in both NACSW nose work and AKC rally trials with her dogs.

Blog posts by Kelly Gorman Dunbar

Dog 2.0: The Next Revolution

Most people know that Dr. Ian Dunbar & I have a dog training business called SIRIUS® Puppy & Dog Training. Some people even know that twenty-six years ago SIRIUS was the first puppy training school. They simply didn’t exist before 1982, if you wanted to take your dog to a class to teach her to mind her manners or to nip puppy nipping in the bud before she was six-months old, well, you were out of luck back then.

SIRIUS was the beginning of a revolution in dog training. Puppy training begot pet or companion dog training. You know, dog training for regular folks that had no plans to prance around in a ring or perform wild athletic skills, people who counted their dog as their buddy and just wanted him to come when called, maybe not jump up on people.


Making Lemonade

Every day the headlines shout about our terrible economy. Gas prices launch out of control, and subsequently food prices are on the rise. Everyone I know is tightening up their budgets and buckling down their expenditures. The economy is not so great right now and sometimes it does make me anxious.

I don’t fret too much though, because everyday when I stop reading The Huffington Post and pause to look down at my feet my spirits are buoyed. My three dogs sit near me while I work at my desk. Dune and Hugo on one side, curled up on a way-too-small leopard-print bed, and on the other side lays Claude on his big square mat. (Also leopard-print, have you tried it? Leopard-print is the perfect camouflage for a dog bed.)


Don't 'Cha Wish Your Walker Was Hot Like Mine?

Imagine you just got a new puppy or dog, you're educated about puppy or dog care because you've done your homework and read both Dr. Ian Dunbar's Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy, perhaps you even downloaded the book BEFORE from this site. You know that a new dog, especially a young pup, needs to be crate-trained and let out frequently for elimination opportunities, exercise, and companionship. But you work all day, you’re often gone 9 -10 hours at a time.

You’ve considered your local dog care options including coming home for lunch, doggy daycare, and dog walking services and decided a midday walk would do the trick. You research your options only to find there are no fewer than 20 dog walking services in your immediate neighborhood. How do you choose one?


The Scoop On What To Do With Poop

Dog lovers and experts may not agree on much, but there is one thing that is irrefutable, dogs poop. A lot. It may not be the most pleasant subject but it is inescapable and important at the same time because when you ignore it you end up stepping in it. And that is what this piece is about.

I walk my dogs, feed them high quality food, and make sure they’re exercised and entertained nearly every day. I am a stickler about picking up any waste my dogs deposit and throwing it away. I even pick up other dog poo when I see it because, frankly, any poop on the streets or walkways reflects poorly on all of us dog lovers, and the anti-dog sector doesn’t need any more fuel for their diabolical cause.

Recently it dawned on me that my effort to be a responsible dog owner might well be causing harm to the environment. Suddenly I find myself at an ethical impasse. You see, I love my dogs and I am also quite fond of our planet Earth.


It's Your Turn! - What's Your Dog Love Story?

In honor of Valentine's Day I'd like to give you, our DSD readers, an opportunity to share YOUR dog love stories. How did you meet? What does your dog mean to you? Why is dog-love so very special? (keep it clean folks)

I look forward to reading your comments below. And why stop at comments? I'd love to see photos or video of your canine love too!

Happy Valentine's Day,


In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite photos from when we first met Dune:


* UPDATED 02/09/08 - A Wet Weather Warning & Wake Up

My dog Hugo just came home from the animal hospital last night after over 30 hours (and several hundreds of dollars) in care due to mushroom toxicity. He is resting and feeling better now, but this has been quite a scare because several types of mushrooms are toxic enough to rapidly cause liver failure and death in both dogs and humans. He is not quite out of the woods yet, we have to do yet another liver enzyme check and observe him closely over the next few days, but I am optimistic that he will survive this violent assault on his poor little system.


Snort or Growl?

Yesterday I was walking Dune, my handsome and strapping American Bulldog, in our neighborhood and we came across a familiar neighbor and Chiquita, her sweet little Chihuahua/Pug cross (Chug?)

Dune has met Chiquita many times before and though she has no particular love for him, I must admit he suddenly strained forward in an enthusiastic attempt to greet her. He has always been a victim of unrequited love.

He doesn’t normally do that sort of thing (lunge forward on leash during our neighborhood walks) and I was caught slightly off-guard. As a result I compensated by firmly planting my feet and tightening my grip on his leash and reflexively pulled him back. (Hey, it happens to the best of us…)


Which Comes First?

I’m sitting in London’s Heathrow Airport, waiting for my flight back home to California and am taking some time to reflect on these last 10 days in England. Unlike so many of my trips this one was for social reasons, not work, and I had plenty of time to explore and enjoy my surroundings, which for me includes checking out the local dog scene.

This time around I spent a large portion of my time here in The New Forest. It is a place full of the usual forest animals (deer, fox, pheasant, rabbits, frogs, snakes, etc) and also a place where livestock animals (ponies, cattle, pigs, donkeys) free-graze, pretty much roam free in general, anywhere they’d like really, and it is fantastic.


Report From France

Bonjour! I am writing this entry on a train that has just left Paris and is heading for Toulouse, France. The wonderful people of Animalin, Catherine & Alain, invited me and some of our other Dog Star Daily bloggers to speak to French dog trainers at an educational conference hosted by Animalin in the City of Lights. I feel very honored to have been included in the three-day line-up of international speakers.

Dog Star Daily’s own Roger Abrantes flew in from Denmark to be there, and DSD’s Dr. Ian Dunbar came from California, as did the brilliant and talented Ms. Donna Duford of the San Francisco Animal Care and Control.


Beach Dogdom III

On my routine evening strolls along one of the most gorgeous beaches I have seen in my life, I watched the typical sunset “scene” and pondered the life of the dogs that lived and played in this quaint little surfer town.



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