Dr Dunbar's iWoofs Podcasts


4.13 Are Puppy Classes Harmful? (Part 2)

For this episode we return to an article that was on the Kennel Club’s website which suggests that puppy classes and social play sessions are responsible for increasing reactivity and aggression in pet dogs.   The article focuses on poorly managed classes, and uses this as justification for condemning the whole concept.  The Dunbars explain how a well-run class or socialization session is actually the best way of preventing reactivity and aggression, and creating friendly, easy-to-handle and reliable adult dogs.  

iWoofs Seas:  Season 4

4.12 Are Puppy Classes Harmful? (Part 1)

In this iWoofs episode we address an article that appears on The Kennel Club website, by Robert Alleyne, a Board member of the Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors.  As major advocates for puppy classes you can probably imagine that we have a few bones to pick with this article.  We find many of the assumptions to be flawed, along with much of the reasoning and the conclusions.  We do agree with the article that there are some puppy classes that are not as good as they should be, and we agree with some of the criticisms that are made of poorly managed classes.  However, we

iWoofs Seas:  Season 4

4.11 Ian's Fun & Games Training Workshops

It’s been awhile since Dr. Ian Dunbar has conducted dog training workshops in the United States, but that’s about to change.  Over the next few months Ian will be giving dog training workshops in locations all across America, starting in Texas, Rhode Island, New Jersey & Maryland.  In this episode Ian talks about how he structures his workshops to make them fun and informative for the dogs, the handlers and the observers alike.  Games make reliability testing incredibly enjoyable, while simultaneously providing for objective quantification, often while off-leash and surrounded by many

iWoofs Seas:  Season 4

4.10 Dealing with a Mouthy Rottweiler

A listener has a sweet three-your old Rottweiler that likes to mouth people. He’s never hurt people, but the owner recognizes that this is a potential problem. With a large, potentially intimidating dog like a Rottweiler it’s a particular pressing problem, because people may be very scared.

iWoofs Seas:  Season 4

4.09 It Didn't Work For Me

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in dog training, mistakes which will make any method or exercise significantly less effective.  Dog training is complex and requires some important skills, it requires some patience, persistence and timing.  Also, there’s something about dogs which tends to short-wire some people’s critical thinking skills.  Probably the biggest problem people run into is expecting too much from their dog, too quickly.  They don’t recognize the incremental improvements, which means they don’t capture and build upon those improvements.

iWoofs Seas:  Season 4
Embedded thumbnail for 23 Best games for a New Puppy

23 Best games for a New Puppy


Games are great!  In this episode the Dunbars talk about the best games for a new puppy, especially one that’s going to be living with a couple of young children.  Games can be used for motivating behaviors that are really useful, like Go To Your Crate or Off & Take-it.  Scent games can be a lot of fun, and quite useful, as can Go To for finding members of your family.  And really, in a family of four, any training activity can be turned into a game or competition, and probably should be.


Video iWoofs:  Season 2
Embedded thumbnail for 22 Premack Explained

22 Premack Explained

The Premack principle suggests that if a dog wants to perform an activity (a high frequency behavior / eating ice cream), they’ll be willing to perform a less desirable activity (low frequency behavior / eating spinach) in order to do so.  The less desirable behavior can be reinforced by the more desirable behavior.  In dog training this means that we can harness the exciting, motivating power of our dog’s favorite behaviors as reinforcers for the behaviors we want them to do.  We can string behavior routines together to charge each step with the positive association of a primary reward.

Embedded thumbnail for 21 Stray Dogs Getting Along

21 Stray Dogs Getting Along

In lots of cities and towns abroad there is often a culture where it's OK for dogs to roam around on their own unsupervised and unattended.  Very often these dogs get along very well, often without the kind of loud and unsettling aggression problems that dogs have when they're on leash with their owners.  One factor could be the extent to which many strays are intact, especially when it comes to the treatment and subsequent temperamental development of young male dogs.  Also, groups of stray dogs usually include a variety of ages and breeds, which naturally teach puppies how to behave

Embedded thumbnail for 20 The Mimi Effect

20 The Mimi Effect

To learn more about Dr. Dunbar's seminars visit James And Kenneth Publishers

There was a beagle in the UC Berkeley dog behavior study named after Ian’s first wife (Jamie’s mom), Mimi.  Mimi the beagle was central to more than one incident that would profoundly shape Ian’s understanding of dog behavior and temperament.  It revealed just how fundamentally a dog’s temperament could be changed, especially confronted with the power of the pack.  It also led Ian to develop the notion of subliminal bite stimuli, the idea that there can be multiple factors that lead to a sudden explosion of

Embedded thumbnail for 19 Studying Puppies and Development

19 Studying Puppies and Development

To learn more about Dr. Dunbar's seminars visit James & Kenneth Publishers
After two decades of studying adult canine behavior, Dr. Beach’s beagle study began to take a closer look at how puppies develop and how they are incorporated into a group of dog.  The abundant data created by observational academic research provided fertile ground for improving our understanding of doggy development.  If it weren’t for this study, Dr. Dunbar may never have understood puppyhood bite inhibition, the plasticity of temperament, the power of the pack and the importance of socialization with a



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