Raising Puppy to be the best dog ever | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Raising Puppy to be the best dog ever

Dawn Armstrong
For the Tribune

Thirty years ago, Dr. Ian Dunbar could not find a training class that would accept his puppy. Dogs were not allowed until six months of age. So that his Alaskan Malamute could attend school, the pragmatic Englishman and Berkeley resident looked to the sky, picked the brightest star of Canis Major, and created the world’s first puppy class.

Sirius Puppy Training was revolutionary and today anyone can download free from his website the puppy bibles: “Before You Get Your Puppy” and “After You Get Your Puppy”. Also available free at http://www.dogstardaily.com are practical, proven training articles or “Behavior Blueprints” for all ages. 

Dunbar identifies six critical puppy developmental deadlines and shows how their humans can meet them. Adult dogs also benefit from the Dunbar approach. In fact, the humane and holistic training movement virtually was invented by him to further his mission to change jerk and dominate methods into more effective, positive training protocols.

A veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and director of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior, Dunbar founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 1993. From that evolved internationally accepted standards and ethics for professional trainers and continuing education for a profession that still requires no license or oversight.

Dunbar is well known in shelter circles as well. Since behavior problems are the number one reason people surrender pets, he created Open Paw programs to educate animal shelter staff, volunteers, and pet owners to prevent the development of common behavior, temperament and training problems.

Dunbar’s life mission is to enable people to raise and enjoy mentally healthy, social pets who can share in every aspect of their human companion’s life. He is dedicated to enable more puppies to grow up to be good-natured and well-behaved adult dogs so they stay in their original homes and out of shelters.

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The Sirius Puppy Training video was the first dog training video ever produced and remains the all-time best selling dog video. Jean Donaldson, San Francisco S.P.C.A. training college director and author of the best selling “The Culture Clash” about human-dog relations, summarized the effect of the video: “Sirius Puppy Training is the video which changed dog training. It remains the best video on positive methods and early socialization available today. Some fields are lucky enough to be granted a giant: a figure whose contributions inspire awe and are unsurpassable. Ian Dunbar is that in dog behavior. There is no single person on the face of the planet to whom dog trainers and owners (not to mention dogs) owe more.”

Dunbar’s seminars and workshops emphasize the importance of teaching bite inhibition, early socialization, temperament training, and simple solutions for common and predictable behavior problems, as well as basic household manners. He advocates for user-friendly and dog-friendly dog training. He believes that training should be as enjoyable for dogs as it is for owners, and that training should only involve quick, easy, and effective methods that are within the capabilities of all family members, especially including children.

Dunbar’s current project is called the K9 Games, a spectator event featuring fast-moving, motivating, competitive games for dogs and owners. Puppy, teenager or adult, dogs (and cats) have a fast friend in Dr. Dunbar. So does the average dog owner. Explore the free, friendly pet family support at http://www.DogStarDaily.com.

– Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.” Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA.