Petcast, Barking Up the Right Tree with Dr. Ian Dunbar


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In this WGN Radio Petcast, hear an in-depth and detailed conversation with Dr. Ian Dunbar, arguably the most influential dog trainer, ever. He’s done so much, from supporting professionalization for dog trainers of what is now to defining puppy classes, not to mention authoring many books.

His most recent book is Barking Up the Right Tree: The Science and Practice of Positive Dog Training.

Dr. Dunbar begins by talking about Fear Free (an initiative to deal the emotional well-being of our pets and other animals), and why he loves it.

He explains why dog vs. dog reactivity is more common today than decades ago.

Dr. Dunbar explains what socialization is and how to socialize our dogs. And the necessity of socializing dogs to people as young as when they are neonates. And when the puppy enters the home, he talks about how the unfamiliar can become the familiar.

Dr. Dunbar notes we can even prevent separation anxiety. In brief, the puppy has to be taught to be left alone, then home alone, and to enjoy the experience.  He also shares some tricks of his trade. And talks about the most common mistakes people make.

He even teaches me to pee on cue – that’s how good he is!

You can give a dog a gift of confidence! And he says, “I want the dog to be a dog.” But also times when the pet parent can say “cut that out.”

Dr. Dunbar notes that we should cross purebred dogs. The breeders of cats and even cows do this – not most of the American Kennel Club breeders.

What is the best reward for most dogs? They’re called life rewards and Dr. Dunbar explains.

Dr. Dunbar offers free books here.