World-famous animal behaviorist and veterinarian Dr. Ian Dunbar appeared at the 2007 TED Talks Conference in California where he explained the benefits of training your dog using positive reinforcement. Unlike publicity hound trainers such as Cesar Milan who rely on the “dominance” method, a type of training that has been since been debunked by scientists, Dr. Dunbar’s training method always takes into account the dog’s point of view.
Dr. Dunbar says there’s four training stages when teaching your pooch: one, to get him to use food as a lure to teach the dog a command—for example, to sit or lie down. Next, you slowly phase the food out and then you start building on the commands so that your furry friend understands the command within a sentence such as “Go fetch the mail.” Finally, you use distractions such as squirrels or other dogs in training so that chasing a squirrel in a park or getting the opportunity to play with their canine buddy becomes a reward.
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Whether you’re thinking about adopting that cute slobbery mutt from your local shelter or have an adorable puppy that is currently tearing your house apart, make sure you watch this short interview with Dr. Ian Dunbar. For those of you who are just entering the world of obedience training, leave Cesar Milan and his endless “tshh-ing” behind. As you’ll soon learn, Dr. Dunbar highly recommends the power of positive reinforcement when it comes to teaching your puppy his or her manners.
Dr. Dunbar is not only a dog trainer, veterinarian, and animal behaviorist, but he’s also an acclaimed author. His titles include How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks, Doctor Dunbar’s Good Little Dog Book, Dog Behavior: Why Dogs Do What They Do, and Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy Dog have long been considered the go-to books for owners looking to use positive reinforcement dog training.
In this video, Dr.Dunbar is interviewed by NaturallyHappyDogs about how owners can mold their rambunctious pup into a well-behaved pooch. He stresses that owners should start training their dogs at eight weeks but warns that training never stops, even when the dog is old. Socialization and handling is also important as well—that way, your puppy will stay still when having their teeth brushed.
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