Thursday, September 3, 2009

Puppy training and dog bites

I have come across a wonderful web site and would like to share an important article with you. Dr Ian Dunbar was one of the originals in the field of puppy kindergarten, maybe THE original. His Sirius Puppy Training Video is a classic. This article tells about the early days of dog training classes and how things have changed for the better, and what you should look for and expect to achieve in a puppy training class.

http://dogstardaily.com/training/what-makes-good-puppy-class-dr-ian-dunbar

Once you've read that article, take a look around the site- there are excellent blogs and instructional articles for owners of pets of all ages, not just puppies. I subscribe to his newsletter and always learn something new.

I attended one of his behavior seminars a few years ago, and his perspective on dog bites was enlightening. He talked about how many biting dogs are misidentified, and thus breed bite statistics are suspect. To exaggerate a little, people figure anything that isn't a collie must be a pit bull (my words). How many of us can reliably identify every breed, especially in the heat of the moment when a random dog is biting?

Dr. Dunbar also spoke about the different levels of a bite. Is the dog nipping to warn a child to leave him alone, or is the dog waging an all-out attack, breaking skin and causing major damage? He is a proponent of bite inhibition training, starting when a dog is a puppy.

Dr Dunbar also has a great sense of humor. He did a great Elvis impression at the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) conference a few years ago in Memphis!

All in all, I think there is some excellent advice on Dog Star Daily, and I hope you think so too!

©2009 Terry Albert. All rights reserved.

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