The Science and Practice of Positive Dog Training
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Product Details

  • Author: Ian Dunbar
  • Product Code: 87718
  • ISBN: 978-1-60868-771-8
  • Pages: 320
  • 1 Hardback
  • Size: 6.00 x 9.00


Dr. Ian Dunbar’s new book makes the case that dog training has lost its way and become too theoretical, unnecessarily complicated, time-consuming, and less effective and must return to quick, easy, and enjoyable methods that work

When Dr. Ian Dunbar introduced his SIRIUS® Puppy Training in 1982, dog training mostly comprised multiple leash corrections to punish dogs for misbehavior and noncompliance. Dunbar’s positive approach, ideal for puppies and adult dogs alike, focused on teaching and rewarding dogs for desirable responses, which revolutionized the field. Today, there are few reputable trainers who have not been strongly influenced by Dr. Dunbar.

While positive reinforcement is now widely adopted, Dunbar’s new book details how training has strayed from his original, exceptionally quick and easy lure/reward approach, in which dogs understand our instructions and we can cue desirable behavior. Dunbar argues that the “reward vs. punishment” binary is a false choice, stopping unwanted behaviors is not enough, and it’s unrealistic for us to expect dogs to stop acting like dogs.

Barking Up the Right Tree
shows how:

• the biggest “shock” about electronic training collars, halters, and harnesses is they seldom work as training tools and instead become management tools for life.
• to phase out food rewards and use considerably more powerful “life rewards” — sniffing, walking, play with dogs, and interactive games.
• to use only the most effective reinforcement schedules — differential reinforcement and random reinforcement.
• the only path to long-term success is teaching puppies and dogs how, when, where, what, and/or for how long to chew, dig, bark, eliminate, jump up, and play.
• dogs have specific doggy needs and feelings, so behavior/temperament modification must simultaneously combine both classical conditioning and operant conditioning.

The culmination of more than five decades at the vanguard of dog behavioral science, Barking Up the Right Tree is an indispensable guide for dog owners looking to improve their relationship with their canine companions, understand the state of the art of dog training, and ensure that their dogs become calm, confident, well behaved, and happy.



“There is no single person on the face of the planet to whom dog trainers and owners (not to mention dogs) owe more.”
Jean Donaldson, author of Culture Clash