Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
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Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  465 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Very few dog trainers have not been influenced by Dr. Ian Dunbar's dog-friendly philosophy. In the 1970s, Dr. Dunbar sparked a dramatic shift in dog training — away from leash corrections and drill-sergeant adult dog classes based on competitive obedience and toward a positive approach using toys, treats, and games as rewards for teaching basic manners, preventing behavior...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 29th 2004 by New World Library (first published August 20th 2001)
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Barks & Bites
This book is a comprehensive guide to selecting, preparing and caring for a puppy and a must read for anyone considering adding a canine baby to their lives or for anyone who needs to housebreak and train an older pup from scratch.

The author tackles everything in a way that is understandable for even the newest puppy owner and he doesn’t talk down to you and has a great sense of humor about things instead. As an example he says if your puppy dog makes a potty error inside the house, you should p...more
Excellent ideas, especially the encouragement to strongly integrate all kinds of puppy-training into every day life. However, I do think Ian Dunbar is rather unrealistic and terribly discouraging. As I began reading this book, I thought this was IT, the Holy Grail of dog/puppy training. But I quickly realized that with my 9 week old puppy, according to Dunbar, I was already a total failure. Dunbar emphasis error-free house-training (and what new puppy owner wouldn't be excited about THAT concept...more
I have good and bad news about this book.

The good is that this is my favorite puppy book I’ve read so far. The author advocates gentle and intelligent ways of handling Puppy’s misbehavior, rather than the painful or frightening correction methods advocated by other authors. He explains exactly why you should use certain training methods rather than simply taking a “because-I’m-the-expert” stance. The result should be a happy, well-behaved, confident dog companion. I was especially thankful for h...more
Good grief. This book is like "Scared Straight," only instead of targeting rebellious youths flirting with prison, Dunbar has his mind firmly set on scaring the crap out of any first-time puppy owner. One wrong move and your dog is headed to an early grave. Or if you're lucky, just severely maladjusted.

A representative passage: "If, on the other hand, your puppy is given unsupervised free run of the house from the outset, the odds are that it will be confined later on--first to the yard, then t...more
I love that Ian Dunbar made this book available for free on his website Dogstar Daily . The book is filled with practical solutions to problems new dog owners are likely to face such as house training, bite inhibition, chewing, separation anxiety and barking. He has some great idea to help your new pup quickly learn the house rules like keeping them confined to a small area, like a kid's playpen, when you can’t pay 100% of your attention to them and making sure they go out to the bathroom every...more
Andie Murray
This was a good primer for raising a puppy, with good positive reinforcement training techniques. Dunbar is a well-respected trainer and seems to really understand dogs and how they think. However, I was irritated that Dunbar really never offerred any advice for what you should do if your dog does't respond the way his theoretical dog did. For example, he would say "hold the treat above his head and say 'Puppy, sit'. Your puppy will sit his butt down on the floor to get a better look at the trea...more
I started off being totally scared when reading this book because the author kept saying the dog would be ruined forever if I messed up! However, he becomes more comforting as the book progresses and I like his straight forward, to the point approach. While there seems to be a lot to do, his checklists and urgency guides help a lot. I really, really found this book helpful- other puppy books are really wish washy in comparison. I think we will have a a very Dunbar trained dog! :)
This has been on my to-read list for a loooong time. I didn't know anything about dogs until Faith was not a puppy anymore. (Poor Faith had to go through a LOT of mistakes.) By the time I realized this was kind of a famous book that I should read, I didn't have very much incentive to read it. Now I have incentive because I'm getting a puppy!

To be honest, I was a little disappointed. There's some great advice in here and (I think) some not-so-great advice. I liked the parts about bite inhibition...more
Justin Podur
The most in-depth and indispensable how-to for the positive approach to dog training. Trying to use this book with a real (and wonderful) puppy taught me that I didn't have what it takes to raise one. Dunbar talks about the importance of crate training, bite inhibition, and socialization in puppyhood. I found I didn't have the heart to keep the poor thing in a crate, and I knew 100% that if I did not crate train him, he would end up developing all the problems with chewing up all of the stuff in...more
Vienna X
Jul 13, 2008 Vienna X rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with or about to get a puppy!
Recommended to Vienna by: A random lady in a bookstore--thanks!
Shelves: non-fiction
This book helped my husband and me tremendously when preparing for our first puppy, an excitable Boston Terrier. Dunbar breaks down the training process for you and makes it less overwhelming and more logical. He definitely seems to understand the canine mind and what ways work best to communicate with our favorite furry friends.

Some highlights that helped us:

* Crate training within a larger confined area
* The joys of kibble- & treat-filled Kongs and other chewtoys
* The need to socialize pup...more
Victoria Martin
The last of my invaluable puppy books. I love how this one breaks things into 6 key goals of puppy development, which I have been working towards with my dog. So far, so good, and I definitely recommend this to anyone getting a puppy, or thinking about getting a puppy since it talks a lot about the before period as well (hence the title, though I didn't read it until after I had selected mine).
I bought this book a little last minute to put in a new puppy welcome basket for a client, so I thought I'd better read it first. For a book by veterinarian that founded APDT, it was not what I had hoped. While it was excellent for what it is, I think a new puppy owner needs a lot more explicit advice, blow-by-blow, than the book gives on many important new puppy management questions. I ended up lending the client my copy of _Metrodog_ (Kilcommons & Wilson) and recommending _Puppies for Dumm...more
Jun 15, 2012 Sumiko rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: dogs
The best thing about this book is that it gives clear developmental guidelines and a training program for the first few months at home. Dunbar stresses that it is imperative to socialize the puppy with humans before 12 weeks, and gives ideas for how to do that (Throw puppy parties and have him meet 100 people). Second most imperative is to teach bite inhibition before 16 weeks (through puppy playschool).

Dunbar gives some training tips, but I would have preferred more. In that respect, I prefer...more
Rebecca Grace
This book/author was recommended by our trainer, and so far, it's been very helpful. Simple suggestions like making sure I have treats in my pocket so I can INSTANTLY reward outdoor elimination have really sped up the potty training for our two puppies, and I like Dunbar's idea of starting the puppies out in one room of the home, and then waiting until they have gone an entire month without any bathroom or chewing mistakes in that room before adding a second room, then waiting another month with...more
Deirdre Keating
So far this has been my favorite, and the fact that most of this book is available as a free download means the author is more interested in spreading his ideas than just making $. I wish we had started heel/lead training as described in this book (instead we were so focused/eager to get him worn out, we just went for long walks regardless of how well he was obeying). I love the focus on soft-bite and training a dog to never put his mouth on a human...but I wish there were more specifics on how...more
Excellent, easy to follow book for new puppy buyers/owners.

Not so great for experienced dog people, but that's not its target audience!
Wonderful book but a little too fierce in some ways - I don't agree with the insistence on "errorless" housetraining (so if the baby is on the changing table and you suddenly see the puppy circling by you, is all lost?). I also have trouble with the idea that you must invite 100 people to your house to meet the puppy by the time it is 18 weeks old - the rather cavalier insistence that everyone can find 100 people to invite over sounds like the words of a gregarious man - what about a single woma...more
Very glad I read this before getting a puppy. With a few months left before we get our puppy, this is a well-written and very informative book about how to create a life with your dog. I wouldn't even say that it's about training a dog. It's more about how to create error-proof habits in your puppy so that you have a wonderfully well-adjusted and well-behaved dog. The book is broken into digestible sections and offers not only big picture advice, but directions for implementing the techniques. I...more
Crystal McFarland
really not helpful at all.even contradictory to itself in parts
An excellent reference for raising a puppy
Kelly McGregor
Ian Dunbar was unknown to me before I found this book at Chapters, but through this book he has been an invaluable aide in getting to know my puppy. The book helped me work WITH her to clearly define appropriate behaviour and house rules, and now she is a happy, healthy, house trained and well socialized pup! I am sure I will be coming back to this book in the future, whether to reference handling as my puppy matures, or to re-read the entire book the next time I adopt.
Nick Klagge
Recommended by a friend who has two dogs. The method laid out by the author makes a lot of sense, but is not "just common sense." We ended up not getting a dog, but if we did, I would want to use this approach for training.
This is an awesome book for puppy training and a must read before you bring your pup home. The book teaches a method of positive dog training. Dunbar does a great job teaching you how to effectively communicate with your puppy so that you can be a successful trainer. Chapters on house training and bite inhibition have been especially useful for me. I am continually going back to the book as a reference whenever behavior modification is necessary.
Aug 28, 2014 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: pets
If you can get past the stern "do this or permanently screw up your puppy" tone to the book, the advice here is great. This is one of the best books I read before bringing puppy home, and I highly recommend this book (along with ones by Suzanne Hetts and Sophia Yin) for any novice puppy parent.
I don't have a dog, nor is one in the immediate future. But I will refer to this book should think about getting a dog.

I heard Mr. Dunbar's TED talk in which he said that you can train people like you train dogs, which made me curious. Here's what I've gleaned:
• Consistency is key
• Set up the situation for success instead of failure
• Positive reinforcement is a far better tool than anger or shame

Worth reading and interesting.
This book is an unforgiving guide to living with and training puppies. So far it has some good advice. Other advice is decidedly not working for our puppy, but that may be our puppy's baggage and nothing to do with the value of the book. For instance, no matter how hard I try to encourage it, Patrick just doesn't seem susceptible to chew toy-aholism. Perhaps he doesn't have an addictive personality. Probably too early to tell.
Adrian Wong
Too much ranting about bad owners raising bad dogs - the feeling I got from this book while reading it was that Ian Dunbar is the kind of person who will come into your home and look down on you for everything you do with your dog.

There is some helpful information in this book, but it did a really poor job of preparing me for owning a dog. Too much theoretical uselessness and not enough practical answers.
Dec 02, 2007 Maria rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: dogs
This book was recommended to me by the Border Terrier people we visited. It's been interesting and kind of scary to read. Dogs need a lot of of training for a long time. Hopefully we'll be able to put most of the ideas in the book into practice(when our puppy comes on the 10th!). But if not, the book keeps defaulting to calling in a professional dog-trainer to correct any mistakes. Fingers crossed.
Dr. Ian Dunbar has the best, humane, insightful method of dog training that works, bar none. PLEASE read this book before you get a dog! It will change the life of the dog by teaching him what it means to be part of a human family. It will (hopefully) prevent you from creating yet another shelter dog as well. If you already have a dog? Read it anyway. It can only improve your relationship.
Good ideas, but man is this guy repetitive! The book is so small and I feel like he kept saying the same thing over and over. Maybe preparing for a dog really is simpler than we think? I also don't like that he split up the books into two -- obviously he wants to milk it and make more $$ because you HAVE to buy "After You get Your Puppy!"
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Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.

He has authored...more
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