View Full Version : Training the Companion Dog

9th December 2006, 12:13 AM
I'm hoping to get some money as a gift this Christmas to purchase Ian Dunbar's video series "Training the Companion Dog."

I have not seen his videos yet or read his book(s), though I'm aware that he's the expert guru that much of the dog world offers up as the positive trainer to contrast Cesar Millan.

I've watched the first season dvds of The Dog Whisperer (so I could see what all the controversy is about), so now I'd like the comparison with Ian Dunbar's videos.

It is important, in my opinion, to be aware of all sorts of different training philosophies, especially as I gear up and plan for leading my first obedience class. Cesar's way is the way that I was originally taught dog training (remember, I grew up in the sticks which is notoriously a generation behind in technology and all things others consider contemporary/modern). I've used mostly a positive method with my girls, though I've never formally studied Dunbar's techniques.

Having used both strategies, I definitely see the benefits of the positive method. For example, the first dog I trained was a lab/shepherd cross. She's a wonderful dog, but she does not respond to commands positively. In fact, I can remember once when I was young that poor Faith actually lost control of her bladder indoors as she was obeying a come command to have a bath. Obviously, she was obeying the command, but it caused such mental anxiety for her she peed! This was over ten years ago, of course, but that experience has stayed with me. I know that such training would have destroyed my sensitive cavvies, not just made them afraid of me. (FYI: I no longer use "come" when I am planning an activity I know my girls arent particularly fond of!)

Not to be completely one-sided, I do think that Cesar's way has some positive elements. I think he is right that a great number of people forget that dogs have dog-needs and that they arent simply a personal accessory. People often DO need to walk their dogs more, and they need to know that setting boundaries for behavior is important for their dogs. So I dont mean to bash Cesar completely, but to rather select ideas and concepts that I feel are the most useful.

ACK--I've gotten off topic. Refocusing: Anyone seen the Dunbar videos?

Cathy Moon
9th December 2006, 03:12 PM
Cindy, I haven't seen the Ian Dunbar video. Let us know what you think about it! :)

The training center we've gone to with our cavs has APDT trainers and their training is based completely on the positive methods. They recommend and sell Dunbar books, too. :flwr:

Joanne M
10th December 2006, 02:23 AM
What's so bad about Caesar Milan? I do not think most of his recommendations are useful to me and Tucker. However, they do not seem harmful? Am I missing something?

I used to watch a guy on PBS many years ago, "Uncle Matty" does anyone remember him? I can recall one method he used to break a dog of an objectionable behavior would be to shake a can filled with lots of coins, or nuts and bolts,as the loud noise would be offensive to the dog, and they could be conditioned FROM doing whatever you didn't want, i.e., peeing on the carpet, chewing slippers. I often wondered if people had to walk around with a can of screws and nails trying to catch their dogs "in the act". Uncle Matty also praised the dogs, using a high pitched voice and rewarded them with affection when they complied with commands, saying "Uncle Matty's proud". Has anyone ever seen his video tapes?

Cathy Moon
10th December 2006, 06:39 PM
Here is a thread with information about both Dunbar and Milan:

10th December 2006, 09:04 PM
Cindy, you are going to be a great trainer! I haven't seen Ian Dunbar's videos. But the trainer we used for our dogs is terrific and she loves him and Ted Turner. Like you, we were used to the old style of training. Always had big dogs before and trained with collar pops and jerks (ugh!). When we first started with clicker training we were skeptical but wow! A whole new world that really works. Here's a good article written by our trainer about why positive style works that you might be interested in.

The clicker solutions list archives has alot of info on Ian vs. Caeser.

And Joanne: I sure remember Uncle Matty! I loved his shows.

Joanne M
10th December 2006, 11:16 PM
And Joanne: I sure remember Uncle Matty! I loved his shows.

Molly: "Uncle Matty's proud." :D

11th December 2006, 12:15 AM
:rotfl: :rotfl: