It's Never Too Late!

I wish I had known about this book a long time ago--but I also believe it's never too late to teach a dog new tricks. Or actually, it's never too late to teach a human how to be a better dog owner. "Before and After Getting Your Puppy" by Dr. Ian Dunbar is an extremely easy-to-read and positive book. In fact, many rescue groups require their adopters to read this book, and I totally understand why.

The major premise of the book is that by 3 months of age, the puppy must learn errorless housetraining and chewtoy training, socialization with people, and bite inhibition. Interestingly, Guide Dogs for the Blind's e-Bark recently was about bite inhibition. Their new trial program about bite inhibition sounds like it might have come directly from Dr. Dunbar!

I love Dr. Dunbar's recommendations for housetraining and chewtoy-training. Even though I didn't know about his method when we first got Cabana, as a first-time puppy raiser, I made potty training my MISSION IN LIFE during Cabana's first week with us. I saw each potty as an opportunity to teach her...and each mistake as a sadly missed opportunity. Thankfully, Cabana learned quickly, and after about 3-5 days, she was housetrained! But during those 3-5 days, I spent a HUGE amount of time standing outside in the rain with her, waiting for her to go--and a lot of nervous time inside, hoping she wouldn't have an accident. Next time, I'll be much better prepared and less stressed about it, emotionally and mentally, armed with Dr. Dunbar's technique. Still, even with my previous inexperience, I believe that giving Cabana a strong start with almost-errorless housetraining has contributed to her currently stellar potty track record.

Here's a short excerpt:
"You need to institute an errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training program the very first day your puppy comes home. This is so important during the first week, when puppies characteristically learn good or bad habits that set the precedent for weeks, months, and sometimes years to come....With a long-term and short-term confinement schedule, housetraining and chewtoy-training are easy, efficient, and errorless."

Dr. Dunbar's website is, and is packed with information about training, manners and obedience, and dealing with behavior problems. He is also considered the forerunner of off-leash dog walking. On his site, you can download a free PDF of "Before You Get Your Puppy." For those of you who are welcoming a puppy into your home soon (so exciting!!), I would highly recommend it (with slight revisions, depending on your service organization's rules).

JackDaddy  – (January 31, 2010 at 11:02 AM)  

Does he have one for when you didn't do all the things he recommended? :)

Katrin  – (January 31, 2010 at 11:02 AM)  

Hi Books and e-books and website are Great!! Glad you liked them too!

OSU 98  – (January 31, 2010 at 12:07 PM)  

I might have to investigate getting that book!!!

Samantha  – (January 31, 2010 at 4:02 PM)  

That sounds like a wonderful book! Will check out that website - thanks!
hugs xo

Martha G  – (January 31, 2010 at 4:19 PM)  

The head trainer at the facility where I now take Ardella recommends Ian Dunbar as one of her favorite authors. She likes his wife, too. I'm glad to know there is an e-book!

Our club is getting a puppy that is going to be in the pilot program for bite inhibition. I'm really happy GDB is starting that and hope it's successful. One of the things I've heard about bite inhibition is waiting to send out a puppy to new owners/raisers until the puppy is between 10 or 12 weeks. I know of at least one service dog organization that does that. I wonder if it helps.

Erin  – (January 31, 2010 at 5:14 PM)  

Love dogstardaily! Recommend them to all new dog owners!

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