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When Dr. Ian Dunbar introduced his SIRIUS® Puppy Training in 1982, dog training mostly comprised punishing adult dogs for bad habits and lack of compliance. Dunbar focused on verbally cuing and creatively luring to achieve desirable behaviour and using “life rewards”— sniffing, walking, play with dogs, and interactive games — to reinforce speedy compliance and good habits from the outset. His “dog’s point of view” approach revolutionized the field, and today there are few trainers who have not been strongly influenced by it.


While positive reinforcement is now widely adopted, this new book details how other reward-training techniques have strayed from Dunbar’s original, quick and easy, highly effective lure-reward approach for teaching dogs ESL, in which we can verbally cue specific responses, offer heartfelt praise for success, and give guidance when dogs err. With Dunbar’s method, we can teach dogs when and where to eliminate, what to chew, when and for how long to bark, and when and how to appropriately let off steam.


Barking Up the Right Tree offers proof that aversive punishment seldom works to eliminate undesirable behaviour or to get the dog back on track. Dunbar presents numerous non-aversive yet highly effective solutions for misbehaviour and noncompliance — simply by using the words you teach, and without even raising your voice.


The culmination of fifty-plus years at the vanguard of dog behavioural science, Barking Up the Right Tree is an indispensable guide for anyone who wants harmonious, two-way communication with a calm, confident, well-behaved, happy canine companion.


Advanced Praise for Barking Up the Right Tree

“In this wise and funny book, Ian Dunbar unpacks how he teaches dogs ESL. But what he’s also doing is teaching people DSL — dog as a second language. Dunbar has been speaking it for decades, and it’s a pleasure to hear him translate dogs for us again.”

— Alexandra Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of Inside of a Dog and The Year of the Puppy


“Dr. Ian Dunbar took dog training from the dark ages, transforming the approach of many that followed from punitive to positive. His new book, Barking Up the Right Tree, draws on five decades of experience to offer specific, effective, and proven dog-centered techniques for a calm, well-behaved, happy pup.”

— Jennifer Nosek, editor of Modern Dog


“Ian Dunbar’s legacy is already profound, and this engaging and informative book is yet another reason to be thankful for all he has done for dogs and dog lovers everywhere.”

— Claudia Kawczynska, founder and former editor in chief of The Bark


“What else is there to do but howl with gratitude and delight that Dr. Ian Dunbar has written this outstanding book?! No one better understands what motivates dogs, and the ways to maximize desired behaviours to yield a human-canine relationship that truly works both ways, than the inimitable Dr. Dunbar.”

— Dominique DeVito, former publisher at Howell Book House and senior editor of the AKC Gazette


“A powerful, convincing love song to happy, reward-based training. Any trainer looking for help convincing a client not to use aversive methods just needs to memorize Dunbar’s science-filled, client-tested, master-class chapter on punishment.”

— Kathy Callahan, author of 101 Rescue Puppies and Welcoming Your Puppy from Planet Dog

Barking up the Right Tree

  • Veterinarian, animal behaviourist, and dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar (PhD, BSc, BVetMed, MRCVS) has authored numerous books and DVDs about puppy/dog behaviour and training. His latest book, Barking Up the Right Tree, is available on Amazon


    In 1982, Dr. Dunbar designed and taught the world’s very first off-leash puppy socialisation and training classes — SIRIUS® Puppy Training. In 1993 he founded the Association of Professional Dog Trainers in the US and later, similar associations around the world.


    Dr. Dunbar developed the San Francisco SPCA’s Animal Behaviour Department, and the American Kennel Club Gazette's "Behaviour" award-winning column, which he wrote for seven years. He hosted the popular UK television series Dogs with Dunbar for five seasons, appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, consulted on a variety of movies, (including Pixar’s UP), and twice spoke at the prestigious TED Conference.


    Over the past 40+ years, Dr. Dunbar has given over 1500 one-day seminars and workshops for dog trainers and veterinarians to popularize off-leash puppy socialisation classes, temperament modification, and owner-friendly and dog-friendly dog training.


    Dr. Dunbar lives in Berkeley, California and currently works alongside Kelly and Jamie Dunbar, creating video-content for and

    You may download three of his puppy/dog training books for free from PLEASE SHARE THESE BOOKS with all your doggy friends, neighbours, work colleagues, clients, and customers, and on social media, encouraging everyone to share the books with their doggy friends. Also, please, post the books on your own website for free download, to lure oodles of dog people to your site. Dr. Dunbar's goal is that every prospective, new, or current puppy or dog owner gets these books before they get their dog

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