We think this puppy raising and training guide is essential reading for new puppy owners! Featuring positive reinforcement training and emphasizing socialization and lure-training, Before & After Getting Your Puppy contains a wealth of instruction. 

Dr. Ian Dunbar is a well-respected trainer who led the charge into positive reinforcement training. Dr. Dunbar is also a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. His off-leash puppy classes and lessons on socialization, bite inhibition, and lure-training used to be revolutionary. Now, they are foundational knowledge for professional trainers around the world! 

We recommend purchasing a paper copy of this book so you can highlight all your favorite parts and easily find them again! We also recommend supporting the DogWise Publishing Company. This is not an affiliate link; we do not make money from your purchase.

What We Like About This Book

Simply put, Dr. Dunbar teaches puppy training methods that are strictly simple, fun, and effective for owner and puppy. If you are looking for a simple guide to raising a great pet, look no further!  

Perhaps the most important aspect of this book, though, is its focus on the crucial lessons puppies need to receive during their first developmental stages. 

These “six critical developmental deadlines” are not common knowledge among puppy owners or even pet dog trainers. Without this knowledge, people make many mistakes, and many puppies don’t stay in their first homes. This book helps to fix that problem by explaining these developmental stages and what the puppy needs to learn during each stage. 

Also, Dr. Dunbar wrote this book for pet owners, not trainers. You don’t have to be a professional trainer to understand this book.  

Chapter Highlight! 

Chapter Seven is one of my favorites from Before and After Getting Your Puppy. This chapter discusses one of the critical development stages. The title is Learning Bite Inhibition. That probably wasn’t on your list – but it should be! Your window of opportunity for teaching this lesson ends at eighteen weeks of age. 

“Puppies bite – and thank goodness they do. Puppy biting is a normal, natural, and necessary puppy behavior. Puppy play-biting is the means by which dogs develop bite inhibition and a soft mouth. The more your puppy bites and receives appropriate feedback, the safer his jaws will be in adulthood. It is the puppy that does not mouth and bite as a youngster whose adult bites are more likely to cause serious damage.” 

– Dr. Ian dunbar in his book “Before and after getting your puppy”
Chapter Seven: The fifth developmental deadline – Learning bite inhibition. Pg. 135.

Dr. Dunbar says that good bite inhibition doesn’t mean your dog won’t bite (or snap or nip) but that his teeth rarely touch skin and won’t cause damage. Ian shares several examples of good versus bad bite inhibition to help you understand your goal. 

Learning good bite inhibition protects our dogs and ourselves, our families, friends, and community. Dogs that bite and cause damage may end up in dangerous and difficult rehabilitation or even euthanasia – nothing pet owners want to happen.  

A Puppy begins learning bite inhibition from his mother and siblings. When he comes home with you, that responsibility transfers to you. The training must be continued and completed when the puppy is four and a half months old. 

“The developing puppy should learn that his bites can hurt long before he develops jaws strong enough to inflict injury.”

Dr. Ian Dunbar in his book “Before and After Getting Your Puppy”
Chapter Seven: The Fifth Developmental Deadline – Learning Bite Inhibition. Pg. 135,

(Teaching bite inhibition past four-and-a-half months of age is much, much more difficult though not impossible. If you have an older rescue puppy, the same lessons will apply, but the training may take longer.) 

I’ll leave Dr. Dunbar to tell you how to go through the steps of teaching Bite Inhibition in his book. Finally, I want to say that I appreciate his attention to this important topic which is under-addressed in general. 

Fun, Simple, Effective – How to Raise a Puppy

Dr. Dunbar also covers many other puppy raising topics in-depth in his book. Here’s a few of them:

  • Socialization with People
  • Errorless Housetraining
  • Chewtoy Training
  • How to Select a Puppy
  • Food/Resource Guarding

The world’s first off-leash puppy socialization class was designed by Dr. Dunbar. His book includes information on the benefits of such a class as well as how to select a class for your puppy.

Who Should Read This Book and Why

Everyone who is raising a puppy or thinking about raising a puppy! 

While other books on puppy raising and training focus on house training and basic obedience commands, Ian focuses on skills that other books won’t cover. Things like bite inhibition and chew-toy training could save you and your dog from a lot of unhappiness. From addressing resource guarding to critical socialization deadlines, Ian helps you raise a dog you can live with. 

Best of all, he keeps things simple enough to enjoy without compromising on effective training! 

*See the resource section below to find Dr. Dunbar’s book, blog, and dog training academy! 

Resources:

Website: https://www.dogstardaily.com

Training Articles: https://www.dogstardaily.com/training

Dunbar Academy (free trial available): https://www.dunbaracademy.com

Hardcover book: https://www.dogwise.com/before-and-after-getting-your-puppy-the-positive-approach-to-raising-a-happy-healthy-and-well-behaved-dog/

How to Train a Puppy Workshop on Udemy(often available at a heavily discounted price!) https://www.udemy.com/course/complete-dunbar-collection/

Puppy Classes and Free Downloads!
https://www.siriuspup.com/resources

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