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  • Rodney & Dr. Becker

DR. IAN DUNBAR | Bred To Die Young

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

As a professional, do you ever make it your goal to work with people who have completely different viewpoints than you?

Here’s what happened when a legendary dog behaviourist Cesar Millan, clashed with a legendary PhD animal behaviourist and veterinarian Dr. Ian Dunbar! In this vodcast, Dr. Ian Dunbar also discusses why a few bad breeders are shortening the lifespan of today's dogs.


Audio & Video

For the Full 45 min version vodcast, check out the Inside Scoop!


Dr. Ian Dunbar, world-renown, veterinarian, animal behaviorist, dog trainer, author, and sought-after speaker mind-jams with Rodney Habib and Dr Karen Becker on the evolution of dog training techniques and the dissension within the training community. He talks about his experience with Cesar Millan as an example of dealing with differences in ways that turn them into opportunities that better the lives of dogs. The controversial topic of breeding and longevity is discussed, as well as the difficulties of training in the socially constrained environment of today.

Dr Ian Dunbar has a veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a PhD in Animal Behavior from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.  He is best know for his innovative development of early socialization and puppy training classes, as well as his friendly approach to dog training. Dunbar is the founder of: SIRIUS® Dog Training, Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), K9 GAMES®, the Dunbar (online) Academy, and is vice-president of the online training resource, Dog Star Daily. He wrote for the American Kennel Club's Gazette "Behavior" column, and has authored numerous books, including: " How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks" and the "Good Little Dog Book." He has been inducted into the Dog Fancy Hall of Fame.


In this episode:

Dr Dunbar discusses the changes in training techniques he's seen over his lifetime, some of which he has had a hand at developing. He touches on the dissension in the training community between different schools of thought and the different methods they each apply. He highlights the importance of communication, building bridges, and teaching and learning despite differences. (0-11:07)

Dr Dunbar talks about his experience with Cesar Millan, a controversial and not well-liked figure in the dog training world. Dunbar goes into his decision to appear on Millan's show, despite their differences, and how he handles animosity, anger, and criticisms on his platforms. (11:07)

Dr Dunbar talks about where dog training is today and where it is heading. (23:34)

Discussion turns to longevity, poor breeding practices, incomplete socialization, dogs dying young, and the lack of pressure to breed for longevity. Dr Dunbar talks about his proposal that dogs be bred only after they'd demonstrated longevity (by reaching age 10 years) and his development of a longevity index. (28:06)

Dr Dunbar shares his views on how the social environment of today puts constraints on training, the consequences being dogs in need of behavioural rehab for issues such as poor socialization, separation anxiety, reactivity, and a lack of off-leash control. He offers suggestions for mitigating these consequences. (38:08)

Connect with Dr. Dunbar:

Dunbar Academy


Sirius Dog Training

Dog Star Daily

Dunbar's Publishers

Mentioned in this episode:

Dr Dunbar's TED Talk

Rodney Habib's TEDx Talks

Dr Karen Becker TEDx Talk

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