Barking Up the Right TreeBy: Ian Dunbar


The Science and Practice of Positive Dog Training

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“Ian Dunbar is the godfather of positive dog training, and his decades of experience are distilled in this one essential book.”
— Larry Kay, coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever and The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever
“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, author of the New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know and The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves
“Dr. Ian Dunbar is quite simply Britain’s greatest export. He showed the dog world how to play nicely, and this book is every bit as rewarding as his training methods. Dunbar’s gentle wit makes his enormous wisdom jump off the page straight into your DNA. I can’t believe he actually finally got around to writing it all down. This is a timeless bible for anyone who wants to be their dog’s hero, an instant classic. He’s always been my guru; now he can be yours, too.”
— Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine for thirty-three years
“Dr. Dunbar’s latest book is a testament to his deep-rooted expertise and pioneering contributions to the field of dog training. His emphasis on lure-reward training techniques showcases a commitment to positive methods that prioritize the dog’s emotional well-being. This work is a valuable addition to any dog lover’s library, offering a blend of time-tested wisdom and innovative approaches.”
— Zak George, bestselling author of Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution
“World-renowned dog trainer Dr. Ian Dunbar does it once again. Barking Up the Right Tree is an encyclopedic, evidence-based, and easy-to-read discussion of positive dog training. His approach is the only way to teach dogs what we would like them to do and not do, learn and unlearn, while respecting them for their rich and deep cognitive and emotional lives and honoring the well-established fact that they are fully feeling, sentient beings who deserve nothing less than the very best and most respected lives. I am sure Barking Up the Right Tree will be celebrated as the bible of dog training as more and more people come to recognize that there are no humane alternatives to Dunbar’s approach.”
— Marc Bekoff, PhD, coauthor of Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible (with Jessica Pierce) and author of Dogs Demystified: An A-to-Z Guide to All Things Canine
“Barking Up the Right Tree compiles Ian Dunbar’s lifetime of research, education, and teaching into an educational and entertaining blueprint for trainers and pet owners everywhere. It’s a must-read that shines a bright light on the future of positive training for dogs and the people who love them. Woof!!”
— Sue Pearson, MA, SPOT & CO. Dog Training
“A wholly enjoyable and informative book that will surely have an impact on dog lovers and trainers alike.”
— Julie Hecht, canine behavioral researcher and science writer
“Ian Dunbar has long been known as one of the dog world’s most influential innovators. He has not only taught thousands of professional dog trainers and founded the largest dog training organization in the world, he was also instrumental in establishing the importance of off-leash puppy socialization and the positive approach to dog training. His influence is wide-ranging and frankly incalculable. And now, in Barking Up the Right Tree , he explains — using the wit, warmth and wisdom he’s known for — why the lure-reward training method is the most effective and humane way to train our dogs. He teaches us how to think like a dog and also spells out the easy steps that will help our dogs understand our language, which, as he says, ‘is the quintessence of lure-reward training.’ 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 of The Bark magazine and former editor in chief of The Bark and
“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 that is a joy to be around. A must-read for dog owners wanting to improve their relationships with their dogs.”
— Jennifer Nosek, editor of Modern Dog
“This book is 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. I had wondered how a man had landed in the jerk-and-correct dog industry of fifty years ago and very publicly concluded ‘bunk.’ It’s fascinating to read that it was Ian Dunbar’s childhood on his grandfather’s farm that inoculated him against aversive training group-think. He learned as a five-year-old that you can’t leash-and-force a heifer, but you sure can use a lure, and become friends. Thanks, Grandpa, for helping your grandson learn lessons he’d carry out into the world to help dogs. Dunbar’s fifty years of working with actual clients and their dogs is evident throughout this book, as he makes a convincing case for the simplest, most effective methods for producing a joyful human-canine relationship.”
— Kathy Callahan, CPDT-KA, author of 101 Rescue Puppies and Welcoming Your Puppy from Planet Dog
“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 behaviors to yield a human-canine relationship that truly works both ways, than the inimitable Dr. Dunbar. For over fifty years he has joyfully and wholeheartedly been at the forefront of positive dog training, watching what works and doesn’t work with dogs and people around the world. In a Google search for ‘best dog trainers in the world,’ it’s no wonder his name is first on the list. Want to know what to do about barking, whining, digging, pulling, inappropriate elimination, separation anxiety, and so many more behaviors that can derail our relationships with our dogs? Want to understand how to really be your dog’s best friend? Then read Barking Up the Right Tree . Your relationships with not just your dog(s) but your friends, family, co-workers, other animals, and the planet will be forever changed — in a practical and oh-so-positive way. Thank you once again, Ian Dunbar.”
— Dominique DeVito, former publisher at Howell Book House, TFH Publications, and IDG Books and senior editor of the AKC Gazette
“If you want a great relationship with your dog that is free from stress and heartache, read this book. Through stories and clear examples drawn from decades of indelible work in the field, Ian Dunbar paints a picture of dog training that is as easy and fun as it is effective and grounded. He has a magical way of lifting dog training out of the sterility of scientific discourse and breathing it to life in the real world. Using his unique wit, he somehow dissolves the polarizing tensions of the dog world and delivers tangible words of wisdom we can all live by.”
— Amanda Gagnon, anthrozoologist, dog behavior consultant, and dog trainer in New York City
“Dr. Ian Dunbar has authored some of the most important and useful dog training books using positive reinforcement and a technique called luring, which he details in this book. Dunbar explains complex learning theory in simple terms and how to motivate dogs with force-free methods. Simply put, Dunbar is a legend in dog training — and all words he speaks are worth paying attention to, including an entire chapter expressing his concerns regarding modern dog breeding.”
— Steve Dale, CABC, host of the nationally syndicated Steve Dale’s Pet World (also heard on WGN Radio, Chicago; and coeditor of Decoding Your Dog
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