Dunbar Academy provides access to 10+ courses, 100 hours of videos, and 13 hours of podcasts. This program compiles materials from the amazing job of Dr. Ian Dunbar, an experienced vet and dog trainer since 1982. He provides practical solutions for common problems such as jumping, pulling, excessive barking, anxiety, etc. He also talks about different training techniques, gives his perspectives, and addresses the controversies around some of these, such as training with food or clicker.
Our Rating: 4.9 / 5
Furry Aging readers can get a free trial using the link above 👆🏼
What We Loved
- Covers a wide variety of topics (e.g. behavioral problems, puppy and adult dog training, pet owners and professionals, etc.)
- Tons of information in videos, PDFs, and audio.
- Access to a private group on Facebook, with a very engaged community.
- The instructor is very experienced, engaging, and has a good sense of humor.
What Could Be Better
- It can be overwhelming to know where to start with so much information available.
Keep reading to get our full review:
Content and Topics
Once you log into the platform, you can see all of the courses on your Student Dashboard.
There are about 10 courses, including:
- Puppy Training
- Dog training
- Behavior Problems Compendium: They have information on how to address many behavioral problems such as excessive barking, pulling on leash, jumping on you, house soiling, separation anxiety, digging, and more! Very useful if you are dealing with any of these. I will describe my experience using these solutions under the learning outcomes section
- SIRIUS Dog Trainer Academy— Program designed for professional dog trainers
- Practical Behavior Information for Veterinary Practitioners
- Canine social and sexual behavior
- Dog training for children
- Dog and cat behavioral problems
- Dog Owners and Professionals – Where To Go From Here?
- The settle series
And extra resources, such as:
- Audio only— lectures, podcasts, and seminars
- Retro Dunbar: Ian’s Old TV Series
- Interview with Ian
- Mailbag— videos answering top dog Q&As.
Dunbar Academy also offers a free bundle of courses that could be a good way to start.
Dunbar Academy compiles materials from many years of Dr. Ian Dunbar’s work. He is a veterinarian and animal behaviorist who created the SIRIUS Puppy Training method in 1982. This method revolutionized how puppies and dogs were trained by introducing techniques such as lure-reward, and off-leash training as an alternative to aversive methods (e.g. leash jerks, alpha rollovers, and training collars).
His techniques and philosophy have influenced almost all dog trainers worldwide.
Dr. Dunbar is also the author of many bestselling books, such as “Before and After Getting Your Puppy” and “How to Teach Your New Dog Old Tricks”.
They have a well-balanced mix of videos, text, and audio materials, which makes the learning experience more flexible. For example, I was listening to the podcast when I was out for a walk and I left the other materials for when I could sit in front of my computer.
They include a lot of videos with examples from real training sessions. This was honestly my favorite part because you don’t only learn the theory but you see the training techniques being applied with different dogs from many breeds and temperaments.
In these sessions, Dr. Ian also provided feedback to the owners, which was extremely valuable for me. I would find myself making many of the mistakes that he pointed out in the sessions because I am also a pet owner, not a certified trainer— yet! maybe in the future. In my opinion, this is what sets them apart from other online programs in the market, because online courses typically show the training sessions from the perspective of a qualified trainer, and of course, they are not making any of the rookie mistakes.
I truly enjoyed watching Dr. Ian’s lessons. You can tell he has a lot of experience in the topic, but what I appreciated the most was his ability to explain the concepts very well and his great sense of humor, which made the lectures more entertaining. So, a big shout out to Dr. Ian for making the learning experience enjoyable.
One potential downside that I experienced is that I found myself a bit confused navigating the courses because they have a lot of information, and sometimes they repeat the materials if they apply to other modules.
However, they have descriptive names for each of the modules, and if you want to prioritize your dog’s needs I recommend you click on the specific topic you are looking for and you can always come back after to check the other modules.
Here is an example. I was looking for materials on how to deal with pulling on leash, jumping up, and barking at other dogs. So I went to the Behavior Problems Compendium course and searched for the modules that focused on these issues. I started implementing the techniques right away, and while working on these specific problems, I took my time to complete the rest of the course.
Community and Support
You get access to their Facebook Group, exclusive live webinars, and additional content that they regularly upload.
They have a FAQs section on their website, but you can email them if you don’t find an answer there ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Managing your subscription is a straightforward process. Once you log in to your account, you will be able to access your certificates, billing information, and order history under the ‘My Profile’ section. If you ever decide to cancel your subscription, you can do so easily by visiting your account page or you can send an email to the support team.
While I was taking the courses, I was boarding a 9-year-old terrier mix dog called Lola. So she helped me practice the lessons 🤭
Lola is an adorable dog, food-motivated, and loves her squeaky toy. Unfortunately, she was not socialized as a puppy. The consequence of the lack of socialization was that she would be hostile to other dogs. She was not dangerous to the point of hurting dogs or people (she loves people anyway, no issue with that), but she could be loud and make other dogs and owners feel uncomfortable. This was a bit of a problem when we entered small spaces, like the elevators in my condo. But ultimately I wanted to help Lola so she could enjoy more her walks to the park.
Lola was only staying with me for a couple of weeks, so it was not enough time to eliminate the behavior but I wanted to start desensitizing. First, we practiced many “Sit”, “Down”, and “Stand” at home. I lured her with treats and eventually started asking for more while giving her less amount of treats. Then we practiced focusing on me. I found this was a useful resource to get her attention and calm her down when she got triggered outside, and she also looked after me for directions.
But to help her build a positive association with other dogs, I rewarded calm behavior when we were close to dogs, and gave her more treats and praise louder when the distance was shorter.
By the end of my time with her, she was doing so much better. She still makes mistakes and reacts when dogs approach too close, but she doesn’t bark anymore when the dogs are minding their own business.
Pricing and Value
They offer a subscription model of $20 per month to get access to all their online courses or $150 per year. The courses are also offered individually, priced between $50 and $300 and you get lifetime access.
Continued Education Units (CEUs)
Dunbar Academy has a course called Approved for Continued Education, which offers over 300 lessons on different behavior and training topics, and materials for professionals working with pets.
These lessons are approved by independent certifying organizations such as the CCPDT, IAABC, NADOI, and others.
Dunbar Academy stands out because of its in-depth materials on many behavioral and training topics, its dynamic learning experience, many resources on different types of formats, easy-to-follow explanations, and 40+ years of experience. Dr. Ian has also included videos addressing questions sent by the students, which makes the experience more personalized.
In the future, they could potentially include an initial questionnaire that would suggest lessons based on your input and guide you on where to start. But in the meantime, don’t feel overwhelmed, I recommend you understand what are your dog’s priorities and start from there.
Where you can get it
Furry Aging readers can get a free trial using the link above 👆🏼
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Disclosure: Independent review by Katherine Ortega from Furryaging.com. We participate in affiliate programs, and we may earn income when you use our links. We hope you think that is fair, based on the amount of work that goes into our reviews.
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