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Question and Answer / Lecture with Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    The place I take my dog Sansa to for training was lucky enough to host Dr. Ian Dunbar for a workshop as well as a question and answer lecture session. I thought I'd just make a thread and pass along some of the interesting comments he made.

    The first thing that struck me was that he said in his opinion most people are incapable of properly mixing a raw diet for more than two years, after which in his opinion a dog on said diet would begin to show signs of nutritional deficiencies. He said for this reason he prefers kibble and swears by Ziwipeak. Of course he did mention that it costs an arm and a leg (side note: my goodness is it expensive...and I thought Orijen is too pricey). He said that he thinks the only way to feed raw long term sustainably would be to feed whole prey items, i.e. a whole chicken, rabbit, etc. followed by a week of tiny meals, much like wolves would eat in the wild.

    He mentioned how he works a lot in Asia (he just got back from Korea not too long ago, apparently), and how for the most part people do an awful job in that area socializing their dogs. He said he sees a nonstop parade of unsocialized, aggressive dogs and that he gets bit three times a week when he's over there! Of course that's a generalization about a whole region, I'm just relaying what he said.

    Finally, I asked him a question about Sansa waking up at 5 AM everyday and how it's slowly killing me inside, and I began by saying "Hi, I have a one year old Shiba Inu" and he cuts me off and says "My condolences!" LOL He said how he always tells Shiba owners that they have to be the best trainers they can possibly be and be extremely attentive to their dogs' development. Anyway, it just cracked me up that that was his immediate reaction to Shibas. Poor things. If even Ian Dunbar says that about them, imagine what less understanding trainers and behaviorists must think!
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    Ha ha! I feel that way myself sometimes..."poor me - I'm a Shiba owner....sigh" Koji's trainer told me he "redeemed" the breed in her mind..She had never really met one that she liked before -

    Koji boards with her now at her home, inside with the family - he's still bratty, but loveable and hilarious..

    That's so great you were able to see him in person...

    Did he answer your question?
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    Sorry to have taken so long to respond. He did answer it. He said I can teach Sansa speak, and by extension quiet, in order to get her to be quiet when she wakes up.

    He suggested that another thing I could do is to set an alarm for a bit before she usually wakes up. He said to make it a musical alarm so it's recognizable. He said when it goes off, to wake up, feed her, take her out, etc. Each day to move that alarm back 5 minutes. Eventually, the dog will be conditioned to respond to the alarm sound and will know that it signals the start of the morning.

    Luckily, in the interim Sansa has learned that she can wake up early and be fed, but then it's time to go back to sleep for a while. So now she wakes up between 5 and 6, I feed her, and then it's sleep until my alarm goes off. Hooray! It's not uninterrupted sleep, but I'll take what I can get.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Just catching up on this thread now. Would love to hear more about his work in Asia, too! I know he visited Taiwan a while back, and has a training center set up in Tokyo. Frankly, his work is MUCH needed out there.

    I still wouldn't take him as my go-to authority on feeding, as I've recalled some questionable advice from him before on that score. Or I just disagreed. Heh. But I do take his point that raw feeders, as well as pet owners who prepare home-cooked diets, should be vigilant about nutritional deficiency. All the biggest proponents of raw feeding say the same thing.

    We don't do all raw, but I am making it a priority to get full blood tests on the dogs at least every other year -- in part to check on possible deficiencies, but it's also a good idea as they're getting older in years. I plan to do it every year when the dogs hit double digits, or when I get a real job and finances permit, whichever comes first (as I heave a big fat gradstudent sigh...).
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.