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A History of the APDT and the Bay Area

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Date: August 19, 2009

Author: Veronica Boutelle

August 19, 2009 - The San Francisco Bay Area enjoys a rich dog training history that spans many decades and includes names and developments that have touched us all.

Berkeley, just across the Bay from SF, is the home of Ian Dunbar and the starting point of the puppy training revolution. It was, as we all know, Dr. Dunbar who first asked the question, “Why aren’t we training puppies?” He founded Sirius Puppy Training, which still thrives throughout the Bay Area, and started us all down the path to socializing puppies and paying as much attention to canine behavioral health as we do to physical.

The Bay Area has always been a hotbed for the positive reinforcement movement as well. There is of course Dr. Dunbar, who began decades ago to lecture on how we might use the natural motivations of dogs to train them, rather than force, and who founded APDT. Then there is Jean Donaldson, who for 10 years has educated trainers through the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. Just North Trish King does the same with her Canine Behavior Academy at the Marin Humane Society.

In addition to these highly regarded programs multiple local companies such as Positively Trained and For Other Living Things put on a phenomenal array of continuing education seminars and workshops for trainers.

The Bay Area is also our home at dogTEC. Started in 2003, we were the first company devoted entirely to the business side of dog training. It’s been our mission to start yet another training revolution and see it spread across the country from San Francisco—trainers educated in the business of training so that they may enjoy long, sustainable, successful careers helping dogs and their people.

Veronica Boutelle


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