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Dr Ian Dunbar is an animal behaviourist, veterinarian, trainer, writer, educationalist and seasoned broadcaster. Ian revolutionised dog training in the early 1980s when he taught the world’s very first off-lead puppy socialisation and training classes. Known for his wit (he does great impressions of a German Shepherd) and considered a leading authority on all things ‘dog’, Ian recently completed his last ever UK tour of lectures. So, we met up to find out a little more about the man behind the genius of SIRIUS® and Dog Star Daily.
Congratulations on completing your last ever tour – how was it?
I’ve had an amazing time but it was exhausting. It was great to catch up with friends and family along the way because we toured all over the country. Now I’ve just about managed to catch up on sleep!
You’ve said this will be your last ever tour – why so?
I’ve been lecturing for over forty years and have loved it. But last year I was on the road for over nine months, so I decided that it was time to take a break. It means I can focus on other projects, for example Jamie, my son, wants to literally ‘digitise’ my brain and develop educational tools from this, and it means I can enjoy being back home in Berkeley.
What do you plan to do next?
I’m going to take a month off and renovate the house. There are lots of things to do and some things to fix. It is built in an Italian style and pretty old so a bit quirky, but I love it.
You’ve accomplished so much – is there anything else left on your ‘bucket list’?
Yes. I love to travel and I’ve been fortunate to visit many countries over the years. However, there are some places I have yet to see – Vietnam for example, is high on my list of places to go.
You moved to America over 40 years ago – what drew you to the States?
The weather. It’s beautiful in Berkeley; everyone is fit and healthy because you can do so much outside. It was the end of the Sixties and Berkeley and San Francisco were at the epicenter of early countercultural activity from the Civil Rights movement and women’s rights to the sexual revolution. Everything was colourful, life was pretty simple and carefree. It was a fun time to be part of that cultural history.