Dan Abdelnoor is a long-time professional dog trainer, behaviorist and animal rights campaigner from New Zealand. He runs a very successful on-line business selling training videos and a unique training method. Dan has written a very successful book about parenting based on his dog training experience. In addition, he has a podcast and a blog. At one point Dan was endorsed by the New Zealand SPCA.
In each podcast episode, Dan Abdelnoor (Doggy Dan) takes us through a topic that are typical areas of concerns when dealing with dogs. From introducing a new baby into the family to dog fights to dog barking, he covers the major topics using his very unique view on dogs.
What I Liked:
Dan Abdelnoor covers all the major important topics. He has listened to what people are primarily having problems with and addresses those areas in his podcast.
As far as I can tell, Dan’s approach is as close as you can get to force-free while not being a Positive Reinforcement trainer. He talks about clicker training and food reinforcers. Rarely does he talk about corrections.
The podcast has ended with only a dozen or so episodes. It started in 2013 and ended in 2014. This is actually pretty typical for a podcast. Most don’t last more than a few episodes. So not really a problem. It makes it a quick listen.
Areas for Improvement:
Doggy Dan heavily leans on the concept of Pack Leadership. He constantly references the idea of Pack Leadership. Apparently there are “Five Golden Rules” for effective Pack Leadership. But he won’t tell you what those are unless you pay him. I found out a couple and I’m not sure they are actually important. Due to Doggy Dan’s terms and conditions, I cannot tell you what they are.
All of the reviews I have read of Dan’s program, except for one, are 100% glowing about how wonderful his program is. But if you look at them closely, they all seem to just be rehashes of what he says about himself on his own website. Some are even word for word exactly the same as Dan’s own description of how wonderful his program is.
One thing to note is that Dan appears to have no credentials other than experience. That may not be a bad thing. Experience counts for a lot. But he doesn’t really cite any research studies anywhere so it isn’t clear where he gets his information except for his own personal experience.
It is clear that Dan got many of his ideas from all the pack leadership trainers that have blogs, websites or TV shows. He talks about “energy” in the way that Cesar Millan does, attributing dog behavior to various states of “energy”, which equates to magic as far as I can tell.
I would avoid this one. While many of his suggestions are quite good in regards to interacting with and training your dog, his reliance on pack leadership and “energy management” run counter to the research that is out there on dog behavior.