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Hunter Mill Retrievers Celebrates Victoria's Professional Dog Training Certification!



Hunter Mill Retrievers is pleased to announce that Victoria has achieved her professional dog training certification from the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA-CTP). This certification is a major accomplishment in the field of dog training, and validates Victoria's commitment to providing quality and effective service. After months of hard work and dedication, she is now professionally certified in the field of R+ dog training.


Why focus on R+ training?

As a dog owner, you want the best for your furry friend. You want them to be happy, healthy, and well-behaved. That's where dog training comes in. But not all training methods are created equal. Some rely on punishment, fear, and intimidation to get results. That's why R+training is the best method for training your dog.


Recently Juno and I completed a 6 month, intense certification program through the Karen Pryor Academy. On Wednesday November 8th we had our final assessment and I am so pleased to report that we found out today we passed with excellent marks!


Why did I choose to get certified as an R+ trainer?

Well, let me take you back 25 years ago. Back then, when you took your Labrador Retriever to a training class, the first thing the trainer did was hand you a prong collar. There was very little creativity and every problem was a nail, so every solution was a hammer. It's amazing how things have changed since then! In 2021, I discovered clicker training and decided to give it a try with my puppy, Kiki. Let me tell you, I was blown away by her enthusiasm for training. True she a highly motivated dog with an amazing drive and work ethic, but from the moment we woke up, she was ready to train. None of my other high drive dogs ever begged me to train them. Literally, every morning, she would head straight to her place cot and eagerly await our training sessions. You know what? Her dedication was contagious, and it rubbed off on me too! I started immersing myself in everything I could find about clicker training. I read books, watched videos, and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. It's been an incredible journey, and I truly believe in the power of positive training methods.


In this blog post, I'll explore why why I believe R+ it is a superior training method, and why it can help you achieve your training goals, deepen your bond with your dog, and develop long-lasting good habits and behaviors.


What is R+ Training?

R+ training stands for positive reinforcement training. This method focuses on reinforcing your dog for good behavior, rather than punishing them for bad behavior. When your dog does something you like, a marker (a click or verbal sound) communicates to them that they have earned reinforcement. This encourages them to repeat the behavior in the future. R+ training has been scientifically proven to be more effective than punishment-based training. It also has the added benefit of building a stronger relationship between you and your dog.


R+ Clicker enriches the training process by:

  • accelerated learning

  • Strengthens the special bond between you and your four-legged pal

  • Helps them master long-term recall

  • Sparks their creativity and initiative

  • forgives any oopsies you might make along the way

  • turns your doggo into an enthusiastic learner!


How does R+ Training work?

R+ training works by usingamarker and reinforcement (that the dog desires) to shape your dog's behavior. Rather than punishing your dog for doing something wrong, you reward them for doing something right. That paradigm shift changes the entire dynamic of training. For example, if you're trying to teach your dog to sit, you would wait until they sit on their own and then reinforce that choice. Once this is occuring reliably, only then do we add a cue. This reinforces the behavior and encourages them to sit more in the future. It also sets us up for more meaningful cues. Over time, your dog will begin to associate the behavior with the reinforcement, and the click can be phased out.


What are the benefits of R+ Training?

There are many benefits to R+ training. First of all, it's a more humane and ethical way of training your dog. Punishment-based methods can be harmful to your dog and can damage your relationship with them. Punishment based training can also lead to aggressive behavior. R+ training, on the other hand, is positive and gentle. It's also a more effective method of training. Dogs are more likely to learn and retain behaviors that are taught with positive reinforcement. In addition, R+ training helps to build trust and confidence in your dog. They feel safe and secure knowing that they will be reinforced for good behavior, and this can lead to a deeper bond between you and your pup.


How does R+ Training foster creativity and a love of learning?

One of the unique aspects of R+ training is that it encourages creativity and a love of learning in your dog. Dogs that are trained using punishment-based methods tend to be less confident and less willing to try new things. With R+ training, your dog is encouraged to think for themselves and try new behaviors. This can lead to a more confident and curious dog, who is excited to learn new things.


How do you get started with R+ Training?

Getting started with R+ training is easy. The first step is to find a reputable trainer (me!) who specializes in positive reinforcement training. They will be able to guide you through the process and teach you how to use reinforcement effectively. You can also read books, watch videos, and attend seminars to learn more about R+ training. With a little practice and patience, you'll be amazed at what you and your dog can accomplish.


In conclusion, R+ dog training is the best method for training your dog. It's positive, effective, and has numerous benefits for both you and your furry friend. By focusing on rewarding good behavior, you'll be able to deepen your bond with your dog and achieve your training goals. So why not give R+ training a try? Your dog will thank you for it!


Ready to start? Email me at victoria@huntermillretrievers.com to get scheduled.

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