With Absolutely Positively Gundog Training, Milner has taken the latest scientific research into how dogs learn and combined it with his own vast experience and commonsense training methods. The result is an approach that is as effective as it is easy. For the hunter who wants a calm, steady, and obedient retriever, there's no better training method. This book provides everything needed for you to turn out a sporting dog that excels at life. Whether you want your dog to be a gundog, a water dog, a shed dog, an upland dog, a deer tracker or a fishing companion, this book charts the course Every other page exclaims, “That makes perfect sense”. Milner debunks a number of groundless myths and counter-productive training practices that proliferate in today’s sporting dog culture. A big divide exists today in the gundog sector in America. The opposing views are tradition-based compulsion training versus the science-based positive training model derived from B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory. Robert Milner’s new book bridges that gap. Milner brings to the table vast experience in both training methods. He has trained over two thousand gundogs with traditional compulsion and has trained several hundred gundogs with a positive training model. He pronounces the positive model a definitive winner. His new book covers all the bases for a beginning gundog trainer. Milner covers the dog’s history and domestication as it relates to training. He shows you how the dog perceives the world, how the dog communicates, and how he learns. Big surprises await some readers. Milner cites many examples of recent dog research that upend traditional training theories. This book gives the reader a simple roadmap to success in producing a gundog that is extremely well-mannered, a persistent hunter and very responsive on whistle stops and hand signals. The simplicity of the training model will be a pleasant surprise to many new trainers. Most importantly, Milner’s training model is fun for the trainer and the dog.
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In 1996 Robert Milner sold Wildrose Kennels, a retriever training kennel which he had owned and operated since 1972. That same year he retired from the USAF Reserve after 26 years of service as a disaster response officer. Those two paths would cross again in 2002. Shortly after the tragedy of 9/11 Milner got a call from the Memphis Fire Department requesting his assistance with their FEMA disaster search dog program. He took the job and went to work rebuilding their disaster search dog program. Slow progress of the transformation led him to reexamine the traditional dog training model of compulsion. He adopted B.F. Skinner’s positive training model and was able to speed up the training program by 300%. Subsequently he adapted that training model to gundog training and discovered positive training to be much faster, easier to learn and decidedly more fun for both dog and trainer. Milner has trained over 2,000 dogs with compulsion and since 2002 has trained hundreds of gundogs with a positive training protocol. He owns and operates Duckhill Kennels at Somerville, TN, breeding and training Labrador Retrievers for gundogs and also for disaster search and for explosive detection. His website is www.duckhillkennels.com
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