About Field & Hunt Training for Sensitive Retrievers

About the Apple Blossom Kennels Method: 

For Sensitive Type Breeds & Dogs: 

A sensitive type dog can be found in any breed of dog and such a dog would do well in the Apple Blossom Kennels hunt/field courses. However, there are a few breeds that are particularly known to produce sensitive dogs or were purposefully bred with sensitivity as part of their breed standard including (but not limited to): The Golden Retriever, the Flat Coated Retriever and the Standard Poodle. These breed types, as well as other sensitive dogs found in other breeds, rarely stand up to the harsh methods commonly used throughout the hunt/field training world. Sensitive dogs shut down, become distant, show signs of anxiety disorders or bite out of fear. They are often regarded as not trainable or worse, their sensitivities are bred out of them, hardheadedness, toughness and overly intense qualities are then bred into them, in order to use the current harsh methods being pushed throughout the hunt/field market. These same sensitive type breeds & dogs, however, excel within the Apple Blossom Kennels training courses. 

Our Methods: 

Bonded Relationships - We are the first and only known hunt/field training facility to encourage a bonded relationship between dog & owner/handler and we capitalize on that relationship and trust to teach you how to quickly train your retriever and train him/her exceptionally well. All other methods currently on the market suggest you constantly establish your dominance over your dog and keep your dog at a distance. These methods are often used for dominant or hardheaded type breeds & dogs. However, sensitive type breeds & dogs thrive when they are made a part of the family and have a bonded relationship with their owner/handler. 

Calm, Alert & Attentive - Our goal for your dog's attitude is, CALM, ALERT & ATTENTIVE. Well bred, sensitive type breeds & dogs do not regularly exhibit dominance behaviors, therefore it is not necessary for your dog to constantly display a submissive attitude. In fact, sensitive type retrievers are at their best when they are calm, alert and attentive. We are the first and only known hunt/field training facility to encourage calm, alert and attentive attitudes versus "submission" as a focus.  

No E-Collar/No-Force/No-Harsh Methods - We do not use any e-collars (shock collars), force methods, toe pinch, ear pinch, etc. We are one of only a few known hunt/field training facilities in the U.S. to not use e-collars, force or harsh methods. Our methods are rooted in UK-Style hunt/field training where e-collars and force methods are almost unheard of, coupled with various techniques and training methods learned and discovered throughout our many years of training dogs and horses. 

Sensitive type breeds learn and work best when they fully trust their owner/handler. Harsh methods, painful methods and fear inducing methods, all create a barrier between the dog and owner/handler. The trust between owner/handler and dog is deteriorated and the dog begins to show signs of anxiety, confusion and fear, and thus shuts down. Instead, we use unique repetitive exercises and highly effective communication, for better retention of what is being taught to your dog. We attempt to set you and your dog up for success from the beginning of training and eliminate the possibility for errors. However, when a problem may arise we address them quickly and through methods your dog easily understands.


Course/Training Options:

Visit our Store for Course/Workshop/Registration Information

Board & Train: Our Board & Train program is only offered to eligible retrievers. Eligible retrievers are puppies/dogs obtained from pre-approved breeders or your puppy/dog must be pre-assessed by a trainer prior to approval.

Classes: Classes are open to all dogs & handlers, to help you and your dog learn new skills over a course of 4-6 weeks. Classes are a great opportunity for you and your dog to learn new skills during the class period and then practice those skills on your own, at home, until the next class period. At the end of the course session, you and your dog should be able to perform some or all of the skills learned during the class. There are various different classes to choose from to suit your needs.

Group Practice: Group practice is open to all dogs & handlers who have already taken a course at Apple Blossom Kennels, obtained any obedience or hunting-related title on their dog, or pre-approved by a trainer. Group practices are an excellent way for you and your dog to practice steadiness and honoring as well as anything else your dog has already learned in our courses. (Group Practices are for those who are practicing already learned skills. If you are a beginner, please first attend a workshop/class at Apple Blossom Kennels to learn new skills you can then practice during group practice!). 

One-on-One: One-on-One training is open to all dogs & handlers, and is great for individuals or dogs who may not do well in group settings, or for those who want to work on very specific issues. One-on-one training can also be helpful when you have already taken a class but need extra work on a skill discussed in the class. 

Workshops: Workshops are open to all dogs & handlers and are intensive group training sessions, often times consisting of 1-2 days of training beginning at roughly 8:30am-4:30pm. Workshops are designed for individuals and dogs of all different levels to gain experience through hands on training. Workshops are geared for those who wish to learn a lot of information in a short period of time to later practice on their own. Workshops may take place at our Apple Blossom Kennels facility, or at a pre-approved location designated by you and/or your group.