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Welcome to Robert Milner's DuckHill Kennels

About Robert Milner

Robert Milner • About Robert Milner founder of Wildrose Kennels and founder of Duckhill Kennels

• 1972 - I left USAF active duty and joined USAF Reserve as Capt

• 1972 - I established Wildrose Kennels in Grand Junction TN. I Began training gundogs and field trial dogs. I trained 2 dogs which became Field Champions and attained qualified all age status with a number of dogs. I Began teaching dog obedience at Memphis State University

• 1982 - I ceased training field trial dogs and concentrated on gundogs. I travelled to England in search of examples of original Labradors imported from England. I imported the first British Labradors to Wildrose Kennels in 1983.

• 1983-84 - I Established relationship with Maj. Morty Turner-Cooke, a well recognized British Field trailer and gundog trainer and breeder. Morty was my principle source for British Labradors at Wildrose Kennels. Maj. Turner-Cooke remains my principle advisor on all things concerning British Field Trial Dogs and British Gundogs. He is aided today Robin Watson (Tibea Gundogs), a noted British Labrador trainer and an A Panel judge for British Retriever Field Trials.

• 1995 - I sold Wildrose Kennels in order to focus my attention on my Commercial Real Estate Business. I sold Wildrose Kennels to Ed Apple in 1995. He subsequently sold Wildrose Kennels to Mike Stewart in 1999. I mentored Mike Stewart for several years to help him get started with British Labradors. I gave him his logo (a piece of the artwork from my first book) and some guidance on gentle training and the value thereof. I also went to England with him and introduced him to Morty Turner-Cooke and several notable British gundog trainers. I also introduced Mike Stewart to the folks at Ducks Unlimited and suggested him for their retriever focused marketing program. Mike Stewart has subsequently done a superb job of growing Wildrose Kennels and continuing Wildrose Kennels' tradition of breeding high quality British Labrador gundogs and conducting gentle training.

Over the years, I have probably trained around a thousand American bred Labradors for Field trial and gundog work and have trained a similar number of British Bred Labradors for gundog work. Along the way I have trained a fair number of explosive detection dogs and Disaster Search (USAR)

• 1996 - Retired from USAFR as LtCol with 26 years active and reserve duty in Disaster Response, Radar, Logistics

• Author of:
  - Retriever Training for the Duck Hunter
  - Retriever Training, A Back to Basics Approach
  - A Disaster Search Dog Training Manual (FEMA)

• Designer and Implementer of Disaster Search dog program for FEMA's Tennessee Task Force One, former Program Manager, Canine Manager and Task Force Leader for Tennessee Task Force One (FEMA US&R)

• Deployed with TN TF-1 as Dog Handler, Search Team Manager, or Task Force Leader to the following:
  - Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City
  - Columbia Space Shuttle Recovery
  - Hurricane Francis
  - Hurricane Ophelia
  - Hurricane Ivan
  - Hurricane Rita

2007 - I established Duckhill Kennels to breed better dogs for gundog work, scent detection work, and disaster search work. I am using almost exclusively British Labradors for these functions because of the great hunting initiative and trainability of British Labradors. I also established and designed DuckHill to serve as a laboratory in which to develop and improve the training processes for the above three functions . A primary goal of this training exploration is to remove as much force as possible from the training process and replace it with operant conditioning/positive reinforcement training techniques.

As I develop these gentle training techniques and protocols, I will post them on the Duckhill website in written and video formats. My goal is to develop a simplified, gentle training process which will be easy for the typical hunter to apply to his dog and produce a well trained, effective gundog.

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