Interview with Kelly from RK9 Training

Dog training is an essential aspect of pet ownership, and it can be challenging to find the right trainer who can understand your dog’s unique personality and cater to their individual needs. Meet Kelly, a talented dog trainer based in Chicago who has been using positive reinforcement techniques to help pet owners and their furry friends for years.

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into Kelly’s approach to dog training and discover the benefits of using positive reinforcement techniques for your dog’s behavioral development. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned dog lover, this post will provide you with valuable insights into the world of dog training and how you can create a happy and healthy relationship with your furry companion. So, let’s get started and learn about Kelly’s dog training company RK9 Training.

How Did Your Business Get Started?

Kelly got her start as a trainer in West Virginia, where she began volunteering at a shelter as a teenager and eventually convinced a trainer there to let her be an apprentice even before she had graduated High School. She continued her education by getting certified at Catch Canine Trainers Academy in 2017 and it really came full circle for Kelly when she got into Victoria Stilwell’s Academy in 2021. (For those who don’t know, Victoria Stilwell is a super star in the training world and well known to the public for her hit tv show “It’s me or the dog“.

No Pain, No Force, No Fear

As a trainer, Kelly is passionate about positive reinforcement and is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, an organization that stands for no pain, no force, and no fear in the treatment of animals. She believes that using positive reinforcement helps to build a strong relationship between a dog and its owner, and that it’s the best way to get results.

When asked about an easy training exercise anyone can do at home with their dog, Kelly suggests teaching them to touch. This involves getting the dog to physically move itself to another location without the owner physically moving them. By using a hand or target stick, the owner can encourage the dog to touch their nose to the object, rewarding them with a treat when they do.

While Kelly acknowledges that not all trainers use positive reinforcement, she has seen a growing interest in the approach in recent years, thanks to research and studies that support it. She encourages owners to look for trainers who are part of organizations like the Pet Professional Guild and to prioritize positive reinforcement in their training.

What Is One Thing You’d Love Our Community To Know About Your Business?

If you’re a pet owner, then you understand the importance of having a strong relationship with your furry friend. Building that relationship can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can achieve a positive and lasting bond with your dog. That’s where positive reinforcement comes in.

Positive reinforcement is the practice of rewarding good behavior in order to encourage it to continue. It’s a popular and effective method for dog training that focuses on rewarding your dog for doing things you want them to do, instead of punishing them for doing things you don’t want them to do.

The Benefits of Positive Reinforcement

Kelly highlights the importance of positive reinforcement in dog training. She mentioned that learning about your dog and their behavior is the best way to build a strong relationship with them. Understanding how dogs communicate and how they learn is key to achieving success in dog training.

Kelly’s business, RK9 Training, uses an approach that is focused on positive reinforcement, and they do not use intimidation or force to get dogs to comply.

Positive reinforcement is becoming more popular in dog training, and for good reason. Studies have shown that dogs respond better to positive reinforcement than punishment-based training methods. Positive reinforcement not only leads to better-trained dogs but also creates a more positive and lasting relationship between you and your furry friend.

When looking for a dog trainer, it’s important to check if they are part of an organization like the Pet Professional Guild. This ensures that they are using positive reinforcement methods and that they prioritize the well-being of your dog.

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An Easy Training Exercise Anyone Can Do at Home

One of Kelly’s favorite training exercises is teaching dogs to touch.

The “touch” command involves training your dog to physically move themselves to another location without you having to physically guide them. This can be incredibly useful in a variety of situations, from redirecting their attention during distractions to helping them feel more comfortable in new environments.

To start, Kelly suggests using a target stick, a ball, or even your own hand as the target. Hold the target out in front of your dog, and as soon as they touch their nose to the target, reward them with a treat or positive reinforcement. Repeat this exercise several times until your dog understands what you want them to do.

Once your dog has mastered touching the target, you can start adding distance and distractions to the exercise. Practice in different rooms of your home, outside, and in new environments, gradually increasing the level of difficulty as your dog becomes more confident.

Kelly emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement during this exercise. When your dog touches the target, always reward them with something they love, whether it’s a treat, a toy, or lots of praise and affection.

In addition to being a practical skill, teaching your dog to touch can also be a fun game for them to play. Kelly encourages dog owners to make training a positive and enjoyable experience for their pets.

Training Tools for You and Your Pet:

What is the Best Way for Families to Get in Contact With You?

If you want to contact Kelly, she recommends two easy ways: her website and Instagram account. Her website,, has all the information you need about her services, pricing, and philosophy. You can also contact her directly through the website to schedule a consultation or ask any questions you may have.

If you prefer social media, you can find Kelly on Instagram at RK9trainingLLC. She regularly posts pictures and videos of her training sessions, as well as informative content about dog behavior and training techniques. You can also send her a direct message on Instagram to start a conversation.

Kelly understands the importance of being accessible to her clients, which is why she recommends these two methods for contacting her. Whether you prefer the traditional website route or the convenience of social media, you can easily reach out to Kelly and get started on your dog training journey. Don’t hesitate to contact her and see how she can help you build a stronger relationship with your furry friend!

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