Praise and Testimonials

“I highly recommend Gun River Labs for your training needs. My lab, Indy, was an older dog when he began hunt training. Renee’s workshops were just the thing we needed to train both Indy and myself for greater effectiveness. Her patience and attentiveness to the “little” things made all the difference in our training. Previously, I had taken Indy other places for training needs, but this is the only place I would go back to again.”

– Jim Penhollow Vancouver, Washington



“We have enjoyed the companionship of many wonderful dogs over the span of our married life, most of them German Shepherds, but we were unprepared for the challenge that came with our latest Shepherd pup. He is black, beautiful, and headstrong. We treated him the same as our previous pets of that breed but must have unwittingly given him the impression that he was king of our castle. He developed many bad habits, and as he grew large, this became quite a problem. When we finally realized he was more than we were young enough, agile enough, or smart enough to handle, we sought help. We were given Renee’s number by a mutual friend and made arrangements for our dog to go to her place for training – “boot camp” we call it.

Although we were skeptical of this prospect in the beginning, Renee gained our confidence at first meeting, and we have been amazed at the changes she has brought about in our dog. Although he knew some basic obedience commands, he now does it when commanded to, not just when he feels like it. His eyes have a more gentle appearance, and he seems to have more confident control of himself. Also, she has been giving us insight into his perception of the messages we give him so that we can continue his training when he comes home. It was a joy to practice obedience work with him as a cooperative partner rather than persecutor, and we now have hope of being able to include him in more of our activities. This is one of the best investments we have ever made.

– Jerry and Ann Hunt



“I started looking for Joss when my first lab was about eight years old. I knew Beau was about done with hunting and was ready to pass the torch. I have been around dogs for the better part of my life and knew that I wanted a “buddy” in the blind with me, someone to hang out around the house with.

When I first started looking for Joss I checked with many different breeders/trainers. I previously had one of my dogs trained by a professional trainer but was not satisfied with the outcome; I found that I needed as much or more training than the dog! Later I was Schutzen trained for a position as a Police K-9 Officer. During this training I gained newfound respect for both dog and trainer and found that I had a much greater responsibility in the process than I had ever imagined.

I finally found Renee and first spoke with her over the phone. During the call we made an appointment for my wife, Tracy, and I to visit Gun River Labs and Training and speak with Renee in person. Tracy and I were extremely impressed with Renee’s knowledge and how devoted she was to her “kids” (all the dogs). Renee and Archie both treat the dogs with as much love and passion as you would your own family.

Tracy and I told Renee we wanted a dog that would be part of the family. I also knew that I wanted to be very involved in the training. Renee provided the whole package. At Gun River we learned how to handle and care for Joss from the tender age of eight weeks to the point he‚s reached now; two legs toward his Junior Hunt Title at one year and eight months. He is well on his way!

Renee has been instrumental not only in forming a terrific hunting dog but also in molding a life long friend. Thank you for such a great family member Renee and Archie.”

– Jay and Tracy Prall Keizer, Oregon.



“Dear Renee, I just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you! The four months Morgan spent with you was the best investment I have made in bird hunting. It was definitely worth every penny. As I’m sure you recall Morgan is a little “high strung”. She is still her fun playful self, but a joy to hunt with as well as to live with. She is very obedient and needs only small amounts of correction. Last year we hunted grouse, quail, banded tail pigeon, chukar, pheasant, ducks and geese. She made well over 100 retrieves. It would not have been possible without your help. Thanks again,”

– Brenton C. Field



Hi Renee,

I’ve been meaning to email you about Ben. Ever since he has been back from training he is like a different dog. He is so much calmer. He’s even calmer than Ruger now. I am able to leave both of them in the house while I go to work 3 days/week, with never an accident or anything ruined. Before he went to training, he was chewing furniture, etc. I couldn’t ever leave him alone even for a minute.

Over Christmas we took him to my Parents house in California where there were 17 people staying and he was so well behaved and was the hit of the holiday! He’s very loving and snuggly, but has been working well for hunting too. Thanks for all you help 🙂

– Sonya



Praise from the Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue website:

MacGyver is one of our most exciting success stories. We are so proud of him! This beautiful two-year-old English Setter spent the first year of his life abused and neglected, before he was rescued by a caring individual. His rescuer gave him all the love she could, but Mac was too badly damaged. He just would not stay home, or respond to her efforts to train him. Eventually he ended up with us … and we sent him to our own wonderful Dog Whisperer, Renee Ivy of Gun River Labs & Training, located outside Salem, Oregon.

Renee soon recognized that MacGyver needed more than just obedience training. He needed deep therapy – a total reprogramming in the way he related to humans. She and one of her young interns focused intensely on just connecting with Mac, getting him to recognize them as beings that he wanted to please and interact with. Since they began this process, we have seen breakthrough follow breakthrough. Steadily, MacGyver has been warming up, learning to trust, developing a desire to please, and learning to play. With this progress, his obedience training has also moved forward well.

Today, Mac is doing beautifully in his forever home in Idaho!



“Renee, I want to express how important your workshop has been to me. If I had not been involved, I would still be floundering with her training. It gave me the information to get started with the basics and a sense of direction. I now feel that I have a foundation to work with and much more confidence. Thank you so much.”

– Judy Meyer