“Hunters Helping Hunters Train Their Retrievers”
This is the motto of the Fox Valley Retriever Club. It was the primary reason the club was started and has been its purpose since its beginning. Initially the club was composed of hunting retriever owners who came together to train for and run their dogs in the sport of field trials. The end result was a well-trained hunting retriever. Over time training for field trials has transitioned to training for hunt tests. The end result has remained the same, a well-trained hunting retriever.
Benefits of becoming a member of Fox Valley
You train your dog yourself
For any retriever owner that hunts waterfowl and/or upland game, there is a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you take your dog to the marsh or the field and it performs to your expectations because you trained it yourself. Additionally, you being the one responsible for its training helps cement the bond between you and your hunting companion.
Several locations for training
The club has access to areas primarily located in the metro-Milwaukee area. These are parcels of land located in New Berlin and Muskego. The club also uses the DNR field trial grounds in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest. In addition to those locations training sessions are held at Bong State Recreational Area. Training in different locations helps to prove your retriever has learned what it has been taught.
Regularly scheduled training sessions
One of the keys to successfully training a retriever is to train consistently. Fox Valley’s training season starts around the middle or end of March and runs until the end of August or early September. The training days are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings. Occasionally there will be training sessions in the winter depending upon the weather. This gives the members plenty of opportunity to keep their hunting retrievers sharp and in shape and ready for the hunting season.
Training sessions set up to accommodate dogs of all ages and abilities
The Monday evening sessions are set up for puppies, young dogs, and/or for owners who are just starting out. These dogs are taught obedience drills, work on retrieving and delivery to hand, and are exposed to gunfire, decoys, and dead birds. The Monday evening sessions are also where a member can work on resolving any issue a dog might have, or start teaching a particular concept.
The Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday sessions are set up for conventional retriever training. At these sessions members get to train and run their dogs on marks and blind retrieves on both land and water. The training is set up so that any dog at any level or ability can be worked. The only requirement for training at these sessions is that the dog be obedience trained and deliver to hand.
These training sessions are set up to mimic hunting and hunt test scenarios and situations and incorporate the use of decoys, gunfire, dead birds, and occasionally, live birds when available.
The Fox Valley Retriever Club is an AKC affiliated club. It runs two hunt tests each year, and like most clubs and organizations, its members are required to help with that effort. Helping at a hunt test in itself is a learning experience. It gives one the opportunity to watch many handlers run their dogs and watch each dog perform. It also gives the chance to tap into their knowledge and expertise, and exposes one to many like-minded people, and that is, hunters who want a strong hunting companion.
For more information about the Fox Valley Retriever Club or to contact go to “About Us.“
To visit or participate in a training session go to the “Events” calendar for times, dates, and locations.