Where is Otter Tail Kennels?

Our address is N3436 380th St., Menomonie, WI, 54751. We are only 60 minutes East of the Twin Cities, and 40 West of Eau Claire, WI.


 How long are the hunting programs?

We provide five hunting dog programs, Puppy (4 weeks), Upland (10 weeks), Basic Waterfowl (10 weeks), Sportsman (12 weeks), and Advanced Waterfowl (12 weeks). Please refer to our hunting program page for specific details.


How soon can my dog start at Otter Tail Kennels?

For our regular hunting and competition programs, dogs should have their adult teeth in, this usually happens around 6 months of age. Since we take a limited number of dogs, our spots do tend to fill up quickly. You can book your spot in advance by giving Steve a call at 651-303-6459.


Should I do anything special with my dog prior to bringing him or her to your kennel?

Basic obedience is always helpful, however we find that dogs that are socialized well often do the best. Encourage his or her natural retrieving desire and keep it fun. Be cautious about putting your young dog in a position where they can get overwhelmed or fearful of any hunting situations.


What can I expect after my dog has completed one of the hunting programs?

With all programs, your dog will graduate with a strong foundation of basic obedience. In the field, your dog will be able to mark the fall of a bird or bumper on land and water, retrieve it reliably and efficiently, and deliver to hand. They will be steady to shot and comfortable in many types of terrain and hunting scenarios. Depending on the program, your dog may also be accustomed to duck calls, boats, duck blinds and decoys.


 Will my dog remember me after training?

The short answer is, yes.

While a new bond will be established with the trainer, your bond to your dog will still exist and will remain strong. Your dog will be busy learning new and exciting things and will adjust to the training program. Steve provides weekly updates via phone or email, whichever the owner prefers. Once your dog is wrapping up his or her training, Steve schedules one on one time with the owner and family to go over the commands. He will work with you, teaching you all the things your dog has learned. Steve will also take you and your dog out on an actual hunt where you will be able to see how your dog obeys and hunts. Lastly, Otter Tail Kennel offers a free Monday night training group. During that group training, owners of Otter Tail graduates can participate to help  keep the owner and dog sharp through-out the year.


 How many dogs do you train?

Steve is the only trainer at Otter Tail Kennels and he limits himself to only 6 dogs at one time in order to maximize time and attention for each dog. It is important to schedule your dog(s) for training in advance as we tend to fill up in quickly.


 How much time is spent with each dog?

Dogs generally have obedience and drills in the morning, and marks and hunting scenarios in the afternoon. The length of time for each session varies depending on where your dog is in the training program. Steve trains Monday through Friday and an occasional Saturday. Most weekends, however, are reserved for the dogs to relax and recharge. Steve strongly believes that time off each week is essential to maintain a dogs great attitude.


 What kind of birds will my dog be trained with?

We primarily use ducks and pheasants in training, but occasionally we use pigeons.


 What type of training grounds do you offer?

Our facility is located on 40 acres. We also have access to thousands of acres in MN and WI which allows us to give the dogs a variety of scenarios and terrains. Below are just a couple of training properties we visit weekly.

Deer Park training land

Deer Park training land

Fish Farm location

Fish Farm location


 Can I observe or participate in my dog's training?

As your dog’s training program comes to an end, we strongly encourage you to visit as we will work with you to review the training and teach you the new commands.  Plus, as mentioned above, we encourage your participation in the free Monday night training group once the training is complete.


 What does the hunting program cost?

Please call for current rates.


 What do I need to bring when I drop off my dog?

Otter Tail Kennels requires vaccination records when you drop off your dog. Required vaccinations include Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella. In addition, please bring any heart worm and flea/tick medications or any other medications your dog may be taking. Otter Tail Kennels provides Purina Pro Plan Sport 30/20 while they are with us. If your dog requires a different or special diet, the owner must provide the food.


 What happens if my dog is injured or becomes ill?

If we observe an injury or illness, we will take your dog to our vet which is located a short distance from our facility. We will contact you first to discuss the injury or illness, unless it is an emergency situation. You also have the option of picking up your dog up and taking them to your personal vet.


 What are hunt tests?

A hunt test is a competition which simulates actual hunting conditions and tests your retriever on his/her ability to perform certain tasks. In hunt tests, your dog is judged on its ability to pass a standardized test. Each pass your dog receives is a “leg” or qualification towards their Hunt Test title.


 Can my dog compete in a hunt test?

The only requirement for your dog to compete is that they must be registered with the AKC. Upon completion of our Basic Waterfowl or Sportsman program, your dog should be sufficiently prepared to compete for their AKC Junior hunt test title. Retrievers that complete our Advanced Waterfowl program should be prepared to compete at the AKC Senior level. With several months of additional training in one of our Advanced programs, your dog will be prepared to compete at the AKC Master level.