Field Trials

Flask with Jason and their winnings

Flask with Jason and their winnings

Overview of FIeld Trial training at Lighthouse Kennels

The cost is $700 a month. This includes:

  • Training
  • Birds
  • Board
  • Food

We do not charge extra for traveling to the veterinarian or for picking up your dog at the Madison airport (we do charge a fee if you want to fly into Milwaukee).

Trial dogs are generally worked on live birds 2 or 3 times a week, worked in obedience on other days, and given the day after a field trial "off" with a big "fun run" across our acreage with Jason taking a group of dogs all over the property.

We feed our trial dogs a high quality dog food once daily. If you prefer a specific food, we are happy to feed it to your dogs - we ask you send a bag with your dog to the kennel, and then will charge you for the cost of each new bag we need to buy. We administer heartworm and a flea/tick product on the first of each month. Clients may either send their own product or pay the cost of Interceptor or Heartgard Plus and Frontline Topspot.

We prefer to leave field trial dogs with the coat that their genes gave them, rather than shaving them down. We do clean ears, clip/grind nails, give baths, and trim up behind the ears as necessary.

Dogs are in indoor runs, removed from the elements. They enjoy free exercise in a fully enclosed yard 4 times a day. We run all dogs in two groups, separated by gender. We bed pine shavings and runs are cleaned a minimum of 3 times a day (usually 4 times). Because of its stone foundation, the kennel stays cool in summer. It is heated during the winter. Your dog will be living in the same kennel as our personal dogs, and cared for just like they are one of our own

We require proof of booster vaccinations, including bordetella, before or when your dog enters the kennel. We also ask for a copy of his or her AKC registration and pedigree. We will need a document proof of rabies vaccination the has an original signature from your veterinarian for any dog traveling to Canada.

Client Communication

We welcome emails and phone calls to check on your dog. We try to give a weekly or every-other-weekly update on general training matters. During Field Trial weekends, we try to email each night with updates from that days's performances. If it isn't possible, email updates will be sent the day following their return. We try to call owners of placing dogs as soon as we have the results (depending on cell phone signal availability).

Field Trial Entries and Travel

We make all the field trial entries (trial secretaries appreciate entries from Professionals coming in on bulk mailing, rather than each individual owner sending them in). The trial entry fees will be added to your monthly invoice (currently around $35-$45 for Puppy Stakes, $100-125 for Open Stakes in the US and Canada (depending on the value of the US dollar). The current fee for handling in US field trials is $75 for Open dogs, $35 for Puppies when trialing the Mid-West or Mid-East interclubs. If Jason decides to travel to a distant interclub, he will discuss this decision and any increase in handling fees with all owners prior to entering the dogs. Handling fees for Canada vary depending on the travel expenses. Handling fees for the National Open and Canadian National will also vary, depending on travel expenses. We bill monthly. Bills need to be paid in full each month.

Our trial dogs currently travel to field trials in Vari-Kennels in our Dodge Sprinter van. The dogs are given plenty of water and regular elimination breaks. The van has a water container large enough to provide the dogs with their own water in order to avoid any unsettled stomachs.

If you would like your trial dog run in Hunt Tests at the Master level. We can sometimes accommodate you and run them in two to three hunt tests a year. Because we try to encourage owners to handle their own dogs in hunt tests, we run very few dogs in these tests ourselves. Fees are $75 per day.

Breeding Issues

We are happy to talk to interested parties who ask about breeding to your male dog if the following requirements are met:

  • The dog must have an OFA certification for hips
  • A yearly CERF eye exam
  • proof of PFK clear status
  • both testicles in the scrotum
  • And a good temperament towards people and other dogs

We are happy to take your dog in for these certifications and bill you for the veterinary services/certification fees. If your dog already has his health clearances, we would appreciate being provided with a copy of each. We are always willing to offer breeding suggestions relation to your dog, as our experience and knowledge of dogs around the country (and in Canada) can prove helpful in making informed breeding decisions.

Our Promise to You

Finally... You may rest assured that we are not interested in taking your money for a dog who we feel will not be consistently competitive in Open Stakes. We are happy to re-evaluate possibilities such as training the dog to level at which the owner can handle them in Amateur stakes or to set a goal of simply qualifying for the National. If you want a trainer who is going to tell you your dog is perfect and can definitely be an FC, whether or not the dog actually can, then we are not the right kennel for you. We will be open and honest in our assessment of your dog's talent. We try not to hurt anyone's feelings, but we will be very forthright about your dog's abilities as a competitive field trial dog.