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Jim VanEngen
Right Start Kennel Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin (920) 467-3413
The RSK Training Program ...  where retrievers build a lasting foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am not particularly interested in running field trials, but I am interested in having a well trained hunting companion and maybe even participate in various hunt test programs; does your training program support my goals? Yes. Since our training program focuses on developing solid skills in the fundamentals, it is equally appropriate to training field trial competitors, hunt test participants and gun dogs. Once through the RSK training program, graduates can successfully participate in the various hunt test programs and make outstanding gun dogs and hunting companions. This program also establishes a solid foundation for advanced field trial training. How soon can I put my dog in training with RSK? It is recommended that you contact us well in advance of acquiring a new puppy as there is typically a long waiting list for our services. It is rare that a last minute enquiry can be accommodated. How old should my dog be before sending him to RSK? Six-month’s of age is an ideal time for a puppy to begin training at RSK, however, the “perfect” time is subject to many variables such as available space at RSK, maturity of the puppy, time of year, etc. We can also provide puppy raising on a limited basis for puppies as young as 8-weeks old. Please contact us for specific advice. What should I do with my puppy before bringing him to RSK? We recommend that you begin your puppy on basic obedience training as early as possible. This does not need to be high pressure training, there are many references available on this topic and local clubs often hold “puppy classes” which are a great way to begin basic obedience training and provide a rich environment for socialization. Ideally we expect a puppy to know its name, understand the word “no”, come when called, sit and heel on command. We also like to see puppies that have significant experience at single marks out to a distance of 150 yards.  Also please view the video introduction located on the “Training Program” page of this website. How long will my dog remain in training? The length of time any dog stays in training with us is dependant upon several factors. Remember, each dog is an individual, some learn faster than others, some mature faster than others, so to some extent the answer to this question depends upon the individual dog. The goals you have established for your dog are also a factor, however, we strongly encourage our clients to keep promising dogs in training for the entire program, how long this takes is dependant upon the factors stated above. Normally, however, a typical length of time is twelve to eighteen months. How will my dog be cared for while in training? The health and welfare of all dogs in our care is of paramount importance. Diet is a key factor in the health of these athletes and therefore we feed top quality Purina Pro Plan Performance food. RSK facilities include individual dog runs with covered quarters as protection against inclement weather. A large, community exercise area is provided. In the case of emergencies the vast experience of the RSK staff permit rapid response with veterinary care always nearby. How often will my dog get work? While weather factors into the answer to this question, we strive to train five days per week, Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday allowed for rest. We are strong believers that these two days-off per week is an essential ingredient in maintaining superior training attitudes. Our typical training day starts out with yard work each morning followed by a combination of land and/or water setups. It is rare for a training day to include less than two marking setups and oftentimes we will have three or more if weather permits. Daily adjustments to our training regime will be made based on temperature, precipitation and other weather factors. What happens if my dog needs medical care while in training? All dogs in our care are treated as if they were are own. Our staff has sufficient experience and knowledge to recognize when an emergency situation arises and dependable, quality veterinary care is always close by. Will my dog get any live flyers? Yes, lot’s of them. We try to use live flyers at least two to three times per week. Ducks are used for the older dogs and, to minimize the cost to our clients while maximizing exposure to our dogs, we will oftentimes use pigeons for our younger students. Can I visit or observe training sessions? Clients are always welcome and encouraged to attend training sessions. This provides an opportunity for owners to observe how their dogs are handled, improves the clients handling ability and provides an understanding of the standards to which the dog is being held so when the dog returns home, the owner can maintain that same standard. When will my dog be ready to compete? We do not believe in entering these young dogs in competitive situations prematurely as bad habits and backward progress can easily develop. Every dog is different; every dog learns at a different rate, every dog matures at a different rate. We will recommend refraining from entering any competition until we are convinced that particular dog is ready. Do you stop training in the winter? Absolutely not. RSK is based in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin during late spring, summer and fall and we relocate to Cairo, Georgia during January through April. There is a short time in which we do not train, namely the end of December while we relocate to Georgia, but training is essentially a 12-month per year activity.
FAQs