“We hired Todd Stelzer to prepare our 1 year old English Springer Spaniels for field trialing.  Within weeks, our 2 spaniels were patterning figure 8’s down the field, finding birds, and  were steady to flush and gun shot.  Each of our 2 spaniels earned 4 ribbon placements in puppy stakes, and one dog earned a 2nd place in her first all-age field trial, during the fall of 2014.  Our dogs were successful due to the training they received from Todd Stelzer.

Todd Stelzer has the patience and gentle approach needed to train young dogs from the age of 12 weeks and up.  Todd Stelzer’s training methods and goals are tailored to meet the individual needs for each dog and their owner.”  Tom and Mary Stibbe


“When we took Judge out to Wisconsin, we saw an operation that was run by some one who truly loves dogs. The runs were comfortable and clean, the dogs excited to see Todd.

We felt good leaving Judge with Todd. We had several visits with Judge over the training period. Each time we were impressed with the gentle treatment Todd used with our dog. He was firm, but never mean.

Judge seemed more and more eager to please.  We will be taking Judge back to Todd for tune-ups as needed.” Charles and Holly Ulrlich

“We met Todd in late summer of 2014 while looking for a trainer to help steady and finish our one year old Springer Spaniel for the upcoming hunting season. After speaking with Todd Stelzer at Whisky River Kennel, only twice on the phone, I was impressed by the good natured dialog of training theory and enthusiasm for the breed and decided to make the four hour trip to Cadott, Wisconsin. It turned to be a great investment in time as I was impressed by the cleanliness of the kennels, attention to detail and instant bond with our Springer, Finn. I decided to give it a shot.
In four short weeks, Finn had noticeably improved his pattern, was steady to the flush and retrieving reliably to the hand. I made subsequent trips to Whisky River where I was further impressed with the family atmosphere, passion for the sport and positive reinforcement embedded in the core of Todd’s training philosophy. Later that fall, Finn progressed to the puppy stakes and had three placements! Additionally, he placed in the open the following spring.
Whether you are looking for a field champion or a life time hunting companion, you can trust Whisky River to get the job done!” Sharon and Mike Pilgrim

Finn's First Place in the Puppy handled by Todd IMG_1043

“We have had springer spaniels since 1983 and have had two litters ourselves. When we were looking for another springer spaniel, a friend recommended Whisky River.
We are the owners of a Toot and Paddy puppy named Sully. We were impressed with Todd and Ann’s setup in the house for raising puppies. Our Sully has been the easiest dog to train out of all of our dogs. He is very focused, wants to please, and likes everyone. Thanks for a great dog.”  Paul and Pat Dietrich

sully training 09-24-15


“Our dog Smokey was trained at Whisky River Gun Dogs. Todd did an excellent job working with our dog on hunting and obedience. The experience with Todd is much more personal than dog trainers we have used for prior dogs .

With Todd we were encouraged to attend the group training’s that he does multiple times per week where we could see how Smokey was progressing. He also provided us updates along the way on Smokey’s progress when we were unable to attend training sessions.

In addition, in these group training sessions Todd is very helpful in giving you the tools that you need to work with your dog when you are on your own.

We continue to attend the group training sessions keep Smokey fresh and get input from Todd. We highly recommend Todd and Whisky River Gun Dogs!”

Kevin and Colleen Wojciechowski

“Thanks to Todd, Dillon and I completed the third series on our maiden run. Dillon and I both are much more confident. We’re a team.” Deb Brueggemann

“I’ve known for Todd for at least 10 years and is a excellent addition to the field trial game. He is a fierce competitor and very good dog trainer.

I’m very happy he went pro now, I don’t have to compete against him in the amateur level. I am impressed with his work ethic with the dogs and the way that he takes care of the dogs in the kennels; that is very important to me and should be for all dog owners.

I have a Springer and a Cocker with him now for Todd to steady for me. He has people there to help him train on a regular basis. A very important part of this is he has full support of his wife Ann in this next phase of their life.” Chuck Nelson

“Todd has mastered the art of dog training. He not only reads dogs well, but knows how to change their marginal behavior into reliable performance. He is not an advocate of negative reinforcement but rather choses positive training methods that produce lasting results.

When I brought Dillon to Todd for training, Dillon was recently steadied and ran a pattern that ventured no more than 15 feet from the handler. After just a short time of training Todd had Dillon reliably steady to flush and running a decent pattern from gun to gun. Todd took Dillon to 2 field trials where Dillon manages to complete all three series of both trials and achieve a second place in the open.

I would not hesitate to take any dog to Todd. In this current world where there is so much conflict, I find it refreshing to work with a man who delivers what he promises and is a man of his word with real integrity. The training he provides is tailored for the specific needs of each dog.

After training with Todd, I took Dillon hunting wild pheasants in Iowa. What a nice dog to hunt over. Dillon is full of confidence, knows exactly what is expected of him, and works reliably for the gun. He is a pure joy to shoot over and needs very few commands after the initial release to hunt.

After my hunt, Deborah took Dillon and ran him in an amateur field trial. Dillon again completed all 3 series.

Thanks to Todd for providing the training that produced a reliable field trial prospect and a great hunting companion.” Jim Brueggemann

“I’d like to pen this letter in commending Todd Stelzer on helping me train my spaniel to the level he has attained.

I moved to northwest Wisconsin in 2012 and was in need of training with a person or persons to continue train.

He is very helpful and keeps the training positive. I continue to train with Whisky River Kennel since 2012 and would encourage anybody looking to train a hunting dog or someone who is looking to train a dog in performance events like hunt tests or field trials, to check Todd out. You will not be disappointed.”  Roger Wilson


“We have a female named Izzy from Toot’s last litter (born 4/11/15). From the day we chose Izzy to bringing her into our home has been a great experience. Izzy is very healthy, well-mannered, gentle, and eager to please. It is very obvious that Whisky River takes breeding very seriously.

With respect to Todd’s training, I just picked up Izzy 12/12/15 after 6 weeks of training. Very impressive! She handles extremely well in the field for 8 months old. She heels off leash. In short, she not only works the field, but came back to us as a “lady!” Very respectful and ready to please and obey.

I had a previous field Springer Spaniel that was pretty good, one I trained, but I believe Izzy will be so much better!

I definitely rave about Todd at Whisky River and look forward to future training sessions to “finish” her and keep her skills in top condition!” Mark Kuhne

“Kip (Tulip puppy) is rounding out at nine months to be everything I hoped for. She has speed to burn and is locking in on marking long retrieves in middling cover. Starting to deliver to hand (my biggest hurdle with her as she didn’t want to give up anything). She should be in better hands than mine in harnessing her obvious potential.  Tell Ann I finish every evening with Kip in my lap. It’s good for both of us.” Tom Naleid