General Testimonials

“We Appreciated the Care and Concern.”

Joanne and I wanted to let you know that our dog, Louie, passed away this week. He was suffering from severe heart problems. We always appreciated the care (including saving his life) and concern that you and your employees showed for him. We will continue to speak well of your kennel and to refer people your way.

Dave and Joanne Litzow, La Crosse, WI

Aggressive Dog Training.”

Jack’s been home now for about a month from Stonehearth Kennels and we wanted to send a note on how pleased we are with his behavior and with the changes. The seven weeks with you were the best for him and us! When we dropped him off in May for his aggression, it was the last straw! Only being 15-months-old, his behavior and personality were extremely puzzling and his aggression was inexcusable. During two separate occasions, Jack had bitten us, which required a hospital visit for both of us and stitches for one. Basically, the impact in the quality of our lives with Jack was stressful, frustrating, and sometimes scary.

Putting Jack through training at Stonehearth Kennels has changed our lives. Everything from his aggression to basic training has made a huge difference. Definitely well worth the time, effort, and money!

Even though it’s only been a short time since he’s been home and we will forever treat him like a loaded gun, we can clearly see the difference. Stonehearth Kennels will train all of our future puppies, without a doubt!

Stacy and Patrick Jacobson, Minneapolis, MN

“Our whole family appreciates all you have done for us.”

Thank you so much for training our standard poodle, Eclipse. She is doing so well! We are thoroughly enjoying her. Our whole family appreciates all you have done for us.

Ed and Corrine Neuman, La Crosse, WI | Standard Poodle

Boarding and Training.”

I want to thank you for boarding my precious dog, Lady Rhianna. I have never experienced being away from her or her being away from me for three years now. This was difficult for us both. She is very loved by myself and others within my family and the neighborhood.

I will highly recommend Stonehearth Kennels to anyone. Again, thank you kindly for boarding my dog. You did an exceptional job with giving my dog love and training.

Nancy Rumple, La Crosse, WI

“He has learned a lot of manners and we have learned a lot of things too.”

Just a quick note to let you know how impressed we were with you and the wonderful job you did with Hattie. Our Neapolitan mastiff was about two-years-old and had no training whatsoever. He had some bad habits and so did we! We had troubles with everything from walking, sitting, staying, potty training, and jumping on people. {And he’s a big dog to be jumping up to say hello!} His training went wonderfully and we were impressed by how helpful and friendly everyone at Stonehearth was. He has learned a lot of manners and we have learned a lot of things too.

We appreciate that you have been very willing to talk to us about questions we have had since Hattie’s return. You and your assistant trainers do a great job and really do care about the dogs. We would recommend you highly to anyone!

Tad, Lisa and Hattie Marinac, Minneapolis, MN | Neapolitan Mastiff

“You did a great job!”

I just wanted to give you an update on Argyll. She is doing great! You were right… when we got home she thought about forgetting what she had been trained to do. But we used her collar and worked with her daily, and now she is doing very well. It is a real joy. You did a great job! She enjoys our training sessions as much as she does chasing the tennis ball.

Katie is doing well too. She is enthusiastic as ever, but within bounds. Thank you for a very professional job.

Stephen Webster, MD, La Crosse, WI

“We Didn’t Want our Dog put to Sleep.”

Thank you for the great work you did with Bandit. Bandit was a stray dog in our new neighborhood that got along great with our Jack Russell Terrier. When it came close to winter, we decided to take him in.

Things were okay for about four months. Then Bandit began showing a domineering side of himself to me and any other stranger in his territory. We simply ignored the issue for a year, since everyone in our house appeared to be able to handle the situation. We thought it would just take time for him to feel at home and to become a nice family dog. Also, Jackie (our other dog) didn’t need much attention from us, so we were working hard to make Bandit feel at home. Jackie and Bandit got along great because Bandit felt like the favorite dog.

Things suddenly changed when Jackie got a bacterial infection that destroyed much of her small intestine. Jackie became very weak and was the center of attention, causing Bandit to attack her one day. I was able to stop the fight, but seeing what Bandit had done made me feel afraid of him. Now the dogs were constantly trying to fight with each other. Tom and I would pick Jackie up so they couldn’t fight. The dogs always had to be separated… and we also had a baby on the way!

When the baby arrived, we knew your training program was the only answer. Our house was a hazard to the baby, but we didn’t want to take Bandit to an animal shelter for fear that he’d be put to sleep. Bandit was too dangerous to ask anyone else to take him in, so we brought him to Stonehearth Kennels.

During the eight weeks of your program, our house was back to normal. Even though I stilled cared for him, I would still think of all the bad times we had with Bandit, which made me not want him back. But we still would not consider an animal shelter. You let us keep Bandit in your kennel for an extra two weeks and helped find a home for him. I could see that you really cared for him.

Tom was thrilled to learn that his brother and his wife had agreed to give Bandit a try on their farm. Your program seemed to turn Bandit around so it looked safe to me.

You’ll be glad to know that things on the farm appear to be going great. The first week they had Bandit, they wrote us a letter daily telling us exactly what Bandit’s been doing and how well-behaved he is. They have another dog as well and the two dogs haven’t had any problems. We can’t say thank you enough for making it possible to find Bandit a nice home where everyone feels safe!

Bobbi Forsythe, Eau Claire, WI | Mixed Breed

Hunting Training Program


“Stonehearth Kennels Gave me What I Always Wanted.”

The training my German wirehaired pointer, Heidi, and I received from Dale and all the other professionals at Stonehearth Kennels was exceptional. Employees had a definite concern for the well being, comfort, and emotional condition of Heidi. This was very important to my wife and me. Dale would keep me informed of Heidi’s progress and what we could expect of her abilities.

As mentioned previously, I also received training, which made the transition from the trainers to me very smooth for Heidi. The professionals at the kennel were very accommodating to help me with any questions I had on handling Heidi.

Stonehearth Kennels and Dale gave me what I’ve always wanted… a well trained, well behaved hunting dog and close companion. My next dog will also definitely be trained at Stonehearth Kennels. One other thing that is important - I have a very happy dog.

Jay Hesselberg, Onalaska, WI | German Wirehaired Pointer

“The next dog I get will also be trained by Stonehearth Kennels.”

Just a note to tell you how satisfied I’ve been with my Vigsla Bitsy after having her at your kennel for training. She has learned to be obedient and how to point and retrieve. The next dog I get will also be trained by Stonehearth Kennels.

I’ve been happy with your work and would be happy to refer people to your kennels.

Don Angel, Waukon, IA | Vigsla

The Time, Money and Distance has been Worth it.”

I just wanted to write to you to tell you how pleased I am with the results you achieved with my Chocolate Lab, Hunter.

As you may recall, Hunter was a little skittish when he arrived at Stonehearth. Your efforts and those of your staff have resulted in a gun dog that is confident and obedient. I’m amazed at how well he has retained all the skills you instilled in the short time he was with you. Handling him is a delight. I’m still amazed that this dog can and will follow all the hand and whistle and verbal signals I give him.

On top of the skill is the desire that you somehow engrained into him. Hunter started out with what I estimated to be a low level of desire, but now this dog senses when it is time to hunt and you can see the excitement in him every time I take him out. I think he enjoys the quartering more than retrieving. I am so glad you worked him on quartering skills. He really loves getting on birds. Being that I am in South Georgia, upland birds are about all I’m going to get until we move further north.

The time, money and distance have all been worth it. Hunter loves the sport and it is truly a joy to take him out into the field. Thanks again for all you’ve done.

Gary Spry, Fort Benning, GA | Chocolate Labrador

Apprehensive About Obedience and Hunting Training.”

I need to let people know that I was extremely apprehensive about sending Bella for obedience and hunting training. This would last four to five months when Bella was nine months old.

We had our first dog trained by a different trainer. Our pet returned home unable to be around young children. When David insisted we look into Stonehearth, I was apprehensive to say the least. I said, “This is not going to happen in my lifetime!”

We went to Stonehearth to meet you and you spent two hours with us. You walked us through the expectations and answered our questions. At one point, you actually physically demonstrated to me how you would train Bella. I’m sure I was one of your poorer students. Apparently I passed because you accepted Bella into your program.

Bella came home the same nice dog that we had sent to you. We would never kennel her anywhere other than Stonehearth when the need arises. She greets you and all of your staff with her tail wagging, looking for the ” Hi Bella” and the pat on the head that is sure to follow.

Dale, thank you so much for spending time with us and going the extra mile for someone who said, “This is not going to happen in my lifetime!”

P.S. Bella was 15-months-old when she competed in the 2002 Stonehearth Invitational. She captured third place out of 32 dogs.

Deb and Dave Richardson, La Crosse, WI

Thanks for Making Room on Short Notice.”

I wanted to thank you for immediately, on short notice, making room for Nellie for gun dog training when I was under pressure to have my surgery as soon as possible.

Of course, equally important now, is the excellent results of your training program. I am seventy-years-old, had back surgery two years ago, and now this surgery. But I still hope to have some more good years enjoying our wildlife and backwaters. I have always enjoyed the companionship of a good dog and I believe, thanks to your efforts, I again have one in Nellie. Thank you for all of your help.

Fred Funk, Onalaska, WI

“She is now a totally different dog.”

Now that another hunting season is over, I thought I should drop you a line and let you know how Kacy worked out this year. I am happy to say that she did very well.

Although still apprehensive about being around guns, once we started downing ducks, she began showing what your training had accomplished. She still has not picked up on sighting the birds as well as I would like, but she has improved over the season and I am still working on it with her.

As far as the retrieving is concerned, when she did see a bird fall, she was on it in no time. Her obedience really paid off when we went checking potholes.

Is she perfect? Far from it. But considering what she was when I brought her to you - gun shy, people shy and no confidence in herself - she is now a totally different dog. She is really beginning to enjoy hunting and working in the field. I’m looking forward to many more successful hunting seasons with Kacy.

Steve Kurk, Eitzen, MN

“She is a 60-pound hunting machine.”

Just a short note to say thank you for the great job you and your staff achieved with my Pointing Lab, Penny. She was such a joy to work with over the past hunting season. Her obedience and field work was excellent.

Your gun dog program certainly lived up to and exceeded my expectations! I have recommended your program to several friends and would make that same recommendation to anyone else looking for a training facility.


I thought I owed you an update on Penny. Things couldn’t be going better! We haven’t had an opportunity to waterfowl hunt her, as we haven’t any birds in our area at this time. She’s still not a great swimmer, but she does deliver to hand. We have been hunting wild roosters with success. I can hardly believe how she has developed! She points hard, locks up, and her marking ability is awesome.

Last Thursday , a friend and I took our dogs to Woods and Meadows game farm.We got 10 birds: Penny pointed and retrieved six. She marked a bird that sailed about 150 yards and retrieved him, still flapping, all the way back. She has not yet failed to deliver to hand every time. She is a 60-pound hunting machine.

Frank Johnson, Norwalk, WI | Pointing Labrador

Dale is a Clear and Direct Teacher.”

A young dog requires a tremendous investment in money, time and emotion and you have to know that it receives the best field training there is. With Dale, that is what you get.

Of course, it’s not just the the dog that gets the training they need, but the owner as well. Dale is a clear and direct teacher who has instructed me on proper dog handling. This is invaluable in the field and ensures that the dog’s training is easy to maintain.

Brian Kerr, Minnetonka, MN

“We are thrilled with the dogs.”

My brother Ron and I want to let you know that we are thrilled with the dogs we have, thanks to Stonehearth Kennels.

We took both of our new dogs to Iowa last weekend for their introduction to pheasant hunting. They performed marvelously. They learned to use their noses, locked on to falling birds, found wounded birds in thick cover, and made some nice retrieves. Not bad for 10-month-old dogs!

Rick Lindroth, Madison, WI

It Would be Hard to Find a Better Trainer.”

[The following is a referral letter written.]

Thanks again for your time on Sunday. I enjoyed visiting with you and talking about our labradors. As you could tell, I’m really proud of ours and really enjoy hunting with her. Dale Emery did a tremendous job.

In the event you contact Dale or get together to talk to him, I’m sure you will find that he is really dedicated trainer, and he is just excellent with dogs. I imagine there are other trainers that are as good as Dale in our area, but I personally feel it would be hard to find someone better.

Jim Senty, La Crosse, WI Labrador Retriever

“The follow-up calls after training demonstrated your commitment to turning out a good hunter and, more importantly, a wonderful companion.”

Our German Shorthair, Ruby, was given to us as an untrained, one-year-old puppy filled with energy, nervousness, and a complete lack of hunting skills. After several months at Stonehearth Kennels, we picked up the same sweet, friendly Ruby, but now she was trained in basic obedience and hunting. She lost her gun-shyness and understood the basic concepts of hunting, including quartering, pointing, whoa, retrieving, holding, etc.

We particularly appreciated the time you spent with us to show us what was involved in the training process. The follow-up calls after training demonstrated your commitment to turning out a good hunter and, more importantly, a wonderful companion.

Kris and Dick Davidson, Dousman, WI | German Shorthair Pointer

I could not be more satisfied with his performance.”

Joey has done so well on his first pheasant season. We took him to Iowa and I could not be more satisfied with his performance. He not only flushed over half of the 20 pheasants we shot, he retrieved every one of them (even the ones that were still alive and running away from us). He brought all the birds back to my side and held them until I told him to drop them.

I was skeptical because we got Joey from a local family with no papers and an unknown blood line. He has turned out to be a great hunting partner. Thank you to you and the rest of your trainers!

Wade Nolte, Onalaska, WI

“He is now a joy to hunt with and easily controlled.”

We would like to thank you for a wonderful job done in training our German Shorthair, Bernie. When we brought Bernie to you, he was seven months old and did not respond to any commands. He was a handful with boundless energy. After your training, we had a high caliber hunting dog that did every command completely and on queue. He is now a joy to hunt with and easily controlled.

Bernie loves to hunt. He is a great asset in the field finding the birds. We own a game farm preserve and we have only specific trained staff, other than us, working with Bernie. Our customer’s bag more birds with Bernie and come back loving him! Bernie is a very sociable dog. He does everything expertly and responds to all commands. You have done a miracle with him.

Kay and Tony Schwendinger, Washington, IA | German Shorthair Pointer

“Cajun has not refused to retrieve any bird.”

Cajun is doing really well handling on land and water. He takes his overs and backs and doesn’t mind retrieving things he can actually see from the start. Though still a reluctant swimmer, Cajun has not refused to retrieve any bird and Len has not had to wade for anything yet!

Cajun loves to get out in the field or brush and nose around. We can work on him “quartering” properly when duck and goose season is over. We hope to to get back down to train on your grounds and get him on some live birds again.

Beth Law, Tomah, WI

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