Dog Training

Fox Hound Training - Application And Permit PDF icon
Michigan residents may train dogs on fox on state lands in Zone 3 (southern Lower Peninsula) during the closed season for dog training (April 16 through July 8) with written authorization from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Special Dog Training Area - Application and Permit PDF icon
This application and permit is required to train dogs on private land during the closed season from April 16 through July 8. 

Frequently Asked Questions On Dog Training PDF icon

Part 427 Breeders and Dealers of the Natural Resources Environmental and Protection Act, Act 451 of 1994, indicates that game birds shall not be released on state land without written permission from the Department.  It is very important that when releasing birds for training have received proper authorization. Authorization for this could be written permission or a Designated Field Trial permit.

From July 8th till April 15th you can train or run dogs on State Game Areas or Wildlife Areas and can shoot exotic birds such as pigeons, chukars, Tennessee reds, or other non-natives as long as they do not look significantly similar to Michigan game birds.  Wisconsin Jumbo Quail look closely like the Michigan bobwhite and can easily be mistaken.  Therefore, Wisconsin Jumbo Quail cannot be used.

During the closed dog training season (April 16th - July 7th), you cannot train on State Game Areas or Wildlife Areas.  Running your dog off lead/leash also is not allowed.  You can however, train and run your dogs at the Designated Field Trial Areas: Highland, Holly, Ionia, Sharonville, and Lapeer during the closed season.  Persons using the state designated field trial areas to train on gamebirds without a field trial permit may only use a shotgun, pistol, and revolver with blank ammunition.

Field trials on designated field trial areas require a permit. If you need more information regarding dog training or field trials, please contact the Wildlife Division Permit Specialist at reitzc@michigan.gov or 517-284-6210.