SAUK RAPIDS - For nearly 70 years the Central Minnesota Retriever Club has given dogs and their owners a place to come train and build a bond that only man's best friend can.

The members-only club maintains 120 acres of land in Sauk Rapids. Member Gordon Schlichting says the club is still going strong after 70 years.

"We have around 120-140 members. A lot of local people are very active in the club as trainers and handlers."

Over the years Minnesota has become a "hotbed" for retriever training. The CMRC is one of 20 clubs in the state and has members of all ages, from all over the country.

"We have multiple generations with grandparents, parents, and grandchildren that are involved in the game. We really run the entire {spectrum} from teenagers to 90-year-olds."

Even though the club is members only, Schlichting says they are always looking for more retriever enthusiasts that are dedicated to the betterment and training of retrievers.

"Our grounds are restricted to members only, but it's not like we don't want new members. We always encourage people to join."

Over the years the club has many award-winning dogs and trainers. A few have even made it into the National Hall-of-fame.

The club is also heavily involved with wildlife preservation. They spent money and time helping organizations like Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.

If you are interested in learning more about the Central Minnesota Retriever Club you can follow the link below.