Mike Sr., Marie, USMC Mike Jr., & Crystal
We are Mike, Marie, & Crystal Bloodgood, owners and managers of Mountain View Kennel in Bonnieville, Kentucky and would like to welcome you to our Llewellin Setter web site. Here is a brief history about ourselves.
In 1971 Mike, purchased his first bird dogs they were a pair of English Pointers. He enjoyed training these dogs and soon realized that he had a special talent in bringing out the best out of a gun dog. These English Pointers made excellent dogs for the wide ranging Field trails, but Mike wanted dogs that were better suited as foot hunting gun dogs for the rugged terrain and dense cover of the Catskill mountains and Hudson Valley of Ne w York state and soon found himself trying several other hunting dog breeds.
Because Mike also loved raising all types of game birds, he supplied game preserves and dog training facilities with birds and became good friends with Mr. Alex Sutar of Orion Kennel, in Gardner, New York. Mr. Sutar purchased many birds from Mike and he quickly could also see Mike's natural ability to bring the best out of a gun dog and asked him to train bird dogs for his clients starting in 1975. This opportunity allowed Mike to see first hand some of the top bred bird dogs in the country. He worked with just about every known pointing breed in the world. Besides training the main Field Champion type English Pointers and English Setters, he also trained hundreds of bird dogs ranging from Vizslas, German Shorthair's, German Wire hairs, Weimaraners, Pointing Griffons, Gordon Setters, Irish Red Setters, and Brittany Spaniels, but unfortunately never any "Llewellin Setters" at the time.
Mr. Sutar had two other professional trainers employed, but Mike soon became Mr. Sutar's favorite dog trainer, because he was able to successfully train several dogs that the other two trainers who had many more years of knowledge, had given up on and he was even able to place them in foot hunting field trails. During this time, AKC President Mr. Hamilton approved a breeding program started in FDSB many years earlier working on bringing back the pointing instincts to the AKC Irish Setters. The AKC Irish Setter had almost lost just about all of their pointing instincts through years of breeding for show and for the pet market, a common problem with hunting breeds in AKC and other dog registries that do not have individual Gun Dog Certification programs for breeders to prove their breeding stock in the field before breeding them.
It was decided by them to use a National Field Champion English Pointer stud and breed him to Irish Setter females to start the program off. Mike was given the job of raising and training the outcrossed litters and selecting the most natural pointing dogs that also looked the most like Irish Setters to carry on in the program. This was a great experience for Mike to learn what the results would be when crossing two completely different and unrelated breeds of dogs. As well as how to select dogs on their natural instincts, so they would reproduce their likeness in the following generations. He quickly learned how critical selection for natural behavior would result in producing natural dogs generation after generation and sharpened his eye for traits to look for.
This was instilled in Mike to look at dogs differently from that day forward. It was no longer how good a dog could be trained, but how natural a dog was when he was born. A well bred dog will reproduce his or her self in their offspring. This made it even more important to select only outstanding individuals before even thinking of breeding them.
Basically, each generation of the most natural pointing pups were bred back to AKC registered Irish Setters again and again until the original out-crosses where bred back to pure Irish Setters for at least 5 generations. These 5th generation's were then recognized by AKC as pure Irish Setters once again, with one very important attribute, they now had a strong instinct to point, back and retrieve once again. Most breeder's and owner's considered FDSB as a Field Trail registry, not respected for accuracy as AKC registration. They never bred any dogs without AKC registration and FDSB was secondary and only dual registered if they were going to be entered in FDSB trails. As a registry FDSB was never considered favorable and all dogs maintained their AKC papers.
They did allow the earlier generations to compete in non championship trails where many Mike trained were Field winners. The final generation did maintain enough instinct to be trained to point, back, and retrieve and some went on to become FDSB & AKC Field Champions. The only problems were that they continued to carry many of the Field Trial English Pointer traits including brown noses, wide ranging, stubbornness, etc. and were by no means the type of dogs that Mike was interested in personally owning or breeding, even though he would have greatly benefited financially if he had.
Looking back on the program today, Mike feels they could have eliminated all those problems by using quality Llewellin Setters instead of the English Pointers and it showed how poor AKC thought of their English Setters or why did they not use them for the out-cross?+ Since the Llewellin Setter was already used at least in part in the early development of Irish Setters as well as all other Setters, it would not have been genetically considered very much of an outcross at all. In fact, in the time that Mr. Llewellin was developing his strain, the Setters were not yet considered separate breeds, there were no distinctions that far back.
During Mike's years of working his way through collage as a professional dog trainer, he trained hundreds of pointing dogs of all kinds and breeds and soon realized the natural pointing dogs from those that required force training, which he hated to do. Mike finally came across an exceptional newly imported line of AKC Reg. German Short-hair Pointers that suited the thick rugged hunting terrain of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, where natural Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock were very plentiful and shooting clubs stocked Ring-neck Pheasants annually. In fact Mike loved starting his dogs on woodcock which held tight and were extremely hard for dogs to spot and were so plentiful in the fall, he could easily get his limit daily and get a young dog well started in a short time.
Mike met, became best friends, and soon married his lovely wife Marie in 1978 and both became good hunting buddies, hunting everything from raccoons at night, rabbits and deer by day and of course game birds every chance they got. They mainly hunted October Woodcock, November Pheasants and December and January Ruffed Grouse, and and Marie became a very good shot with her 20ga semi-auto Frenchi. They soon built an outstanding reputation, of not only being great dog trainers and handlers, but also as honest breeder's of an outstanding foot hunting line of German Shorthair Pointers, having all their pups well reserved years in advance at double the going price and just from word of mouth. Their imported strain of German Shorthair Pointer's were close working, had exceptional good noses and thought they were well suited for the terrain and game so well that Mike and Marie bred them for many years in New York before moving to Kentucky.
In 1993, Mike & Marie purchased a small 8 acre farm to kennel their dogs and get established in central Kentucky. A few years later they had a chance to move any where they wanted to in the country and purchased a small horse farm that was formally used to raise, train, and compete registered Tennessee Walking horses just a few miles from their first home in Kentucky. They hand built their chain link kennels that Mike designed, welded, and assembled off the side of the stables for all there dogs without any expense speared, including an automatic climate controlled watering system that pumped heated water through the system in the winter and cool fresh water in the summer. They also added an automatic cool mist misting system for their dogs on hot summer days even though their Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setters handle both the cold and heat better than any other breed they have known.
Mountain View Kennels under construction
Note: automatic climate controlled water system and rubber belting used on the ground instead of concrete, so the dogs will not get stiff joints.
Chain link Kennels, designed, welded, and built
completely by Mike & Marie Bloodgood, still in use today,
but soon to be replaced by new kennel plans for our Setters.
During the years of breeding great gun dogs, not only did their dogs win many national, regional, championship titles and awards, but Mike himself had been awarded numerous awards for breeding and received several titles from his peers, including Lifetime Outstanding Breeder achievement award from a Breed Association in 1994. He was also awarded the title of Master Breeder the same year, Grand Master Breeder a year later, and then became the first and only Supreme Grand Master Breeder to date in 1999 and has even been credited with saving and perfecting a very old breed of universal hunting dogs and called them Mountain View Cur ® (shown in kennels above) a pure selected strain of pure Mountain Cur that dated back to the first pioneer' dogs of the Tennessee and Kentucky mountains, dating back as far as Hernando de Soto, who brought them over on ships, but that's a whole other story.
For over a decade Mike has written articles on genetics and dog breeding in plain words that have been published in several national, international dog magazines, organizational newsletters and is being sought after to write more articles, speak at events, and even to write several books on his knowledge about breeding better hunting dogs and saving endangered species.
Mike has judged shows, but always preferred to judge dogs in the field for many different organizations and registries over the years and has served as President and Director in several large breed organizations and is currently serving the International Progressive Dog Breeder's Alliance registry as chief genetics' advisor and CEO. Marie is also currently serving as IPDBA Registrar. So please don't be surprised to hear Mike's or Marie's voice when you contact IPDBA or see Marie's signature on IPDBA paper work.
Mike and Marie's 30+ years of marriage and their three now adult children Rosemarie (29), Mike Jr. (27), and Crystal (25) are members of the Lucas Grove Baptist Church in Upton, Kentucky. They are very actively serving their Lord and Savior by tithing and supporting youth programs, missionary work, Sunday school, and choir. Marie also serves on church committees, and Mike has served as a Trustee of the church and was asked to serve by the church and was ordained as a Deacon in 2005.
Mike's love for God and nature started as a young child and he grew up raising all kinds of species of animals and had his own Game Farm by age 15. Many visitors thought Bloodgood's Game Farm in New Paltz, New York was a better experience than the well known and much larger Catskill Game Farm located about an hour north. Through a 4H program, Mike started raising Pheasants for New York State Conservation Department and did so well his first year that he was given an award for raising the highest percentage and best Pheasants for release in the states history. He also raised many of the most difficult game birds and waterfowl in the world, including Ruffed Grouse, Woodcock, and many rare pheasants and quail and partridge.
Mike is still raising Bobwhite Quail (Alabama wild stock), Valley Quail, Ringneck Pheasant (Kansas wild stock) for his own personal use today only using natural day light and wild genetics, producing smaller natural birds very close to their natural weight and size as they are in the wild. This gives them the very best chance of survival in the wild and making hunting them as challenging as hunting birds born and raised in the wild as well. We stock farms year round and always releases twice as many birds as they will take from a farm, purposely leaving the smartest and quickest to establish themselves. Since they started their quail releasing program, the number of wild quail coveys and covey size of quail have doubled or tripled on these areas where they hunt.
Marie's love for animals also started at a young age. Though her parents were not animal enthusiasts, she did enjoyed raising rabbits, saving abandoned kittens, and spending her time with nature around her country home on their 40 acre apple orchard.
Mike and Marie enjoy hunting just about every game with good hunting dogs of all kinds. They maintained a large pack of Field trail rabbit hounds in the late 70's and early 80's and made several Field Champions and won more than their share of big events. They also raised, trained, several outstanding coon/squirrel dogs, winning several National and State Championships and making several Night & Squirrel Champions and Grand Champions, with them and all the time maintaining a top foot hunting German Shorthair Pointer program that was established before Mike met Marie.
With Marie's loyal support, Mike continued his career as first a Machinist at Raymond Co., building Forklifts and then as an Aerospace Machinist, at Allied Bendix Company making parts for the space station and many other space and military programs. They started their family in 1982 while maintaining a Kennel, game farm, and personal breeding programs caring for over 50 different species of animals at a time. To date, they have worked with over 200 different species, subspecies of many different types and breeds of animals including many threatened or endangered species, but those are a whole bunch of other stories.
In 1993 Mike and Marie moved their family and all their very best gun dogs to central Kentucky, near Lincoln's birth place. Here in beautiful central Kentucky, the only native game bird is the Bob-White Quail, a few fall Woodcock and Ruffed Grouse in the eastern mountains. Being only familiar with released Bob-Whites for training and Field Trails in New York, it was a whole new experience hunting large open farm land in search of only one or two native wild covey of Quail.
It was soon very evident that the continuing 30 yard working German Shorthair Pointers that Mike and Marie so endeared and mastered would not be very suited for this kind of hunting. Having to zig zag behind them for hours and hours in the fields in search for a single covey. Once the covey was located and busted, they hunted to far for the dense cover the bird flew into. Mike felt there must be a better way to hunt these native extremely smart Kentucky Quail who live in a covey in open farm land, but then fly into the thickest cover they can find, without going back to the wide ranging and hard headed field trail type dogs he knew long ago.
Mike was told that he needed two types of bird dogs, one that would hunt out wide called a "covey dog" and one very close working dog to work the singles after the covey was flushed and flew into the thick cover. This did not lay well with Mike as he always felt one good hunting dog should be able to adjust to the conditions and handle it all and if they needed any help, then they were not going to be in his kennel.
Talking with several old time Kentuckians, the "Llewellin Setter" name kept coming up over and over again as the best all around bird dog ever developed for hunting all types of upland game birds. They talked about how they could change for the conditions and range out in open land and work close in thick cover and do equally well on all types of quail, woodcock, grouse, and pheasants. Unfortunately, Mike's early experience with good pointing Setters was only with the wide ranging Field Trail type English Setters that were not for the foot hunter or true grouse hunter, even though many were advertised as such. He had heard of Mr. Llewellin, but never heard of a breed of setter known as a Llewellin Setter before.
He started to ask where are these wonderful dogs they kept talking about that their grandpa once owned. Many said they were extinct or ruined by Field trails and absorbed into the English Setter breed. Everyone would talk about how the Llewellin Setter were so good that they dominated the early National Field Trails for decades and how the trails were changed to big running Field Trails where they were cast out on horse back to give the pointers half a chance at competing with them. It is my opinion that many of the setter owners at the time chose to conform to the changes by breeding their dogs to English Pointers or to range wider and be more independent and strong willed. This unfortunately, effected many Llewellin Setter strains as well, changing them from foot hunting pleasure dogs to wide ranging field trail dogs and making poor family companions as well.
Also, it seemed that FDSB encouraged to cross the pure Llewellin Setters with English Setters so their dogs would range out and be more independent to run them in their FDSB larger ranging Field Trails and register the pups as English Setters from then on. Countless pure Llewellin Setter gene pools were lost forever from the Llewellin Setter breed because of this. It is my opinion that is what happens when dogs are registered with a Field Trial Registry who makes their living and name through Field Trial type dogs and NOT gentlemen type foot hunting gun dogs.
In fact, the Llewellin Setter's who were bred to hunt with and for their master on foot almost did become extinct. There were so few remaining, that they were considered endanger of extinction all the way up until 1990 when smaller farm lands brought back the need for a foot hunting style of bird dog once again. Also, the interest for a family companion dog as well as an outstanding hunting dog grew and no other bird dog could fit the bill better than the pure Llewellin Setter especially of the English bred Dashing Bondhu bloodline.
After much research of what was available in Kentucky and the recommendations of those who knew the breeder's here to not deal with them, it was time to make a long trip to King Llewellin Kennel and meet and visit with Al and Drenda King in Enola, Arkansas to see what we could find. Al and Drenda maintained a very large kennel of at least 12 strains of Llewellin Setters at the time, and was working on importing and securing other strains of Llewellins from Russia and other countries. With so many strains including several different American strains developed from Mr. Llewellin's earlier breedings, it was very difficult to know which ones would suit us the best. So we purchased 4 pups from 4 different strains and litters that we thought would best suit us and a few months later we went back for 2 more pups out of 2 other strains including a pure Russian Llewellin Setter pup. Needless to say they were not cheap, but we learned a long time ago that you usually get what you pay for and the only way to know for sure what kind of dogs they were, would be to get several examples.
To our surprise, all six pups from the six different strains ended up making good bird dogs, but all had very different styles and required very different levels of training. Mike did like one male who did make an above average bird dog, but none of them held a candle to or where as natural as one female who "was the the most natural and best bird dog Mike had ever seen, never mind owned in over 30 years of owning, training, and breeding top bird dogs". She was pure Dashing Bondhu bloodlines traced directly back from Humphrey's Kennel, imported in the 1960's and kept pure by Al and Drenda King. We named her Dashing Blaze Bondhu. Blaze was so superior that Mike sold all the others and just hunted her for several years taking 200 plus quail season after season, almost always getting our daily limit on wild birds.
The Lord only knows how many more birds she would have gotten if we had owned her when I was much younger and healthier. Believe me NOTHING we had ever seen or owned ever held a candle to her in our life-time. Phenomenal perfection are the two best words to describe her pure natural born ability.Why we started a breeding program of Llewellin's personal pure Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setters?
When they decided to preserve Blaze, the best natural bird dog that they ever owned, trained, or even seen in over 45 years of bird hunting. They wanted to continue her amazing genetics with another pure Humphrey bred Dashing Bondhu Stud. Blaze finally came is a good heat at 8 years old. Mike quickly contacted Al and Drenda King who they had purchased Blaze from. Drenda told them that their three pure Humphrey Studs had recently gone sterile. Mike asked why there were no back up studs and what were their plans to replace them, Drenda informed Mike that they were getting older and simply could no longer maintain all the bloodlines any more and had planned to cut down to only the "Bomber/Gladstone" American bloodline that Al had helped create and maintained since the 1950's.
This came as a great surprise to Mike and Marie and they were very disappointed at the thought that Blazes' amazing bloodlines could be lost forever because no one else were breeding them.
At the time Mike and Marie knew nothing really about the Dashing Bondhu bloodline except how amazing Blaze and her litter-mates were, but nothing about who or how they were developed.
At the time Mike and Marie were winding down their large Leopard Cat and Bengal cat breeding programs and had decided to devote the rest of their lives to serving God, so Mike decided as much as he did not want the Dashing Bondhu bloodlines to become extinct in their pure form, he would not take on the task.
After much prayer and soul searching for many months the Holy Spirit clearly told Mike to use God given gift and breeding knowledge and to save the bloodline and made him realize that they can do God's work where they are and do not have to serve somewhere else. So they accepted the task, still not really understanding why. so they contacted the King's and explained what the Holy Spirit wanted them to do. Mike explained he did not know why the Holy Spirit wants them to do it, but he would be obedient and do the best he could to save them and asked the King's to help him get started. This is when Mike started his research about the Dashing Bondhu Bloodlines, the King's were finally willing to share what they knew and they knew a lot about them, but not everything.
A few months later the King's located a pure Humphrey stud, named Dashing Jerry Bondhu, who was owned by a serious hunter and made Jerry an outstanding bird dog for many years. Jerry was slowing down, so he became available to the King's who had sold him as a pup. They also still had some old females of the pure Humphrey Dashing Bondhu bloodlines that were close relatives to our Blaze, some even directly out of her litter mates, Dashing Chess Bondhu and Dashing Humphrey Bondhu, but they had not been cycling for a while. Al said he could give them some shots that they give horses that their Vet said would make his doge cycle again and since they were in excellent health, he could give them a try. Jerry produced our GDC Dashing Bondhu Ringo and GDC Dashing Bondhu Prince and they had a litter out of a DOUBLE BREEDING of Dashing Chess Bondhu, Blazes litter-mate sister, so we purchased two pups out of that litter, GDC Dashing Bondhu Hank and GDC Dashing Bondhu Chess and our program was on the way.
They later found a stud they could breed to, his name was Tennessee Whiskey" so Mike was able to get the exact same bloodlines as Blaze, without getting pups directly out of her.
All of these pups turned out to be exceptional, natural, top bird dogs just like Blaze, proving she was no fluke. Mike and Marie realized how close the world came to losing the best line of bird dogs that has ever been developed or seen in the world, but they had reached a place in their life that they wanted to do God's work and were ready to do what God lead and wanted them to do.
To Mike's surprise the Holy Sprit lead him to help preserve these great strain of pure Llewellin's Setters for their children and grand children and the world and here they are today doing just that.
They are using all their 70+ years of combined breeding knowledge to produce the very best, genetically sound, natural, proven Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setter's available in the world. Every dog used in their program MUST be 100% "NATURAL", meaning they need NO force training, NO shock collars, and MUST have a strong willingness to PLEASE their owner. They MUST point their first bird/s by body scent and MUST at least attempt to retrieve the first bird shot over them and retrieve then MUST retrieve the second bird shot to his hand, once they are shown what is wanted. They MUST also back (honor) another dog when they see them on point.
Every one of our Setter's used in our breeding program has passed this test. All that is needed to train them is a 30 foot check cord to reinforce retrieving to hand, a gun with shells to shoot the birds they point, and a place that has game birds for them to find, it's that simple!
Unfortunately, too many breeder's today breed dogs just because they have papers or pedigree and disregard the individual's traits of each dog. This results in mediocre pups at best and allows poor genetics to be added into a breeding program. When problems start, they think the answer is to outcross to hide the problem, instead of weeding it out. This usually ends up adding even more poor genetics until their program is a total mess and in the mean time sold countless genetically poor pups to unsuspecting customers.
Also, most bird dog kennels are breeding dogs that can only be trained to make good bird dogs using professional new training techniques like shock collars and force training, but very few kennels are breeding dogs that are born natural bird dogs, that only need exposure to birds and encouragement from their owner. It's sad, to think many people have never seen, never mind owned a natural bird dog. This is why we offer a Life-Time Satisfaction Guarantee on EVERY pup, so they know we will stand behind EVERY pup.
As you can see from their history, Mike and Marie have been truly blessed and have been lead to the breeding of PURE Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setters. They are a true blessing from above.
Thanks for your time and may God bless you and yours.
L-R Russ Chapman, Dennis Mood, USMC Mike Jr., & Mike Sr.
Their First HUNT!Dogs were 13-15 months old without any pervious training at all. All pointed their 1st bird/s and retrieved to hand, and backed NATURALLY! No birds were flushed by a dog, they ALL held their points until one of us flushed the bird. Total birds taken: 20 Bob-white quail, 9 Chukar partridge and 6 Cock Ringneck Pheasants.
Michael J. Bloodgood has been breeding Top gun dogs of all kinds since 1971 - present!
Here are some of his Dog Breeding Achievements with the help of Marie and their 3 children:
1. He started breeding Gun Dogs in 1971 at age 15.
2. 1974-77 worked as an advisor in AKC Irish Setter Program and pro-trained client's bird dogs for Orion Kennels.
3. Personally bred top Field Trail AKC Beagles and dominated Beagle Field Trails from 1971-1984 with his outstanding Woodland, Pearson Creek, Pin Point, Melimark Bloodlines and still owns a few Beagles today.
4. Developed an outstanding bloodline of AKC imported German Short-Hair Pointers and bred them from 1974-1996.
5. Saved in 1986 and lead to by the Holy Sprit to start the development of a new breed of Tree dog known as the "Mountain View Cur TM" which were recognized as a unique breed in 1995 and he is still breeding them today. MVC's went on to win several National, Regional, and State competition hunts against ALL Tree dogs in 6 registries in seven states dominating them from 1991-1996.
6. Awarded Life-Time Outstanding Breeder Award in 1994.
7. Awarded Master Breeder in 1996.
8. Lead by the Holly Sprit to start his Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setter program in 1996 and still breeding them today.
9. Awarded Grand Master Breeder in 1997.
10. Awarded Supreme Grand Master Breeder in 1999 (1st and only SGMB to date).
11. Have and currently serving as Genetics' Advisor on several Breed Association Boards, Councils, and as CEO.
12. Chief Genetics Advisor for the International Progressive Dog Breeder's Alliance (International All Breed Dog Registry).
13. Was elected as President for three different Breed Associations, serving ten terms in one.
14. Published works and many articles on breeding and genetics for several association News Letters.
15. Published monthly columns in a National dog hunting magazine from 1991-1999 and is still being sought after to write more and as a speaker on better dog breeding.
16. Judged Field Trails, shows and events in several registries and organizations from 1981 - present.
There are many more accomplishments made in breeding exotic animals, game birds and endangered species as well, his accomplishments as an Aerospace Machinist, (including having made parts for the space station), in hunting, and sports, but those are other areas. Mike gives God ALL credit and glory for all achievements made throughout his life, past, present, and future. Mike was lead to save, breed, and preserve Llewellin's personal Setters through the Holy Sprit and he, his family, and hopefully their customers have been blessed many times over.
"We can not do great things, we can only do small things with great love."
- Mother Teresa -
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Though we never lost one of Llewellin Setters and still firmly believe a name plate on a collar is the best $2. ever spent, we know how scary it can be to be out of state, hundreds of miles away from home and to lose a dog even for 15 minutes. We do get peace of mind with having a $29. TrackR on our truck keys, cell phones, or attached to a collar on our Setters, it is well worth it. Use your smart phone to locate your TrackR on your dog on point. They have reasonable products that will even alert you if your child or dog gets out of it's fence, yard, room, house etc. Get one for your kids backpack, cell phone purse, car, the uses are endless. For a special offer, just click on the link provided in the image or copy and paste the URL provided below in any browser. Please, share this link with your friends and family.
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All documents, photographs and graphics are Copyright © 1996-2014 Mountain View Kennel. Background photo of Dashing Blaze Bondhu, pure Dashing Bondhu Llewellin Setter dedicated in her loving memory.