John and Bruce Mooney Breeders + Trainers

A Letter to John and Bruce

more1John and Bruce,
This is another great note from your teacher friend in New Hampshire. Brady and I spent the Summer in Northern Maine running a conservation camp. The picture I am sending you is from a youth hunters apprentice ship program through Safari Club International. Brady and I were asked to help with 12 young kids on a Pheasant hunt. Pheasants are hard for Brady a little just because they run so much. But as the picture shows Brady was on a long track after a young man winged this pheasant. I heard Brady’s bell far out in the thick stuff and thought he lost the bird so I called him back around and when he was coming back his bell went silent.

So I figured he was pointing the pheasant, to my amazement when I went in to flush the bird, Brady had the pheasant in his mouth and was locked on a woodcock. I couldn’t believe that with a nose full of pheasant he would still point his favorite bird to hunt!!!!!! We are still training and learning, but Brady is only two and I am still a rookie, But we love to do it all. Thanks again for this amazing experience.

Best Wishes, David Kenney

She’s a hoot!


I thought I’d give you an update, long over-due, on Bella.  She’s a hoot!  Great personality!  Moans and groans as she’s petted.  She loves to fetch and runs the field and wood very well.  We didn’t have much luck with ruff’s (low numbers) near our deer camp this year but she certainly covered the ground and will catch on to them.  Worked up a couple fairly well and did well on the few woodcock encountered.  I was invited to a game farm with a couple guys who ran labs.  We hunted them first and didn’t have great luck.  Put them away and we brought out Bella and walked to where we saw a roost enter the tall grass.  She went the complete 1800 wrong direction into the short grass despite my pleas.  Not a good first impression on the lab guys.  Until she went on point and we all hurried along in the cut grass to flush a hidden hen!  We bagged that bird and then the hunt was on!  Back to the tall grass and we simply stood still and watched her cover lots of ground.  When I mentioned we could follow her the guys thought it was great just to stand and watch.  She was brilliant.  I was proud.  Of Bella, not my shooting.  We finished the field with her and brought out the labs again and didn’t scare up another bird.  One of the guys told me he talked about this little dog the entire next day at work.  With snow melted we’re getting back out into the woods or pastures, whatever we can find, and both getting some needed exercise.


The attached photo shows how smart she is and maybe a new training technique.


Hope you’re catching spring fever,


Craig Larson
Bemidji, MN

He is 17 months old now


I haven’t spoken to you in a while but I thought I would tell you that I am very pleased with Gus. He is 17 months old now and has seen plenty of pen raised birds throughout the winter: chukers and pheasants. He is working well and I love his nose and I really am getting used to his point. He points from a longer distance than our previous FB. I think this will be an asset on grouse. He is retrieving nicely, but still has a a tendency to want to keep the bird and play with it. He is good at home and all the family love him. I think he will make a fine bird dog and I am glad I made the choice of your kennel. He is quite the athlete:40 lbs. of pure muscle. There is no stop in his desire!

Michael Krause

Update on Zephyr

zephyrHi John,

Just wanted to send you another update on Zephyr (Jesper de L’Escarbot), as we are excited to celebrate his very first Christmas with us! Thought you’d also enjoy his picture with Santa we got taken at Petco a few weeks ago, which I’ve attached! He got lots of compliments from everyone he met that day — he’s such a handsome and well-behaved boy!

Zephyr will be starting his third level of obedience courses in January as well! He just completed his second one for older puppies last weekend and passed with flying colors! Definitely the smartest puppy in his whole class…he has amazing focus, impulse control, and absolutely loves to please, which really sets him apart from the other dogs, in my opinion. He truly enjoys learning new things! In fact, we are currently on the track to earning his Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog certification!

I hope all is well with you! Have a merry Christmas!


Alyssa Elbert IA

Its been quite while since I touched base


Its been quite  while since I touched base.  I think Dory (official name Drummer) is now 6 and has quite a few miles and birds behind him.  He’s been a great dog and the only one left in my kennel after I put down the other 2 I had at the time he joined us.

Anyway, Dory has hunted a great variety of birds over the past 6 years including ruffed grouse, woodcock, snipe, Sharptailed, Sage, and Blue grouse, plus pheasants , huns, and chukars.  This September we flew to AK and I shot all three species of ptarmigan over him as well. He is a driven bird finder and I’d have to say that his specialty is covey birds in big country – he is absolutely death on chukars.

Anyway, thought you might like a couple of pics, so see attached.


Keith Marcott

Tater is doing well


I have Bernadette — more commonly known as Tater, from your 2006 breeding of Toy and Tabia.     Tater is doing well — we just got back from a week of ruffed grouse hunting in Maine.   She is healthy and in her prime.   But my older dog — the male Aussie you met briefly and worried about — is 14 now and it will be time to have another dog in the house in a year or so to keep Tater company.     I have so much appreciated Tater’s trueness to your breeding vision that I want to get another of your puppies.    She has been everything you told me she would be and more — extraordinarily athletic, as smart as any Border Collie I’ve ever met, a tremendous hunter, and a wonderful house companion.

So, while I am not ready to get a puppy right now, I would ask that perhaps you could let me know about upcoming breedings so that I can put my name in early.   If that requires a deposit now, let me know.

Thanks for the great work you do with these dogs.


Bob Stalick

Here is a great picture of Harper

harper_lgHi John-

Here is a great picture of Harper. She is very intense with fantastic hunting instinct and loads of field trial potential. She won the open division in the North Dakota field trial this spring. She always is willing to please and has a smile on her face! Thanks for a great dog!


Thank you for your great training of Igor


I just want to share a note and thank you for your great training of Igor.  I took him out for the first time in front of birds this fall since you trained him in April.  Since he has so much energy and drive I was worried how he would react when he found his first bird.  I was overjoyed.  He locked on scent/sight and didn’t move until we flushed the birds.  He also immediately retrieved and dropped the birds for me as well.  All told we flushed all 8 birds we had placed in the field.  He also returns promptly on the whistle.  I am excited to get him up north in a couple weeks to see how he does going after grouse.

Feel free to post this on your testimonial page.

Thanks Again,

Greg Vacura

You are a miracle worker!


You are a miracle worker!

A few years ago we were researching kennels and dog trainers to see if a trainer could exercise the “gun shyness demons” from our 3 year old French Brittney, Tudors.

I’m glad we found you.  Even though Tudors was not one of your own kennel raised  pups, you were still very interested in helping us with a major correction given the severity of Tudors gun shy condition.  When Tudors heard anything remotely similar to a gun or pop, he would run to a corner to find security and breath so heavily we thought he was going to have a heart attack!  It was good to hear that you were confident that you could correct his fear of the gun.  We thought you displayed an incredible amount of knowledge and applied some really good psychology…..for everyone involved.  We really liked your approach and the professionalism from start to finish.    As we didn’t know what to expect, you wanted to see if you could achieve progress after 3 visits before taking him for a month of training.  This meant a lot to Natalie and me as we loved him for the companion he was in the house and we didn’t want that part to change, but we also wanted to see if he could live his life for what he was meant to be in the field.

We were blessed with Tudors being such a loveable and affectionate dog, as it turns out, none of this part changed.  I think he loves us even more because you opened a new world of fun and purpose for him!

Tudors is now 5 and he has spent hundreds of hours in the field over the past 2 years gaining lots of “on the job experience.”  I can say that at the end of each days hunt, he and I get better at being a team.  As you told me, with Tudors less is more.  He does everything he is supposed to do in the field and I don’t need to give him much instruction, and when I do he figures it out.  When I have hunted him with other dogs, even flushers, I think Tudors is one of the best if not the best dog in the field.  Tudors can change styles and approach because he has learned the difference between a hunting  in the aspen forest and how to handle those conditions versus a pheasant habitat.  I could go on and tell you stories about his eagerness to hunt, his bird pinning points and crazy retrieves, but I’m much more happy about the fact that he now loves the sound of the gun!

Great job John!  I’m glad we found you!


First outing with Nikki


I just wanted to share a story from my first outing with Nikki, a puppy that I got from you.  Nikki almost yard trained herself by following my old dog around.  When dove season rolled around she was almost 6 months old.  We normally don’t get a lot of action where I hunt, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce her to the gun.  We went out and our first dove came in.  I shot and dropped it in some chest high grass.  I looked down and Nikki was gone.  I started swearing at myself thinking I messed up an excellent dog by rushing the training.  Less than a minute later Nikki came out of the grass with the dove in her mouth.  She brought it right to me and gave it up without a problem.  We had more action than normal that day and I had one of my best shooting days on doves ever. When we were done,  I rode the golf cart back to the farmhouse and the farmer walked up to us.  He said he heard all of the shooting and asked if we got many of them.  I can’t remember how many we had but it was near a dozen.  He knew where I was hunting and knew about the grass.  When I told him Nikki retrieved them all he said that’s one great dog you have there.  Since then we have had many great years and a lot of great stories.   I got Nikki from you guys 8 years ago and am going to be getting another puppy from you next year.