Rogue River Gunner


Hi Mary,
I have the best bird dog in the state of Michigan, maybe the Midwest!
We had him out over the weekend working some chukar and quail.  Now
remember, I have hunted and worked with bird dogs for nearly 40 years. I can honestly say that I have never seen a dog as advanced as Gunner at his 15 months age. When steps in the field he flips the switch from playful puppy to a bird dog with one of the sharpest noses I have ever witnessed, methodical back and forth hunter, solid/stylish point, steady to wing and sometimes shot.  Retrieving needs some work (it's not bad, just needs a little fine tuning) but that is his big brother Koal, the retrieving hog labs fault. A couple times we couldn't find the bird after the point so I would release him off point; he simple would reposition and lock up again, as if to say "come on you stupid humans he is right there".  Mary, he works better than most dogs that have five years under their belt.  I told you he was going to be special and he is every bit of that. I have been working with him a lot, but he has a ton of natural ability and very easy to train.  The boy was born to hunt and he is off to an unbelievable start. Here are some pictures of Gunner.  Keep in mind that he has the same camera shy gene as his momma.  I'll keep working on getting some better pictures.


Ulysses Jackson and Yankee Osbourne (Ozzie)


My partner, Nick, and I first heard of the Braque du Bourbonnais breed in October 2010.  On paper, they sounded like the perfect dogs for us, even though we are not an avid hunting family; smart, sweet temperament, athletic, loved swimming, and came in a medium-sized, short-haired package (particularly compared to our Lab, who happens to be an amazingly proficient shedder).  We started sending question-filled emails to all the US breeders.  The response we received from Mary immediately stood out from all the others; she was friendly, cheerful, provided very detailed responses, and was clearly ready to share any information about the dogs that she loved.  Mary continued to correspond with us for the next two months, answering every question we could throw at her.  When we decided that we were ready to take the plunge with a Braque du Bourbonnais puppy, Larry and Mary Friedrichs of Cactus Country Kennels were our obvious choice.
Mary continued to correspond with us throughout the long wait for our puppy, sending weekly updates and photos.  She sensed our excitement for our new arrival, so she sent quite a few extra photos and a video.  Finally, Ulysses Jackson arrived and we were instantly in love.  He was everything that we could have hoped for and more; affectionate, sweet, intelligent, active, and incredibly exuberant.  As stated above, we are not a hunting family, but I feel confident that Jackson would have been an amazing hunting companion.  For us, he was a much-loved and appreciated family member.
Devastatingly, when Jackson was 5 months old, he ate something horribly toxic while on a family camping trip and passed away after two days in the hospital.  Nick and I were absolutely heartbroken.  When we contacted Mary to share the news, she responded in the most sincere and kind way.  She shared her sadness at our loss, and generously offered us another puppy.  Jackson’s loss was incredibly painful, and Mary’s kindness and generosity was the only positive thing to come of the tragedy.  She ended up giving us first pick of the male puppies in the very next litter, even though someone offered her a generous sum of money to have the first pick.  When she shared the story with me, her response was that she just couldn’t let down the people who had been waiting so patiently for their new family member.  The family that had offered to pay extra for first choice ended up going with another breeder as a result, but Mary was committed to making sure her precious puppies ended up in just the right homes.  Our new puppy, Yankee Osbourne (Ozzie), arrived last week, and we are absolutely in love with him.   He is mellow, bright, gentle, sweet, very eager to please and really beautiful.
Mary has a heart of gold and genuinely loves each puppy that Cactus Country produces.  We are so incredibly satisfied with our puppy and with Cactus Country Kennels.  If you are considering adding a Braque puppy to your family, speak with Mary; you’ll be very happy with your choice.
Shana and Nick,
Portland OR
CC Ike
ike-4-thumbHi Mary,

"Thanks for posting Ike's pointing picture on your web site. Very Cool! That was a recent picture so he's about two yrs old. Attached is a picture of him at the NAVHDA chapter meeting in Maine during May of last year. He really does look awesome and still takes my breath away when I see him working in the field".

"What's interesting about his pictures is that they do not capture the blue-ish haze in his coat. In vivo he is just mesmerizing! We're going up to a lake New Hampshire tomorrow in an effort to escape the heat. Thus plenty of swimming and water retrievals for Ike (Padoux)."

Take care thanks again,

dexter04_thumb"Dexter has come along nicely, he's gotten to be very birdy, as you might be able to tell by the upward gaze he has in nearly all of the photos.

He spends alot of time in the pool and playing hide and seek with our brit. We love him, and we're very thankful for the chain of events that led us to you."



"Its hard for us to imagine how we could ask for more with BJ. As a hunter, he has tremendous drive and desire and he flat just never gives up. Its amazing how intent he is and how he is always ready to do "just one more hunt". He is pretty young yet, but he has demonstrated that he can do pretty well on all counts. I've seen him point wild birds with tremendous intensity and he seems to have a great nose and is pretty darn good at finding the "lost & dead" ones too. I'll take those attributes any day.

That having been said, this is just the hunting side of the equation. On the home front, he is probably the most affectionate dog we've ever had, so now having established he is also a wonderful addition to this family, I don't see how he can be beat or how you can beat this breed. He loves being with us, is relaxed in our home but is very playful and has fantastic attitude a wonderful temperment. Did I already say that I don't know how this breed can be beat????"



"I discovered Cactus Country Kennels late last summer. I had heard and read about the BdB and felt that they could be breed I would be interested in so decided to make a trip to see them. I went to Larry and Mary's home and met their "herd" as they affectionately call them. They introduced me to each dog in the kennel by bringing them into the house. They were curious, friendly dogs but even the youngest members were calm and easy going. They do not seem to be a demanding dog really seem to enjoy being with people. They certainly appear to me that they would be excellent companions - a criteria that I have for my next dog too by the way.

I returned to Tucson shortly after Christmas to hunt quail and made arrangements with Larry to see these dogs hunt too. We ran Brock, Lanie and JJ together and I really had an opportunity to see some excellent dog work. I was pleasantly surprised at how intense these dogs became when it was time to go hunting. They cover ground easily and seemingly effortlessly; they search hard; but always stayed at a reasonable distance. Brock was clearly the most mature and accomplished hunter, and it showed, but I was impressed with all three dogs and how they worked. We were fortunate and did find a few quail. I saw instances where all three dogs would be locked up tight on a covey (there was no creeping at all). On one occasion, two of them located a bird together and locked up on it while the other one backed, which was impressive to say the least. I was also impressed with how these dogs would work after a bird was down. They "hunt dead" hard and retrieve to hand pretty naturally.

I know everyone is different and has different requirements but I am sold on these little dogs."



Bella (Buffy)

bella02_thumb" Bella is doing great! Our Vet and the girls at the vets office adore her.

She's pointing and retrieving on a regular basis. I was working with her in the back yard this evening. She was retrieving a frozen dove that I shot last year. She has a fantastic nose. She comes back to a whistle.

She loves the water. The kids and I went to the lake a few weeks ago. We decided to take her to see if she would like it. I found a stick and tossed it a few feet into the water.


She jumped in without hesitation. It was about 4 - 5 foot of water. After that first time she was hooked. I threw it out about 15 to 20 feet out, and she retrieved it with no problem.

After a while she would swim out to the kids and grab the strap on their life vests and didn't let go until she got them back to the bank. Guess she was playing lifeguard! They even had her jumping off the back of the boat into the water. Maybe she'll turn out to be a duck dog too. We'll see this year.

She goes through a rawhide every two days. She always has to be touching still. She's the most loving companion that I've ever seen.

She talks to us to tell us when she needs to go outside. If we don't take her out quick enough, she starts to bark and talk. She looks like she's chewing gum when she does that. It's the funniest thing you've ever seen.

We're very happy with her. I'd love to have another Braque. I don't think Patty is up for that yet.

Maybe several years down the road when we retire.

I'll send more pictures soon. Dove season starts in September, quail and pheasant in October, and Duck in November. Hopefully I will have some good pictures.

Take care. Have fun on your trip to France. Keep up the good work on the web site. Please keep us posted when you make updates."


Kodi (Elvis)

kodi02_thumb" Hope all is well with you. I thought I would fill you in on Kodi's first Pheasant hunt. It was on March 10 at a private club in the Suisun Marsh. The weather was cold and windy with scattered hail showers. The field was wet with occasional puddles. He did fantastic.

A long time friend Dan had six birds left on his card and offered to let me use Kodi and leave his two German Shorthairs at home. He says that his dogs would give Kodi bad habits as he has problems controlling them.

Two days prior I had introduced Kodi to a dog trainer Steve Klassen at Blue Ridge Kennels in Dixon. This is only 25 minutes from the pheasant club. We plan to leave Kodi with him for a week when we vacation to Mexico in April and I did not want that experience to be to hard on Kodi. This is only the second time in my life of boarding out my dog and I do not enjoy the worry it causes me. During the two days at Blue Ridge Steve worked Kodi on Bobwhite quail and for some reason Kodi would not point for him. Instead he just caught the birds. Steve liked his boldness and said he thought he was a good looking dog and not to worry about that. I told him that Kodi pointed for us on wild birds and I wasn't worried.

Well enough about that back to the hunt. Kodi worked the area with ease and always kept in contact with us to the point my friend Dan said what a pleasure to hunt and not have to yell at the dog. On the first bird Kodi locked up less than three feet from the bird and about 30 yards from me. As I approached to about 10 yards Kodi jumped and caught the bird. He brought it right to me and I let him mouth and sniff it for about three minutes in my lap as this was the first pheasant he had seen.

The next bird came in less than five minutes and this time he held his point a 90 degree right hand turn until I kicked the bird into the air. As it flew he charged after it and I shot at about 30 yards and he was on it in less than three seconds. This time he did not want to bring it back so fast so I did not rush him. About five minutes later he gave up the bird and we continued hunting.

The next bird he went on point at about 30 feet from the bird as the weather was improving and sent was traveling a little farther. He held his point until the bird flushed from me at about 30 feet from 90 degrees to the left of Kodi. This time Kodi brought the bird right back to me and I let him mouth and sniff the bird in my lap for about 15 seconds and we were off hunting again.

All remaining three birds were pointed by Kodi and he held until the birds flushed. On the last one he was about 40 yards in front of us and about 20 feet from the bird. When I reached Kodi the bird flushed straight away and low I did not shoot as Kodi was following to close to the bird. Finally at about 45 yards the bird lifted and I shot it. Kodi brought it right back. I think this last bird reinforced in Kodi's mind that he his not going to get these birds without me. What a day we had."


elaho02_bw_thumb" I do in home boarding of dogs, walking and training and just recently boarded "Rugby"(Elaho) --yes, your baby owned by a family in Whistler!!!!!) and she was so perfect!!!!! Sweet and friendly, underfoot but not in your face. Wanting to "work" but not obsessive. Compact and athletic. Alarm bark but not protective. Close range. Wonderful!

I feel ready to cancel my deposit on the Weimaraner (I had also considered a Griffon for the last couple of years) because everything is feeling so right about a Braque du Bourbonnais puppy! "


brandy06_thumb"Brandy is absolutely the best dog we have ever had. I stay home and take care of 2 children and run a small day care. Brandy is so protective of all of the children.

She will stand between them and the door when someone rings the doorbell. She would never let anything happen to any of those kids.

My husband comes from a family of hunters and they are all amazed when they go out in the field with Brandy. She's just the perfect dog!"

I have kept working with him and he just keeps getting better. He is an excellent watch dog. He is always on cat patrol and chases every bird he sees. He has caught several, after pointing them, and always brings back the feathers.

Everyone in our office building knows Baxter and takes time to pet him and talk to him when he is out on his rounds. He loves going to Lowes or Home Depot and rides in the cart, sniffing at everyone. Most people think he is a stunted German Short Hair. I tell them about the Bourbonnais! Both dogs are excellent with new people and other dogs.

We may have had other dogs in the past, but we love our Braque du Bourbonnais."