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For the Serious Upland Bird Hunter

Chiausi Ridge Kennels, located in the beautiful country of northwestern Illinois, is owned by Bob Mastandrea. Bob’s love affair with bird dogs began in 1964 and blossomed into a passion for hunting, training, and producing amazing upland hunting dogs. Contact Bob to reserve your pup from the next litter.

Dan Breuer's Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Teak.

Bob's twin sisters, Linda and Laura, with Buck and Moose c.1967

I got my first bird dog in 1964 at the age of sixteen from a friend of my father’s, a German Shorthair Pointer pup I named Moose. I bought a book on how to train pointing dogs and the rest, as they say, is history.

Next, Chesapeake Bay Retriever pup Buck joined the family. Moose, Buck and I worked hard every day. They learned to be great bird dogs, and I learned how to coach and train them to be responsive and adaptable in the field.  Little did I know at the time, these two would open the door to what would become a lifelong affection for bird dogs.

Moose would seemingly hold a point forever! Buck, at six months old was retrieving doubles during the Illinois early teal season. He also started retrieving the decoys on opening day of the regular duck season (my fault!), but he learned the rules quickly after that. On one memorable hunt, Moose chased a pheasant I had shot into woods. By the time we caught up, he was holding the bird down with his paws and plucking it. I told my buddy that my dog was so good that he cleaned my birds for me—though we both knew he was getting ready to eat it! We still laugh about that to this day, and honestly it was those experiences that cemented my lifelong love for bird dogs.

I’d been hunting Ruffled Grouse since 1973, and over the years saw many pictures of beautiful English and Llewellin Setters pointing grouse and woodcock. In 1996, I purchased my first English Setter, named Scruffy. Scruff was one of the finest dogs I ever owned, and he inspired me to add more Setters to my family over the years. Today, my heart and home are full with English Setters, Llewellin Setters and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

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