About Us Bona's Kennels was established by Mihailo "Mickey" Martinovic and his son, Milos "Mike" Martinovic. The father-son team founded Bona's Kennels based on their superior knowledge of and experience with German Shorthaired Pointers (GSP) and their deep-rooted love for the breed. The two have over 50 years of combined professional experience, but their passion for hunting dogs cannot be pinned to a specific amount of years. For both Mike and his dad, dogs have been a significant part of their lives since their earliest memories.
The experience that led to Bona's Kennels can be traced back to 1974 when Mickey got his first GSPs. Throughout the years, Mickey strived to obtain the best hunting dogs with the best confirmation. It was always his goal to have the most excellent dogs that the breed had to offer.
Mike's earliest memories with GSPs was competing with Bona. Bona was born in 1998, and when she was 11 months old, Mickey and Mike competed with her in a dog show in Serbia. By accident, Bona was entered into the adult stage of the competition, though she was still at the junior level. In this stage, she wasn't just eligible for junior titles, but she could win actual titles, which was unlikely for a dog her age.
Nevertheless, Bona ended up winning the Best of Breed, Best in Group, and Best in Show titles. Mike, ten years old at the time, won a Junior title for showing. Additionally, a friend who attended the competition with Mickey and Mike won second prize for a drawing, and Mickey won first prize. This would be one of Mike's best memories with his dogs.
Bona would continue to be a special dog that was a beloved part of the Martinovic family. She was a Dual Champion by the time she was eighteen months old. In total, she won over thirty-five show titles and had numerous field trials. She was one of the smartest dogs Mickey and Mike have ever seen.
"When you do a field trial, they're supposed to quarter the field so much. So in field trials, she would open up more, she would quarter exceptionally well, she would carry herself with a lot of grace," Mike remembers. "And when we would take her out hunting, she would stand closer, and she knew you were hunting, so she would do anything and everything possible to get the job done. And when you took her out to dog shows, she would basically pose for the judge. She could be sleeping by the ring, and as soon as you stepped foot in the ring, she would start trotting around flawlessly. She was just a very natural and intelligent dog in every aspect of her life."
Mickey, Mike, and their family moved to the United States in 2001. They brought Bona along with them, and they imported several other dogs, determined to continue pursuing their passion for working with top-quality GSPs. In 2004, MM Kennels was established, named after the initials of the father-son team. After Bona passed away, Mickey and Mike changed the name of their kennel to honor Bona, the extraordinary dog that truly exhibited to the highest degree what the German Shorthaired Pointer breed of dogs had to offer.
What We Strive For
Today, Bona's Kennels has dogs imported from various countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Serbia, and Croatia. Bona's carefully selects the best dogs from different bloodlines that most fully exhibit the qualities necessary to make the most excellent, versatile German Shorthaired Pointer. Bona's breeding program is unparalleled for providing superior, healthy hunting dogs with natural ability in the field that also serve as loving companions at home.
Bona's GSPs each have their own unique qualities, and they vary in energy and speed. However, they are all healthy dogs that have natural hunting abilities, the desire to please, outstanding confirmation, and easy, affectionate personalities. All of Bona's dogs are tested at the highest levels. Their pedigrees consist of Champions, Dual Champions, Multi-Champions, Field Champions, Amateur Field Champions, and International Champions. Bona's has several dogs that, in their four generations, have two, three, or even four World Field Trial Champions. Bona's strives to put together the best pedigrees that the GSP world has to offer.
With their natural ability in the field, strong noses, pointing instincts, ability to retrieve, easiness in the water, beautiful confirmation, and companionship and love for family, GSPs from Bona's Kennels are guaranteed to serve as the perfect hunting partner and loving member of the family. Bona's GSPs are able to adapt to different environments and lifestyles and are the perfect dog to take with you hunting, biking, hiking, swimming, etc. At the same time, they know when to calm down and relax with you at home. Mickey and Mike's expertise and love for GSPs has developed this reputable breeding program that offers only the highest quality German Shorthaired Pointers.
The Future of Bona's Kennels
Bona's Kennels takes pride in its ability to provide that "all around" dog-- The good-looking dog that performs strongly in the field, has moderate energy, is nonaggressive, and that you can bring into your house and will also be a couch potato that likes to cuddle up with kids and family. In order for Bona's Kennels to maintain their ability to guarantee the best of the breed, they continue to train their dogs in the field and to bring in outstanding dogs from various European lines. Many GSPs bred in the U.S. have strayed away from the traditional European look, mainly because they have been cross-bred with the English Pointer. Bona's makes it a priority to bring back what the German Shorthaired Pointer breed was meant for. Bona's hopes that years from now, GSP lovers will still be able to look at one of Bona's dogs and, based on their distinct characteristics, say, "That's a Bona's Kennels dog."
More History Mickey and Mike have both always had a natural love for dogs. Mickey's dad never let him have a dog when he was younger, but when Mickey was about nine or ten years old, his cousin had promised to give him a German Shepard. He remembers that for the next several years, he would look out the window every once in a while to see if the cousin was bringing him his puppy, but he unfortunately never did. So as soon as Mickey moved out of his parents' house, he purchased his first dog-- a German Shorthaired Pointer.
Mickey has mostly had GSPs throughout the years, but he has also had many other breeds. He enjoyed having his dogs for hunting and as companions. He worked with Bona twice a day, and when stressful events arose, all he wanted to do was to get out in the fields with his dogs. He was also a certified judge for showing GSPs in Serbia, and so he is very familiar with the breed and with the standards.
Mike has been hunting and working with dogs most of his life. When he was just three years old, his dad let him go deer hunting with him, but they just walked together through the woods and picked berries. They didn't worry about hunting; they just enjoyed the outdoors together. When Mike was about six or seven, he also got to walk with his dad while Mickey rabbit and pheasant hunted. Mike began hunting pheasant in the U.S., and it's continued to be his favorite type of hunting.
Mickey and Mike started building the main kennel in 2005, and it was finished in 2006. It was completely remodeled throughout 2011, 2012, and 2013. All of the kennels are heated, and the puppy kennels have heating and air conditioning. Those without air conditioning are extremely well insulated, so they stay very cool in the summer. Bona's also keeps quail and pigeons for training purposes. Additionally, there is a horse pasture, where the horses are visible to the dogs. This helps the dogs become more familiar with horses so that their performance at competitions won't be hindered by the dogs being distracted by horses when judges ride them.
In the main kennel, for each dog there is an indoor area where they sleep, eat, and drink water, but they all have access to outdoor runs where they can exercise. In addition, another four acres is fenced off for the dogs to run around, play, and get exercise. The facilities are regularly AKC inspected. Bona's Kennels makes sure that all of the dogs' needs are accommodated and that their living areas are comfortable and at the maximum level of cleanliness, which makes these facilities exceptional.