April 

  Spring is fully here  

  April showers on the way  

  Refreshing and warm  

For those wondering……………………..the salutations at the home page for each new month and then also found at each month’s blog page are Haikus.

It is a form of Japanese poetry where a story is told in 3 lines that are written in 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the 2nd line and 5 syllables in the 3rd and last line.

Nature and emotions set the tone for the subject matter.

am

what I appear to be

 

The love and passion that I have for Labrador Retrievers is what fuels my drive for my total involvement with the breed. The never-ending quest for the Betterment of the Breed is the legacy that I would

like to leave behind after it is all said and done.

 

This Blogging Off section reflects the "tell it like it is" persona that comprises one of the many hats that I wear in my daily activities with Labrador Retrievers and the people that own them. 

"Questions are the keys to understanding,
answers are the open doors that will follow,

choosing the right door to proceed through will
determine if the correct path was taken."
 
V. Sandy Herzon

April 29th

Important Updates

Ah, fret not my friends and colleagues as the whole moves on and takes on new, energized directions with greater possibilities…………such is the fate of all worthwhile endeavors that have been laid on rock-solid foundations.  Remember that nothing lasts forever…………..however the produce of that endeavor can be preserved in perpetual positiveness as long as there is good that comes from it.

 

Necessary Changes:

Deland Dog Shows Alert: Due to ever changing circumstances at our end of operations, the well-planned attempt at debuting a new crew of puppies, enhancing the entries with young upstarts and loading up our roster with our top guns has taken a slight detour.

Although we had 14 class males committed to be exhibited at the Deland shows, we have had to back down to our regular roster of 7 class males.

I have since contacted those handlers that are in communications with us about their entry numbers and there is only one handler that will now not be entering 2 class males that needed majors.

So, even though we will only have 7  class males entered, there is still the possibility of reaching 17 males which will be the new 3-point major mark…………….it will be close now, but I believe doable.

With some luck and a wing and a prayer…………………..for the Tampa shows in June, we may be able to bring on a large roster of males. I will keep all posted on any developments.

So, as a little olive branch for those in a tiff about the about face at our end:

Editor’s Note: Okay, I rummaged through 217 filed away articles, blogs and other writings that I had authored and stored for a future date to publish and came up with the following piece that seemed relevant and in tune with the blog posted to the Blogging Off page on April 25th, Stud Dog Cluster Breeding…………….with time, others to follow.

 

Breeding Prospects: Last edited April 2014

At Chambray Acres, besides all the activities that are always underway………….contracted and contemplated for the dogs and owners in the Chambray Management Program…………………..there is the predominant and ultimate of all the involvements, the most crucial decision making process for a breeder/kennel…………………the one agenda that determines the entire future of the whole kit and caboodle………………………………the perpetuation of the kennel to the next generation of dogs produced……………that is the BREEDING PROGRAM!

It is first and foremost………………everything else takes a backseat………………………….ten rows back!

That is the purist breeder’s mindset!

Yes, as a breeder, nothing is as important as putting the whole program on page one, that is producing the next generation of puppies that will be on the front lines for the breeder/kennel for years to come.

Whereas training and showing dogs is in the now………………..the breeding program, the crowning jewel has been under consideration for at least minimum, the last 5 years for each dog that is viable for breeding today!

So, breeding is the past, the present and the future, without any of those considerations, there’s no continuum to contemplate.

That is the rhyme and rhythm, the whole enchilada for a successful run at being a true blue breeder of any merit with verifiable results.

It all starts with the females in the program! Those females have been vetted, tendered and processed for conformational quality……………………each has been put through the gauntlet for health, soundness and genetic clearances…………..clearances galore and those are cataloged and archived……………and then those females will be on call for the breeding program when the timing is right for each.

Multiple stud dogs have been followed for years to chronicle how prepotent they really are. Their pedigrees have been analyzed and scrutinized using 44 years of in-depth involvement with the breed.

The breeding plans are constantly 3 to 5 years ahead into the process of determining which dogs will be chosen to pair up with our maternally-based breeding stock…………….founded on our prepotent cluster stud dog sub communities.

‘Prepotent’ is what a dog can project into the future with its traits. What a dog produces is what makes it either a ‘prepotent’ high yield stock for those in advanced breeding mode or a dog that just doesn’t produce.

‘Prepotent’ is passing it forward, not just to the next generation………………….nope, to those that truly understand how to get from point A to point Z with a breeding program………………………a dog passing their attributes only to one generation is a ‘light producer’…………………a dog ‘pushing’ those great traits to a 2nd and/or 3rd generation removed would be considered a ‘moderate’ producer…………………a truly prepotent stud dog of high merit…………………..to be considered an iron-clad prepotent producer…………..it is one that projects those traits beyond 3 generations………………..maybe five generations…………….or more!

The supreme collective knows that those dogs that carry the torch way beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary……………………………that is what we refer to as being P-R-E-P-O-T-E-N-T!

However, those in the know……….know that recognizing the top producing dogs is a vital must……………….they also know that the true generator for a breeder/kennel are the females that carry the kennel on.

One of the biggest mistakes made by many when considering a pairing is not taking stock of what they have in their individual females.  Not knowing what qualities is an asset or not………..what if any positives their females possess and conversely what those females may be lacking in.

The current females under consideration to be bred ………………..have each been produced from their sire and dam for a reason way back when…………that was to have those dogs available now to be bred to stud dogs these 2,3 and 4 years later…………..giving all involved lots of time to see what those stud dogs have produced in the interim.

Now, those females are old enough to participate in our avant garde breeding program………………part of the 5 year breeding program!

Each female has a game plan with several stud dogs targeted that were figured in years in advance for various reasons and what is left is to further evaluate each and determine their individual assets to contribute to the breeding. Those females that do not rise to the level of being top drawer will be passed up as there is no sense in going backwards. Having the luxury of a deep pool to choose from accelerates the mission of breeding the best to the best to produce the best.

There will be a new round of cluster stud dog breedings to those females that have been chosen as the elite from the 60+ that are constantly available to our breeding program………………………a new wave of puppies will thus become our newest debuts in 6 to 10 months as has happened now for almost 3 decades and the validation is in the produce, more champions produced in the country since 2011 by a Labrador breeder…………………….the old proof is in the pudding……..the produce……….nothing like verifiable proof to cement the deal…….signed, sealed and delivered…………….no ands, ifs or buts about it…………….no wild-haired claims, just the facts ma’am!

In the breeding world there are stragglers, wannabees, followers, middle of the pack and those upfront leading the pack……….what separates each of those is their degree of successes or lack thereof……….the rest of the chatter and blah blah is just that........talk!

I have enjoined my closest confidants, those that read my writings and offerings to act as overseers for me. To let me know when I have reached that point where lucidity and clarity, where originality and conveyance of ideas and matter have become eroded and are no longer viable or worth the time in perusing through.

Writing for writing sake comes off as contrived, forced and forged. So, when there is no natural flow of ideas to share, I would rather remain silent than to bore others with aimless rantings and ramblings.

A silent person is a fortitude of unknowns, whereas a person that opines with meaningless palaver  discloses themselves as to their true identity ………………nothing gives away a person’s mentality or lack thereof, until they either speak their mind or pen their thoughts!

Such has been my recent state due to things not working properly with an aging body and stressed mind. So, for the time being, maybe waiting for a ‘reset’……………………….as time sees fit, I will offer up some of my filed away articles, essays and prior postings for those that frequent this page.


V. Sandy Herzon

April 25th

Touching Base

For those that keep tuning in to see if anything new has been published to the blog page here.................I have dozens of articles and offerings that I file away for a rainy day, so we just had a huge rainy day down here in South Florida............in fact, had as much standing water out front where we work with dogs as we did in the large screen TV room where the roof sprung a down pour of a leak!

 

So as a whole bunch of guys whack away at the roof that I built almost 4 decades ago............and the sound of rumbling comes from overhead, here is one of those 'filed away writings from some time ago' to keep things lively among the followers of this blog.

Community Building Using Stud Dog Cluster Breeding

Say what?” Would definitely be apropos for any and all that happened across the title for this offering.

To many, it may sound like Greek…………they may puzzle over it, some will take the challenge and read on a bit……………while others will simply skip the whole Gorgonzola, blue-veined sounding lead-in and go to more appetizing buffets.

So, let’s whet the appetite a bit for those still reading on and maybe at a later date, I can whip up something that will lure the ‘line skippers’ to mull over the subject of this treatise.

The use of ‘Stud Dog Cluster Breeding’ accelerates the breeding program by 3X!

Whoa…………..okay, maybe I just hooked some to read on a wee bit more.

Yes, whereas it would take a mere mortal 30 years to reach the level of the truly proficient as a breeder of the higher magnitude……………………someone with the blueprint and understanding of how to use this ‘new’ sounding procedure……………yet old as the hills method can ascend to that Mt Olympus height in say, 12 years (that’s a total of 4 generations produced).

So, for those still reading we have some takers if you have reached this line!

Good, so my time and energy won’t be totally lost to those not following along.

Now here is a little caveat…………..many have already dabbled in it, yet had no inkling or idea it had a name and what it could do for a breeding program, taking that breeding initiative from the simple to the masterful in a shortened sweetbread period of time.

Now here is another little sparkly gem, if it starts to sound like psychobabble……………….then it is just that for your mind frame and nothing will come of further reading……………….however, if there is a trickle of a tickle to the imagination, then read on.

Let’s start out as simple as it gets…………………………..you take 3 of your best females and breed them all to the same outside stud dog……………they could be outcross breedings, distant line-breedings, closer line-breedings or just breeding according to a certain structural type.

So, what is so ‘darn tuttin’ mysterious or highfalutin difficult about that? 

Well, all by itself, nut’n honey……………………….nothing that hundreds of thousands haven’t done all by their lonesome without knowing Adam or Cain about it…………………..however for those that have a large enough pool of dogs, especially females to master with a well-laid out breeding program………………..whoa Nelly! Yep, wild horses with no names are chaffing at the bit and are about to come out of the gate.

That’s the clincher to the whole theorem…………………….having a whole community of females available to create a sub community with their offspring from the same stud dog.

So, here is where the vast majority of those that started reading jump off the train of thought! Because there are not many breeders that have a stable full of brood bitches, nope, that’s not the ways of today.

Now a day, there are not many breeders that have large kennels as like in yesteryear. Back in the day, dog kennels were like horse stables! Those with the means were the big kennel names. I am talking back in the 1930’s, 40’s and even into the 50’s and then slowly disappearing into the 60’s and none left today that can lay claim to those standard bearers of yesterday!

Like I just stated, there will just be just a few left interested how this old way operated, of course now new to the newer breeding crowd that’s left perpetuating the great qualities of the breed…………..or so we hope that’s what they are doing.

Okay, now more or less knowing that I am writing for a very small audience, I will move along a tad faster.

Those 3 females bred to that one major stud dog produce, say 21 puppies of which the best female prospects from each of the litters are somehow ‘kept’ in the breeding program………………….how that is accomplished is totally another story, so let’s say…………..SOMEHOW……………………somehow there is a way to manage those top female puppies from the 3 different breedings to stud dog Super X…………….we will also keep an eye on several of the top male puppies from those breedings as well.

That then becomes the sub community sired by Super X and those puppies are then kept track of and when they are 2 to 4 years old, all are brought back in to the ‘consideration process’ for the breeding program and are then bred to whatever has been producing well when bred to Super X’s lines.

This produces several litters of line-related cousins from the different bitch offspring from Super X. Now, from Super X, you have a 3rd generation to work with and at that point, a close line-breeding back to Super X or Super X’s sire, or sibling or even the 2nd cousins now dwelling in the air-tight sub community are available to do as one feels comfortable with and of course, depending on the results for improvement breeding.

So, a thorough understanding of the breed, the breed traits, the breed faults…………..the prepotent dogs in the background of the lines used is a must to be able to decide what indeed is desirable in the produce of the pairings made. Plus being able to ‘see’ that stud dog is producing elsewhere with other breeders and kennels………….of course hoping that it is producing strongly with other lines and also with those similar to the lines of your kennel.

If the breeding program has been using other stud dog cluster breedings, there may be several other sub communities already in place that can be used to crossbreed to each other.

All the endless possibilities available to those that have a masterplan of a breeding program loaded with prior manipulated breedings that have created a huge community filled with sub communities to further orchestrate desired effects!

Such were the ways of old when large ‘stable’ kennels were the order of the day. Today there are a few that have mastered the ‘farm’ system of placing dogs on co-ownerships and working agreements where cooperative interests can benefit by creating a larger pool of dogs to choose for the breeding program, rather than where small kennels and breeders only have a couple of dogs to work with and it takes much, much longer to achieve the desired effects.

April 20th

January to Mid-April Statistics

The Chambray owners know I have a penchant for numbers and statistics, so thank you to Kathy Smith, one of those owners for providing me with the following graphic...........nice work researching the shows that Chambray dogs have participated in and have won at. A nice 'filler' until I am in the right frame of mind to whip up some meaningful blogs. A writer's rule of thumb, never write for writing sake because that makes for boring content. 

Hey, April is not over yet and some of the Chambray dogs have shows this weekend and next as well, maybe we can make it to over 100 wins in 4 months of showing! Keep up the great work to all the Chambray owners.

April 18th

Chicken Soup For All That Ails

Nothing like chicken soup and good dog show news to overcome a nagging flu and other pains and aches……………..of course to seal the deal……………..greats results from test and exams would be highly what the doctor ordered……………….so for now I will settle for the soup and the good dog show news while I wait the latter.

This past weekend, Jessie made a run up across the Florida Georgia line to Perry GA all by her lonesome as Ma and Pa Kettle held the fort down and tended to the ‘body ache blues’. Although she had a few Labs, it was her ‘other’ breeds that took center stage for her handling business.

But, it was the Labs that brought home lots of the bacon! Chambrays Southern Magnolia Beau came within one point of finishing his AKC champion’s title with a great Winners Dog award for 2 points. Beau who just turned a year old, is owned by Kathy Rodgers of Cove Springs FL and now sits very pretty with 14 points and 2 majors to his impressive resume.

Joining Beau in the Winner’s Circle was Chambrays Just Wow “Gypsy” owned by Jill and Jerry Sweeney of Wisconsin/Florida. She took a Winners Bitch and Best Of Winners for 2 points, giving her a total of 3 points at just 6 months old.

Our Top 20 Ranked (#17 Breed) super star, Gr Ch Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady owned by Virginia and Eddy Wilson of Tennessee took a Best Of Opposite Sex and a Select Grand Champion for 4 points.

Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard owned by Cindy Ceballos and Yessie Munoz of Miami came away with a Select Grand Champion as did Gr Ch Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness owned by Alyona Nikitsina and Gadi Shvarsman of Boca Raton Fl.

This past weekend of winning boosted Team Chambray now to 156 consecutive winning weekends.

So, now we set our sights on the next Perry GA. 5 days of dogs shows starting on May 10th where we will feature some of the dogs that could finish even if those shows don't make it to majors.

We then will reload and hopefully will be able to field a major for the Deland Dog shows for those other dogs needing majors for their title quest.

 

These last 4 weekends of shows has seen our puppies, youngsters and up and coming stars rise to the occasion and keep the successes going……………….so it will be nice to see our top dogs join our youngsters, all vying for the points at the Deland shows coming up May 20th.

April 14th

TGIF

TGIF…………………….no, not the restaurant……………more like what I want to be the end of feeling horrible and incapacitated due to whatever it is that’s not functioning right…………………..I’ll know more on Monday when I see one of the specialist that usually runs tests and procedures to get to the bottom of things……………….of course, by ‘bottom’ I don’t mean 6 foot under!

So, in between bouts of nausea, lower chest pain, congestion and racing heart…………..any lucid moments, I did my best to tend to the store……………..especially future shows coming up which is the most grueling task to keep the whole flotilla afloat. In this sector of the business, you snooze; you lose because all business down the road is dependent months in advance. Nothing takes place later that doesn’t commence now.

It is very easy making decisions as to which dogs to enter for whatever shows are on the horizon…………………that is if one owns all those dogs!

Definitely not so when all of those dogs to be entered and handled are owned by a dozen or more different owners and each one of those owners must make the decision to have their dog entered. So, magnify what it takes to get a hold of someone and pin them down to a date in the future to send their beloved pet and to spend money while they are at it……………………multiple that by 15 or more!

Under normal operating procedures we have the lineup of dogs for a dog shows built 12 weeks before the actual show date. We then remind each of those dog’s owners as we approach the deadline for entry for that show which is 17 days before the show date.

That’s the normal process for anyone that handles other people’s dogs……………..the dog handling business is dependent on what service can be sold for the future, because come game day, dogs not entered don’t get to play!

So, right now there is a concerted effort to build a major pointed show right here in Florida at the Deland dog shows for May 20/21.

Of special interest to all that show Labrador Retrievers and need majors, the AKC’s new revised point schedule will have been lowered from 19 class males down to 17 class males for it to be a major.

Since the eventuality of those shows being a major each day, there are a bunch of interested handlers that have expressed a willingness to bring more dogs to Deland, which then drives some of my own Chambray owners to have their dogs entered for those shows.

In order to ensure that the entries reach that magic number of 17, an extra recruitment of dogs takes place………………………..and there is where things could get a little sticky.

If extra dogs are considered, then extra handlers must be planned for………………………….a very tough situation this time of year due to end of terms school/college finals and graduations…………………..assistant handlers and backups are at a premium!

All the professional handlers are scrambling picking/committing with all the independent handlers available, so bringing on the extra dogs is not as easy as it seems for those not aware of the back scene situations. Just for this weekend’s shows in Perry GA, one pro upped the ante by offering all expenses paid, 3 meals and top pay of $100 per day……………………………….and there were no takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At those rates it would take 2 paying dogs to come up with the money for 1 extra handler……………..at times not worth the extra aggravation.

A real catch 22 situation if there ever was one. Danged if you do and danged if you don’t!

So, right now I am facing whether to try and build up a major with extra dogs that would need to be transported, taken care of, handled in each class, have enough hands available to keep the flow in and out of the ring………………….and then the eventuality that multiple dogs will win their class and need to go back into the ring for Winners, so a crew of handlers must be ready to jump back into the ring to cover all the class winners if it so happens!

EASIER SAID THAN DONE!

Now here is another delicate situation……………….building majors requires bringing dogs that may not be on the starting roster, for whatever reason! So, dogs that have been sidelined, that have been left behind……………….that more or less were relegated to the 2nd team are now asked to step up to the plate to create numbers to make it to a major pointed show.

Of course any dog can win any day, but assuredly there will be those standing around the sidelines waiting for the chance to make mention to those that would listen how nefarious it is to have extra dogs being used as ‘fillers’ or ‘gas money’ or ‘dummy ringers’…………………………happens at every show where there is an honest attempt at bringing more dogs to compete and yet a dishonest attempt by those with little else to do but rabble rousing.

In my real world operation, none of the blah, blah, little mindset talk has an iota of an effect on me, but all that ringside naysayer chatter does affect the vulnerable dog owners that must content with the double talk.

Ah, the intricacies of the dog show world, so much going on in and around the ring and yet that is the proverbial tip of the iceberg because way, way before that tip is seen that day, the mother lode below was taking place months before and if it wasn’t, then there wouldn’t be the tip to be seen the day of the show.

April 13th

One Day At A Time

Okay, enough of this being sick stuff……….3 days on my back in bed doesn’t cut it in a world where things need to be done and if they don’t get done, they start to pile up real bad! So hoping that today is the get up and get out day……we will see.

Lots of stuff planned for the remaining weeks left in April, the month of May and the very, very busy month of shows for June, with multiple days of shows every weekend…………….in the state as well as out of state.

So, this week’s cancelled night classes will get back to full speed ahead next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and the planned weekend workshops for selected groups of people and their dogs will also be taking place starting next weekend.

More great news for the Deland dog shows on May 20/21 as 3 more Chambray males have signed on for that show………………almost sealing the deal that those 2 days of shows will indeed be majors thanks to the Chambray owner’s cooperation……………………it takes 17 males and so far we have 11 commitments with 2 more on the bubble……………..with those 11, that would make us be contributing 66% of the numbers needed…………………..how’s that for cooperation!

Of course with our top guns actually being front row and center for Deland and not sitting on the sidelines, the chances of winning those Winners Dog points increases dramatically for Chambray dogs.

Unless lightning strikes today, tomorrow and/or Saturday at the Perry GA shows where several Chambray dogs are showing and one of them in particular could conceivably win enough points to finish out its championship………………………………for Deland, there could be a caboose load of dogs that are now neck and neck for those major-pointed Winners Dog giving the winner the boost to stretch across that imaginary finish line.

Including females making a run for the AKC champion’s title, there are now 6 Chambray dogs just itching to become the newest titled dog and add to Chambray’s state-record to make it 58 home-bred Champions. So, those Deland shows coming up seem to be the ‘there’s gold in them there hills’ and ‘eureka’ could be the exclamation of the day for a dog taking a Winners Dog that needed that major to finally have enough of the gold to be an AKC champion.

Already for 2017, Chambray-bred dogs and Chambray line-related dogs have notched 4 new titles, including an AKC Bronze Grand Champion, 2 AKC Grand Champions and a Hunting Retriever HRCH.

For those asking, we don’t officially advertise and promote the count of UKC show champion’s titles nor Int show champion’s title as major titles as this would lessen the accomplishments of such prestigious AKC and HR titles. We do list those titles at the individual dog’s page to give proper credit for their owners going the extra mile to have their dogs trained and ready for the major league venues.

So, now I sit here sorting through the cancelled training sessions and re-scheduling them for next week, somewhere in between those already sitting pretty in our weekly planner…………………oh boy, let’s hope that the old body comes back to life pretty dang fast!

April 13th

Here Come The Newest Ones

It is so difficult to explain to the brand new puppy owners how the whole dog show scenario works……………….such is the ordeal that takes place every 6 months.

Every 6 months because that is natural order of the Chambray Puppy Placement Program where 2 to 4 litters comprise a ‘season’s breedings’ and then 6 months later another ‘season’s breedings’ comes about!

So every 6 months a new ‘batch’ of brand spanking new puppy owners emerge at our training classes with their 10-week old puppies in tow…………………………they progress through many private sessions of training, then they attend the night training classes………………….some of those new puppy owners will be selected to participate at the International IABCA or ICE shows………………..others will be exposed to the dog show world with the AKC Beginner Pup (BPUP) events.

All, will have an opportunity to attend the 4-week AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Training and Testing which furthers both the puppies and their owners with vital experience in having socially acceptable dogs.

Eventually those puppies that display the most promising conformation and ‘showability’…………….they and their owners will be encouraged to take it further with each………………..they then will be the specially chosen Chambray puppies to make it to the starting dog show roster!

Just as those 6 month old puppies are debuting at the AKC shows, the next ‘batch’ of puppies are being born and eventually they too will emerge the same way when their time comes.

For all those new owners, the learning curve at times throws them curves of their own! What at first seems simple and rosy, at times gets pickled and toasty! That has more to do with human nature than it does with the actual dogs themselves.

We advocate to any and all to have fun with their puppies and not worry too much about the ‘winning’………………….of course winning is what everyone wants to do, because that is the measuring stick used at these venues.

I always tell those that are part of our collective that each and every dog that we encourage to be at a dog shows……………deserves to be there. Meaning that every Chambray dog that is part of our show dog management program can and will win on any given day.

What we want is for the dogs to perform better each and every time they step in the ring. The better a dog performs in the ring, the higher the chances that it has of winning the points.

If a dog reaches stagnation in development or doesn’t possess the competitiveness to win, we will make sure that the owners know of the situation and an alternate plan will be devised for that dog, at times, putting a dog up for 3 to 6 months works wonders.

When the above happens, it opens the door for another dog waiting on the sidelines to come in and take that dogs place in the dog show roster.

There is a natural progression of dogs existing the program, in the last 6 years……………..32 moved out from the process as champions…………….leaving 32 new spaces for puppies and new dogs to move on up…………..there are always the few that drop out for a myriad of reasons, from financial/economic reasons……………..divorces/personal problems……………………poor decision making process with owners…………..injuries…………………..you name it, it happens along the way.

Bottom line is that some dogs just will not make it all the way………………for way more reasons to even say. We always let each new owner know the eventualities……………..of course each new owner thinks their little Poochie is the greatest dog alive and that it will be the greatest champion ever.

We provide the best in breeding, raising, training, and conditioning and in handling and we apply all that to the truly deserving dogs…………….any less would bring the credibility of the program down.

 

Either a dog has it or it doesn’t…………………..so all those Chambray dogs seen on the front lines at the dog shows, have what it takes to go all the way………………..now it is up to each to be led their through all it takes to be the best enough to win those needed points to become Champions………………Grand Champions…………………Bronze Grand Champions……………………..Silver and beyond!

April 11th

A Little Bit Of This And Little Bit Of That

The new AKC Point’s Schedule that will take place on May 17th will become a major boon to those with Labrador Retrievers that need majors, especially here in Florida.

Commencing on that date, a major-pointed show will consist of 17 class males, lowered by 2 from the 19 that it has been for this past year.

SEVENTEEN is definitely doable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If all my sources, reliable and scurrilous alike hold up………………….from the talk of the town, there are at least 15 males already accounted for! Of course there are those that delight in the bait and switch and those that just love to break majors………………but hey, if there are enough entered, it won’t matter if there is hocus pocus with the usual dogs.

There are still 3 weeks before the entry deadline comes on May 3rd, but there does seem to be more than the usual interest in entering those dogs that have been sidelined because they just lack those major-pointed wins.

If all goes as has been said, then we will have the usual 10 to 14 Florida breeder/owner’s dogs and so far three professional handlers have accounted for 5 more dogs……………which when added up, even at the low end of the tally, gives us 14 and at the high end, 19!

Having been around the block many more times than most, there are always 2 to 4 unaccounted for dogs that show up……………………I’m figuring we can throw an extra 3 because of the lowered numbers that may precipitate some from across state lines to try their luck at these newly lowered points show.

So, I will venture to guestimate that there will be 21 class males entered and 22 class females……………….both majors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then there will be 4 male specials and 3 female specials……………………….for a grand total of 50 Labradors entered at Deland!

 

 

 

 

 

The FSGA held a get together at the Elkton dog shows to rally up support for this entity to get rolling along. As promised, I attended and spoke to the fine folk that are spearheading this group.

I offered any assistance that they may be able to use as far as conducting obedience training seminars, conformation and handling workshops or breed standard presentations as forms of fund raisers.

For those interested in their membership application, please email me and I will forward one to anyone requesting one.

 

 

 

The new CGC 4-Week Training Course has now been filled. We will plan a 3rd one for the year sometime in September to accommodate the additional participants. Although we tried taking extra owners and dogs for the recent CGC class, for future classes we have to create a maximum of 12 total dogs and owners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Certificate and Hunt Test Training. The Gonzalez/Green trainers/judges have advised me that the location for the possible meetings in August will only permit maximum of 10 participants with dogs and 5 audits without dogs.

We currently have more than 10 participants, so we will be requiring signups and partial payment by June 1st to secure the grounds.

Depending on the turnout and success, I will take it upon myself to orchestrate more of these events.

 

 

 

By popular request, the 2017 Spring/Summer All Day Puppy Event will now be changed to an All-Day Handlers Workshop since most of the puppies that would have been invited to this annual event have already debuted at AKC BPUP shows and even some have already broken in at regular AKC shows……………..and one of those 6 month old puppies has already won a WB/BOW with points.

 

As soon as we determine the show schedule for the next 2 months, we will then set the date and invite those that have expressed an interest in a handler’s workshop.

We will save the Puppy Event for the fall when the newest puppies being born now in the spring, will be old enough to participate at that time.

 

April 10th

Tribute to the
Silver Grand Champions, the Bronze Grand Champions & Grand Champions

& Their Owners

As a tribute to our Chambray owners that have contributed greatly to Chambray and to the Betterment of the Breed, I present the Silver Grand Champions (2), the Bronze Grand Champions (8*) and the Grand Champions (20*) *both national records from the same kennel/breeder………….without the immense participation by each of their owners, these dogs would have never reached their fullest potential.

April 10th

Chasing Majors From Wacahoota To Howard

 

 

Chasing Majors

One of the worst curses of the dog show world is chasing majors!

For those not from the planet Earth or that just got a puppy and started attending dog shows, chasing majors starts the moment that a dog reaches 9 singular points towards their AKC champion’s title and then all………………………..like if all wasn’t enough………………………all that’s left is 2 show wins where there is 3, 4 or 5 points to be won.

So a show worth 3 pts, or 4pts or the maximum 5 pts is termed a ‘major’………….AND………………two of those are needed in addition to the singles adding up to nine and poof and presto, the dog is then an AKC champion!

Easier said than done! Because there has to be a bunch of dogs to make those majors and getting a bunch of people that own a bunch of dogs to add up to being a major is getting harder and harder to do these days……………….especially in places like Florida!

Why of all places, Florida, you may be asking and if you are not asking, I am going to lay it out on the line because that is why I am penning away this blog…………………………but one question first, is it acceptable to state ‘penning’ if there isn’t a pen anywhere nearby?

There are several reasons why Florida is in the spotlight for being one of the leading offenders of majors having to be chased!

First of all in the sunny side up state, greater numbers of dogs are needed to reach that lofty altitude to qualify for a major and then to add major insult to injuries, the orange-cheeked natives scurry on across state lines to places where smaller numbers will qualify………………………………….thus the chasing majors is a double whammy if you live in Florida and travel to Alabamy!

Now in plain sight reality, we have plenty of dog shows right here in our rather large bailiwick, but in a jiffy lube moment quicker than quicksand can gobble up an armadillo, most of the gentle folk choose the easier way for those majors, making it twice as hard for those others that are rather Florida-bound and have to pray and hope that enough stay at home types enter their dogs so that at the next congregation, maybe, just maybe there could be enough of our resident dogs to add up to………………….now hear this……………….add up to 17!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, 17 is now the new 19! 19 used to be the Magic Mike number and now 17 will do nicely at being a major-pointed dog show for male Labradors!

Yes sir, we just caught a big break come May 17th right here in Margaritaville Florida……………………….Ocoee, Wacahoota and of course Howard Florida……………….for those not in the know……………………..Howard would be the name of the  town I would be living in if Mr. Howard’s grandiose idea of founding a town that would totally flood 3 months of the year…………………that was 95 years ago and the first settlers up and moved away after the 2nd swampy season……………..end of Howard FL as an official town!

For those worrying about me and Chambray Acres…………….not to worry, years later smart assed G-Men carved up the Everglades, digging endless canals to nowhere, draining water every which way but loose and loose as well………………………..drying up the land where houses could be built and it would flood but once in 100 years………………and lo and behold, 47 years ago, I landed in what was once Howard FL……………………now just referred to as Way The Hell Out There Where Sandy Lives!

So, hopefully, just hopefully, the chase for majors just got shorter, like in not having to drive more than half a day to Mississippi, Louisiana nor Alabama for those majors there.

Of course, setting the compass to where the fruit hangs lower is also very doable because the name of the game is giving those dogs the opportunity to garner those points to add up to 15 points and 2 majors and then they reach the promise land………………………of course, there are taller-to-reach promised lands the second that they make it to ‘just’ champions because there are now prizes further up the tree and dangling just 25 points way would be a Grand Champion’s title and a tad more (75) gives the dog a Bronze and 100 after that the Silver and let’s not even mention a Gold nor a Platinum!

So, come May 20th at Deland Florida, 5 hours north of what used to be Howard FL, there will be a junction with the newer, lower, much improved 17 as a major dog show!

Let’s see how many will show up!

April 5th

It's 'UNIQUE' Business As Usual

At Chambray it’s business as usual with a very unique business!

There is nothing unique about breeding show dogs!

There are hundreds of kennels and breeders operating at the highest levels of producing conformation quality and competitive dogs that weekend in and weekend out are on the front lines for those breeders and kennels vying for those elusive Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Best Of Breed, Breed Rankings, All-Breed Rankings and as of about 9 years ago, for the AKC’s Grand Champion Point’s Rankings as well.

There is nothing unique about professional dog handlers and their operating systems.

It is what has fueled dog shows for over a century. The pros do their thing………….doing it well, make a living doing it and all is well for all. They take on conformational worthy dogs and transform them into performing machines. They then take them to shows where expectedly, those dogs will eventually accumulate the required points and majors to achieve their AKC champion’s titles. Their operating system is by far the most successful ways in 99.99% of the breed rings and throughout the country.

The above is the tried and true ways of the dog show world. Combining the two is just not the standard fare; in fact there is a die-hard resistance to any and all that dares to be different and merge the two in any type of successful venture! That’s the way it has been, the way it is and the way it will be.

Well, there has been a minuscule hiccup along the long and winding yellow brick road of how it is supposed to be, at least in the Labrador ring and in specific in the area of the southern states connected to Florida.

That slight bump in the road took its baby steps 27 years ago when Chambray Labradors dared to buck the traditional ways and means and implemented a program where the breeder would offer training, conditioning and handling to those dogs produced that were placed with new owners.

Thus began what today has become a very successful “Alt Left” venture………………however, it is the only one of its kind with Labrador Retrievers…………..so the word ‘unique’ comes to mind.

Because of the unique nature of the system of placing all the top show prospects with new owners………………..in essence taking a chance with the top produce of the kennel………………….hundreds of people have been introduced to the show world with top-notch specimens, giving those new owners the opportunity to be successful with their very first show dog.

Under the traditional ways of breeders and kennels……………………………receiving a 1st pick show puppy from one of the top show breeder is a pure fictional ‘field of dreams’ proposition!

Assuredly, like in, ‘don’t hold your breath because it ain’t going to happen!’

That traditional way is known as ‘Keep The Best And Sell The Rest’………………..tried and true for almost two centuries the way it was been, is still and will be for as long as people breed and have to place dogs.

However with our operating system, where we breed for the best and then place those best with ‘chosen’ new owners, it is a reality that has happened to hundreds and the proof is in the number of champions produced in Florida now sitting pretty at 56 home bred champions using that unique process.

So, an interesting by-product emerges with the preceding that most kennel/breeders never have to deal with their method of keeping the best and selling off the rest…………….they sell their puppies and it becomes “Hasta la vista baby!” for all those owners that are expected to fend for themselves in all areas of dog ownership, dog training, dog showing, dog breeding and so on.

There’s no need for those breeders and kennels to contend with differing personality types, or with other ‘human nature’ agendas that creep in where masses congregate, no need in enlightening and illuminating the way for the neophyte, the uninitiated, the wayward…………………nope, none of that.

Not so with our unique business of breeding/mentoring that Chambray operates on!

Yep, all the foibles of human nature, the faux pas of errant decision making, the stumbles and falls of those that just got started walking…………………….that and much, much more comes with the territory of working with a large group of individuals and trying to get them to work in a beneficial collective.

There are statistics that cover the dynamics of groups, no matter what the group; there are percentages of predictable outcomes.

So too are there predictable percentages that have developed over the last three decades of the Chambray experience! Those numbers tend to repeat themselves with super regular frequency.

Each year there are about 12 to 15 puppies and young dogs that more than likely are the cream of the crop. I know exactly which ones those will be through our arduous puppy evaluation process.

These top puppies are placed with folk that have gone through an expository Interview Process which of course is not fool proof, since there is a myriad of personality quirks that even the most purifying sieve cannot filter out.

So, there is ‘lots of luck’ in choosing the right cooperative environment for each puppy.

Many of the new owners take advantage of all the amenities, support system and mentorship and then along the way……………………..the expectant percentage of divergences begins to emerge.

So, out of those that do come on board and form the newest ‘wave’ of Chambray owners for the Betterment of the Breed and follow on to the dog shows………………….(every 6 months a new small group of around 6 to 8 owners debuting themselves and their new Chambray puppy)…………………..there is an expected percentage, that for whatever reasons which are way too numerous to mention and detail…………….. There will be those that will not end up enduring in the Chambray Owner’s Programs For The Betterment Of The Breed.

A few will drop out totally, others continue on independently. Our attitude for those is that we did our best for the betterment of the breed by having placed an exemplary breed type with them, hopefully giving each of those the right kick-start to do the right thing with the breed as they move on.

We actually take pride in seeing our line of dogs be successful for those folk that move on as independents even if those dogs will be competing for the same Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best Of Breeds as the dogs that we will be directly managing and handling………………..that’s because their successes bodes just a much for our programs as do the ones that are very much a part of Chambray’s unique endeavor, Show Dog Management Program.

Those that make it to their AKC champion’s title, regardless of being inclusive within  the beneficial Owner’s Program or those that exit and become independents…………all add great advertising and promotional value to our breeding program and to our AKC Champion’s tally!

We totally understand human nature and the dynamics of working within groups because it is so predictable when the numbers just keep repeating themselves time and time again………………same old, same old!

There is always the great 90% success story working with our programs and there is always the 10% that form the expected group outside the program.

For us, it’s always business as usual and keeping the momentum going in the right direction is the prime objective………………..because it is all for the Betterment of the Breed, which all adds up for the Betterment of Chambray Labradors as well!

April 4th

What's New Pussycat?

What’s Coming Up Next?

All systems have been ‘go’ for the AKC shows since January of this year for Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed. The proof is in the eating of the pudding and the show results speaks volumes where we need not say much.

We did manage to squeeze in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen 4-Week Training Course and then the AKC’s CGC Test………………which 11 of the 14 participants passed and will be receiving their CGC Titles from the AKC in the next week or so…………………..congratulations to those owners.

By the way, besides those Chambray Labs, we also had various breeds of dog participate with us, including 2 German Shepards, Cane Corso, Springer Spaniel, Rottweiler, and even a Russian Toy Terrier as part of the attending class.

Now we await this weekend’s AKC shows in Elkton Fl and the following weekend’s shows in Perry GA.

Then we will have the AKC Deland FL shows on May 20th and 21st……………………..however, we won’t be resting on laurels* around here because it will be full steam ahead and never mind the heat and humidity holding us back from our appointed activities with our dogs. Of course, there’s certainly nothing wrong with sitting on any part of the Sweet Bay tree*, as the success we have had for years on end comes as sweet as there is.

We are enjoying the longest consecutive winning streak ever for any Labrador Retriever breeder/handling team in the country……………ever, ever……………………..154 straight dog show winning weekends!!!!!!!!!!!! Starting on January 2012!!!! Keep in mind that most breeders celebrate if they win 2 or 3 weekends in a row!

Also, the most Labrador Retriever champions produced by any Labrador breeder in the country in the last 6 years…………………32 of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Four of those years, Chambray was the #1 Labrador Breeder for the year too.

We are savoring being the #1 Labrador breeder in the country from the AKC Lifetime Top 100 Grand Champions………………….with 7 Grand Champions placing in the Top 100. There is a 4 way ties for 2nd place with 4 Grand Champions.

We are also at the Top of the marquee with the most Bronze Grand Champions Labrador Retrievers with 7 of those as well.

However, in our fast paced dog show world, where yesterday’s wins and accomplishments are easily forgotten and what counts to the ringside observer is ‘who is going to win today’, we are constantly several steps ahead of whatever action is occurring at the present time.

Right now we are in the midst of planning WC and Hunt Test Training sessions with several top field trainers and have compiled a list of owners that will come on board as soon as the logistics are laid out and when, where and whom will be taking part in this next step with dogs that are multi-faceted.

We have seen that the Chambray lines used with the hunt test and field trial lines are a huge success for a large group of sportsmen that excel at the HR and AKC Master’s level. Nothing like success to bring the spotlight on our programs!

The recent CGC Training and Testing Course was limited to the first 14 that signed up, however that left 10 others that would wait  for the next class…………since then, 4 more have signed on and we will be setting the Wednesday night date that we will get the new 4-Week Course up and running. Those in the waiting list will be notified via email for the starting date.

The next Puppy Extravaganza & Play Date will be set for late May in order to get those puppies ready for the 4 days of AKC shows in Tampa and the 3 days of shows in Orlando coming up in June and then the 4 days of shows in WPB in July. We are planning a real big entry for the Deland, Tampa, Orlando and then a blowout entry for the WPB shows with all the new puppies/dogs and owners that have joined us in the last year.

The Chambray group of owners that are in our Therapy & Service Training Programs, some have now joined the next level for them to advance for their AKC’s THD through work with the Alliance Of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs Inc.),  through Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) and through participation with the Therapy Dogs International (TDI) organizations.

Once each of the dozen-plus Chambray owners accomplish this next level, they will each come back to our advance obedience and training programs for further preparation for those that have a need for a full functioning Service Dogs of which Chambray is very proud to have been part of over 20 Full Service Functioning Dogs in the last 20 years.

So, although the weather gets a little soggy for the next 5 months, our programs for the ‘WHOLE’ Betterment of the Breed, never takes a break………………….that’s 27 years of Chambray Owner’s Programs working with those that want the absolute best for their dogs with nationwide proven results in every endeavor with Labrador Retrievers…………………….there’s nothing like verifiable, etched in stone results………………..we have those front and center, as previously mentioned, no need for chatter when verifiable proof is what matters!

April 3rd

A'Hunting We Will Go!

"Putting all the ands or buts behind us!"................. Come the Elkton dog shows, which are set in a very rural and backwoods setting this weekend coming up……………in fact home to the oldest continuous settlement in America, even before the failed settlement at Roanoke   ………….we are locked and loaded up for a ‘bear hunt’ for Championship titles, Grand Champion’s title and the super elusive Bronze Grand Championships!

Yep, loading up the van will sure feel like Davie Crocket and Daniel Boone filling up those Conestoga  covered wagons and heading west in the quest for bear, buffalo and raccoons for them to keep making them furry hats those crusty fellas wore back in them there backwoodsy days!

The Chambray posse will be looking out keenly for several huge trophy mounts……………….including a national & state record 9th Bronze Grand Championship with our current top champion, Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard on a huge roll with 6 Best Of Breeds so far for the year and his recent back-to-back BOB’s and 2 Group 2s at the Miami shows this past weekend……….he now just needs one little old single Grand Champion point to give our program the most Bronze Grand Champions in the country.

Ch Chambrays Shining Diamond Dazzle also just needs one more Grand Champion point to become our 20th Grand Champion, which also puts Chambray as the wagon train leader for Grand Champions as well in the country.

Chambrays Magnum N Counter (11 pts and 2 majors), would need to win both Winners Dog awards to become Chambray’s 57 home-brewed champion, adding to the already high totem pole mark for the state record…………..so all three, Tank’d, Dazzle and Magnum have a great possibility of hitching up on the Wall Of Honor one those super trophies that will be proudly displaced at the Chambray Museum.

There are several other Chambray-bred dogs that will be heading north by northwest to out-of-state shows this coming weekend and the weekend following, in California, to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ with Chambrays Southern Magnolia just needing 3 single points and Chambray A’Hankerin For Trouble needing a 5-pt major and one of them will could very well scamper up the greased pole and bring home the good old country fried bacon adding to Chambray’s newest home-bred champion’s tally.

So, I'm telling my owners that own these soon to be Champions, Grand Champions and Bronze Gr Champions to bring out the moonshine, white lightning, the hooch, the mountain dew………………for me good old fashion lemonade so we can have a good old time celebrating like a duck on a June bug!

April 3rd

Keep The 'Good' Talk Of The Town Going!

One of the most talked about items providing something to laugh about and ire at the same time at the Miami shows from the big Chambray crowd seated around ringside, besides what great dogs each of them has…………was why we don’t respond on Facebook and at other social media about folk’s rantings and ravings and other malarkey?

Several reasons..............the biggest one is that whatever is posted on any site, be it social media or a private website or even written on personal emails is that it is there for eternity………….even if it is taken down minutes later and of course once the ‘send’ button is pressed on email, it is hasta la vista baby.

All that disclosed information will be copied, print-screened saved, collated, 'signed, sealed and delivered' to files for future use…………..all of it at the press of a command and ready to be shared, or presented to whomever it concerns, be it a ruling party, club, arbitrator or judicial official.

All emails ever sent to our email addresses are all saved and filed away to that person’s email address files. That is why I have a ‘No Phone Use Protocol’, nothing is ever said or told over phones, everything is in hard copy form……………….all communications are saved to avoid the old ‘he said she said’. All the advise I give to those that take part in our Owner's Programs, all the counsel, nutrition, health, training, conditioning, showing, breeding any and all Labrador-related communications............all forms of 'mentorship' are saved for posterity and other uses.

My advice to everyone is to let anyone say and claim anything and not to abet or empower anyone with a response of any kind. It then becomes that person’s burden to provide validation or suffer the consequences AKC-wise or legalese-wise if it comes to that point.

I always tell those that will listen, “No one knows how ‘smart’ a person is until that person expresses themselves………………then it becomes an open book for all to make a decision all by themselves without anyone saying so…………..in other words, let those in the digging mood, dig a deeper hole!"

Ask a certain breeder/judge that went ballistic on social media about some of the above only to have the AKC come back and reprimand with action to suspend if the other party went ahead with reclamation! Fortunately for all involved, the nonsense stopped.

So enjoy the goodness, the dogs, the good times we are having because nothing good comes from any form of negativity!

April 3rd

Awesome Chambray Family Weekend

Well, April came and blessed us with another great dog show outing!

The Miami Dog Shows gave Team Chambray an opportunity to play before the home crowd and what a great turnout we had from Chambray owners!

I venture to say that more than half of the people at the venue were in one way or another connected to Chambray Labradors and our far-reaching commitment to the dog-oriented community.

We had owners that dated back to 1990’s with some of those on their 3rd or 4th Chambray dog and there were two different families in attendance that were now in their 3 generation of family as Chambray owners. One such family that came and visited us had 4 generations with them, as the great grandfather, now in his early 70’s bought the first Chambray dog back in 1989.

His son, now in his 50’s, bought a Chambray dog as a young man, just as did the grandson who is in his 20’s and he now has a toddler daughter of his own.

It was especially thrilling to have the whole Labrador ring surrounded by our owners providing such a family-like atmosphere with comradery the main ingredient................from inside the ring I could see and feel the ambience created by those in attendance.

Since we had so many of our newest owners with their puppies and young dogs there, some for their very first shows, the welcome they received from our ‘oldsters’ was awesome………………..for me watching the new and the old meet and have a great common ground venue…………………..priceless!

Thank you to all that came out and spread so much Chambray cheer!

Special thanks to those that braved the rather hot and muggy rest of the day and stayed for the groups in the afternoon.

What a show that was for Chambray and for Jessie!

For Chambray it was back-to-back Best Of Breeds, Saturday and Sunday with Chambray’s Top Dog For 2017, Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard, now with 6 Best Of Breeds for the year………………PLUS, he kicked it into high gear with winning a Group 2 on Saturday and a Group 2 on Sunday…………………picking up close to 200 All-Breed National points for the weekend.  Tank’d now just needs 1 Grand Champion point for his BRONZE Championship………………..giving Chambray 8 BRONZE Grand Champions, the most in the country!

Jessies' BOBs and Group wins

  • 2 Sporting Group 2’s with Tank’d ………TWICE………Sat and Sunday

  • Working Group 3 with her Cane Corso………..(she won both BOBs, Sat and Sun)

  • Herding Group 4 with her German Shepard…………(she won both BOBs, Sat and Sun)

  • 2 Terrier Group 4’s with her Rat Terrier,  TWICE…………Saturday and Sunday

  • BOB twice with her Clumber Spaniel, Jessica Mejia covered Jessie in the Sporting Groups

  • BOB twice with Australian Shepard with Jackie Echiveri covering in the Herding Groups

Major congratulations to our newest Chambray owners for their dedication in training and following through with their new Chambray puppies.