March
March holds no malice
Promises of bliss to come
With cool sunny days

 March 2017 

 Here come April Showers 

 April 

  Spring is fully here  

  April showers on the way  

  Refreshing and warm  

For those that keep asking……………………..the salutations at the home page for each new month and then also found at the top of 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.

I have written well over 500 since my senior year in college.

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

March 31st

April Fools Eve

There has been so much interest in our training, conditioning and show management programs in the last couple of weeks, that I have decided to do a ‘run down’ of how we decide which dogs to take on for development.

Our live broadcasting of our night training classes to those that have signed up for those has created much interest in our techniques and training methods……………………….chatter on Facebook and other media also creates a tremendous amount of interest which leads folk to visit our website………………..but truth be told, there’s nothing like success to bring about those seeking to benefit with their association.

There are so many dogs already in the developmental program that at the present time, we are not taking on any new clientele for show development. However, if a phenom dog shows up, for sure it won’t be turned away!

If we were to consider a dog to be included into our grand scheme for inclusion………………first and foremost, we consider the dog’s potential to contribute to the Betterment Of the Breed………………so money is not a prime motivator for acceptance or inclusion.

Since each dog comes loaded with their owner, not only do we evaluate the dog, we also take into account the owner’s perspective and means to come up with the appropriate game plan for that individual dog.

Not all dogs are created equal, in fact no two dogs are alike and that means that totally unique regimens are laid out according to the need for each dog and its owner.

Since our own breeding program supplies well over 80% of the dogs that we incorporate into our Show Management Program, almost all the Labradors are part of our own program for the Betterment of the Breed.

Keeping in mind that at the current time, there are well over 60 owners that comprise the prime directive group of owners that participate in most of our programs, however our mentorship environment is always open for those needing guidance with any aspect of the breed.

 

March 30th

With March Madness Almost Over
We Welcome April Showers

Now that March is in its next to last throes and April is scuffing at the gate to rush out and make its mark………….we take a breather and look back at a fast and furious March Madness 29 days passed by.

Wow and by golly won’t quite live up to the super fast-paced work done by the Chambray owners/dogs all over the map………………..geographical and event-wise!

Just last night at Chambray Acres, we wrapped up yet another successful AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Training and Testing………..with 4 weeks of training at the Wednesday Night Training Classes and then the climax of the CGC Test on the 5th night.

Since the AKC’s CGC Program started about two decades ago with Chambray Labradors being the first Labrador breeder in the state to qualify for the CGC Evaluator's Certificate and the very first to design training classes specifically for the CGC Test……………………..we have now trained well over 1300 owners and dogs with over 1200 passing the test and having the AKC bestow the CGC Title upon those passing dogs.

This newest class of dogs and owners saw 14 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young dogs come together for the first night of training with most making it to every night of 1½ hours to 2 hours of training and then 13 taking the test and 11 passing and earning their first-ever AKC title, the CGC that is now added to the end of their official AKC name.

 

So chalk up 11 brand new Canine Good Citizen dogs trained and guided through one of the most popular AKC programs in the country…………….congratulations to those owners and dogs. So March claims 11 new CGC recipients!

Congratulations to Tammy Cook in Alabama for taking training to the highest tiers and then performing under the most arduous of conditions with the utmost stringent testing requirements and achieving the HRCH title for her dog Alder. Add an HRCH for March as well.

At AKC dog shows from California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi to Florida…..Chambray dogs notched up a whopping 15 Best Of Breeds with 5 Sporting Group Placements (30%), which is 3 times the ratio for BOBs to Group placements (normally it runs around 10%) for the year with 7 of those BOB’s alone in March!

The AKC’s Grand Champion’s Rankings was also fortuitous for Chambray through March with those 7 BOB’s, 3 BOS and 10 Select Dogs/Select Bitch awards, giving Chambray dogs added points for their Top 20 Ranking in the country.

March also saw Major Pointed Winners Dog awards go to 2 of our males, with a total of 6 Winners Dog Awards and 3 Winners Bitch Awards as well, so a great month for Chambray dogs to add to their championship quest.

The AKC’s Beginner Puppy 4-6 Month event, BPUP saw the debut of one of the 2017 Fall litters and one puppy came away with both Top Labrador Puppy from 2 different competitions held in March.

March Madness comes to an end tomorrow and the Chambray dogs; all over the country once again more than resounding prove why we are the top Labrador Retriever breeder in the USA in multiple areas of Labrador Retriever involvement. There’s no other Labrador breeder that can boast the results that our dogs post on a monthly basis…………………in fact, our dogs succeed in one month more than other top breeders do in a whole year of competition. There’s nothing like verifiable results to validate the endeavor……………………….March is almost past and it contributed greatly to our current 153 consecutive weekend winning streak that started back in January of 2012.

Congratulations to all the Chambray owners and affiliates for all their hard work and participation.

Now, we wait to get going this weekend at the Miami Dog Shows.

March 29th

Contrasting Points Of View

Since I posted a point of view from a ringside observer, there have been numerous folk, mostly Chambray owners and supporters that have called for an “in your face” opposing point of view post………………..however we will dispense with smiting the infidels and insurgents and just post and update the facts.

It was poetic justice to have Chambray Southern Magnolia Beau take that Winners Dog for a 4-Point Major from the 9 to 12 Puppy Class against a stellar lineup of dogs from top kennels and breeders at the Raleigh NC dog shows.

The poetry is directed at the person that chimed in reporting that the Chambray dogs were not faring well up in NC against ‘real’ competition…………………….and then the very next day after the criticism one of our puppies dunks a 4-Point major Winners Dog win!

 

Hopefully, those up in arms with the slight intended can now relax and enjoy the unbelievable month the Chambray dogs posted all over the country from show ring to field and stream.

Folk have a way of getting all riled up when their toes are stepped on which is natural when the stepping is done for spite, however it is always sweetest when what goes around comes around with a natural order of vindication without there being any hostility.

Now that the tribe is at peace and getting even with the transgressors has subsided, let's move on and get to the tasks at hand!

Blogs Ways & Means & Statistics

The Blogging Off section is our unique (only) vocal voice existence on the Internet as it has  become our expressive form for the masses to fully understand our mission and motives for our involvement with Labrador Retrievers.............that of course being the Betterment of the Breed.

Daily, I receive dozens and dozens of emails, texts, posts to our Facebook and to  other forms of social media. From those communications, I choose which subjects and topics to reply/write about.

More than 50% of what comes in, is from our own Chambray owners. As a form of mentorship to those that participate and subscribe to our ways and means, I use their questions and comments about 80% of the time in choosing what to blog about. 

 

I do receive quite a bit of correspondence from many that are not aligned with our programs. Some of the input is on anonymous terms, while others have no qualms about speaking their minds and owning up to it.

Living in the land of the free and home of the brave, I totally respect all views..................I might not agree with them, but I respect anyone speaking up and owning it.

Never will any type of official Chambray Labradors Inc. or Professional Canine Service Inc. business or policies be discussed/argued on any social media outlet. There will never be any type of response to any subject matter being circulated on any chat room or forum, nor will there be any direct reply to anyone emailing in wanting more information about what anyone is posting anywhere. We deal in the most professional way with individuals..................individually and using email where a written hard copy of our communications are kept for future references. None of that 'he said that she said that she heard from the milkman's lover'. The preceding in response to the various inquiries of late.

As with all businesses that deal with large groups of people, differing perceptions may lead to differences of opinions which at times leads to different goal paths. After 30 years of operating our most beneficial Owner's Programs for the Betterment of the Breed, we routinely encounter those different views and wholeheartedly welcome those differences including the divergent paths that at times are better served for those. 

Although we aim for total satisfaction for those with our products (our dogs) and those that partake of our unique and successful services which stands at around 90%, we totally understand that working with that huge number of satisfied participants is a tremendous successful percentage in any industry, so we strive to keep that number working as smoothly as can humanly be possible and we also hope that the outstanding 10% continue on with the Betterment of the Breed as their mission in breeding Labradors.

 

As always, keep the input coming because that is 100% how I get the inspiration to sit and eke out the keys to pen any of these time-consuming blogs. 

Okay now, enough of the ways and means and statistics and back to work getting dogs in shape for this weekend's shows.

 

March 29th

Celebration Immediately Followed By Preparation 

 

All the hoopla of this past weekend is sort of behind us, of course we relish the accomplishments of our dogs all over the country……………….but in this dog show business, this dog eat dog way of life, it’s always ‘what will you do for me today’ and what was done yesterday is old news!

All those whose Chambray dogs won big this past weekend are already thinking about the show coming up next and how will their dog will do there! So, the euphoria of yesterday turns into expectation of tomorrow and we must get going because  there is little time to really hang around on cloud nine for too long and those that do will assuredly miss the next train!

Now, we totally gear up for this weekend’s shows in Miami………………….with Chambray’s Dog Show Management Program, it’s not about which dogs are going to win…………………right now it’s about getting those participating dogs prepared to perform their best! It is also planning the logistics of showing as many dogs as will be Team Chambray’s Handling assignments………………..not only at the Labrador ring, there are 8 other breeds to cover and more than likely, several of those breeds will be at the exact same time as Labradors are in………………………..so, conflicts are already being worked on as we pour over the ring times for every breed and every dog under our management.

Of course this means that we have to bring on all of our handlers, all of our assistants, procure other pro handlers to be ready as backups for our special’s dogs…………..lots and lots of planning for all the eventualities to go as smooth as possible and avoid the booboos that flare up when things get hectic especially when we end up with winners from most of the classes at the Labrador ring and also winners from all of the other breeds we cover.

We celebrate the victories and then we prepare for the future…………………..weekend in and weekend out as this past weekend Team Chambray notched the 153rd consecutive winning dog show weekend and we now face the highly probable 154th which is just 3 days away.

March 28th

How Sweet Is That Music?

 

Wow, what a feeling having my owners and those that use our services to share their great news from 5 states across the USA!

 

How often does that happen to any breeder having dogs succeed throughout the country in one weekend?

Within a day or two of each other our produce fared extremely well, wherever they were!

From "Sweet Home Alabama" we got news that one of the offspring from Bronze Gr Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle At Jericho, bred to a daughter from BIS BBE Ch Chambray's Out Of The Ruff "Hogan" can now sport the highly respected and most honorable HRHC title in front of his name.....................congratulations to Tammy Cook of Hilltop Kennels and Alder.............now on their way to yet another state, Kentucky for their their run at an AKC Masters April 1st and then on to the HRC Spring Grand at the end of April!

From "California Here We Come" Danna Mosley lets me know that at the San Mateo CA. Dog Shows, her big boy 10-month old puppy, Chambray's X-Factor PR Charles Xavier took another Winners Dog, Best Of Winners. Charlie is a Jericho grandson and a Hogan great grandson! Charlie recently took a WD/BOW & Best Of Breed.

From "The Yellow Rose Of  Texas" come news that Virginia Wilson's (from TN) Gr Ch Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady takes Select Bitch twice for a 4pt Major and a 3pt major. Lady is a Jericho and BIS BBE SILVER Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter "Kika" daughter and Kika is a Hogan grand daughter.

From  Raleigh NC "Carolina On My Mind" Kathy Rodgers sends me word that her 11-month old puppy, Chambray's Southern Magnolia Beau takes a huge 4-Pt Winners Dog major in one of the toughest states to win for a Labrador with so many top-notch breeders in that area! Beau just snapped up a 2-Pt Winners Dog in Florida last weekend and 3 weeks ago took a 5-pt major in Mississippi................a true Ricky Nelson "Traveling Man"!

  In our own home state of " Suwanee  how I love you"  Florida, Gr Ch Chambray's Tank'd On The Boulevard owned by long-time Chambray owner Cindy Ceballos and Yessie Munoz, took his 4th Best Of Breed of the year and Chambrays Southern Palms Everlasting Yeti owned by Scott Armstrong scored a Winners Dog/Best Of Winners in Gainesville FL.

 

Nothing like sweet music to keep everything running smoother than silk. What a great month March has been, let's see what the winds of April bring.  

 

March 27th

George Was right

well-bred dogs can win anywhere

 

 

What a whirlwind of a weekend across this great country of ours for Chambray dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From sea to shining sea, Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf Of Mexico, yep, sea to shining sea and well ‘represent' our dogs did!

Best Of Breed over a Top 5 Ranked Dog for 4Pt Major Gr Ch Pts…………………WD 4-Pt Major Winners Dog with an entry of over 60 Labs…………………another dog with WD/BOW/BOS………………..another WD/BOW………………………….3 Select Grand Champions for a total of 13 Gr Ch Pts......................a new HRCH champion!

FIVE USA states, from “California Here We Come”………………………. “Yellow Rose Of Texas”…………………. “Suwanee how I love you” Florida and “Carolina on my mind”……………………….how impressive is that? Now add "Sweet Home Alabama"!

Two Grand Champion dogs from the same litter, one in Texas and one in Florida taking a Best Of Breed and 3 Selects for 14 Gr Ch Pts.

Two Puppies, one taking a Winners Dog in North Carolina for a 4-Pt Major………………after taking a 5-Pt Major in Mississippi a couple of weeks ago……………….another 9-month old puppy taking Winners Dog, Best Of Winners and Best Of Opposite Sex in California after taking a Best Of Breed a couple of weeks ago and yet another youngster taking a Winners Dog and Best Of Winners in Florida.

One of the great mentors of Labradors, George Bragaw once said to me, “Well-bred dogs can win anywhere!”……………..actually trying to get me to drive up to the Potomac to show my ‘hairless’ dogs from South Florida up there…………………how nice those words sound 25 years later.

Yes sir, George (RIP), I take great pleasure and delight that the show dogs that I have been breeding starting in the 80’s, through the 90’s, past the 2000 to 2010……………now almost ¾ of the way through the ‘teens’ in 2017 can and do show respectively well anywhere in the country.

Sir, you were most right, well-bred dogs can win anywhere!

"Sweet Home Alabama" as Hilltop Alder, a Jericho son from a Hogan daughter wins his HRCH in Alabama!

 

March 24th

It's all about the dogs

& what's Needed to get the job done

111 million people watched the greatest comeback in a title football game ever, the 2017 Super Bowl!

How does that compare to dogs, Labradors specifically and even a more a narrowed field of vision……………..showing those Labradors?

You may or may not be asking, but I being me will answer that query whether anyone asked……….which they did imply in recent emails.

“It should only be about the dogs!” has been a resounding retort anytime I mention…………training, conditioning, ring strategies and management and leading to the 'coup de grace', HANDLING/PERFORMANCE!

Well, let’s back up a moment or two and think about America’s Obsessive Pastime of FOOTBALL and in specific, that miraculous comeback by the New England Patriots!

How would have that game ended if it were not for the training, conditioning, game strategies, management and ultimately, HANDLING & PERFORMANCE?

To those that, like a broken record or a stuck recording……………….keep repeating the same old, same old…. “It should only be about the dogs”……………………like, what, stick them all in a lot and from a distance pick out the best specimen while they cavort about, running, jumping, chest thumping, pulling each other’s ears and tails and some having a great old time while the demure ones get the stuffing’s knocked out of them?

How about some of those shows where fat dogs abound and the owners stand around while the dogs lay around and there’s no telling if the dogs can actually make it once around the ring?

This is not about molding a dog form out of clay, firing it in an oven and choosing which one is smoothest, the shiniest, most colorful…………………….NOPE, not ceramics here………………this dog breeding is for type, function & temperament……………..which are the paramount features for all breeds of dogs……………then it further breaks down into the particulars that make each breed unique and like no other.

So, performance is a primal must in order to select the best examples of each breed. Besides standing around and looking ordinary, the best examples must perform to show off their superior form and type.

Those great athletes, be they football players or Olympians……………….they all must condition and train to be able to perform at their very best…………………….then those with the best strategies and coaching/management will be the ones that have the upper hand in being the most successful.

Chambray’s breeding program is all about producing the very best with the knowledge that 4+ decades of involvement with the breed can provide a person…………………………….then combining the accrued expertise in having worked with over 40,000 dogs and owners through 30 years of:

  • 2-nights and 3-nights a week of dog training classes taught

  • Thousands and thousands of dogs left here for In-Kennel Training

  • Thousands and Thousands of Private One-On-One Sessions

  • Thousands of dogs trained, conditioned and handled at dog shows since 1989.

  • Hundreds of Weekend Workshops & Training Seminars conducted  

All of that combines to produce the verifiable results, regardless of the city/state we show our dogs at, regardless of the judges, regardless of the professional dog handlers as competitors, regardless of the ‘well-known breeders and kennel names’…………….regardless of all-breed, specialties, circuits, ‘big shows’…………….that’s anywhere and anyhow.

While it is about the dogs………………….it’s also about how those dogs are conditioned, trained and presented……………………all else is just talk and we all know what talk is when not backed up with results!

I find way too many people rely on talk……………yep there’s way too much talking going on and very little stepping up to the plate and delivering.

With our programs, we lay it on the line time and time again. No sooner have our top dogs pointed out and waiting on the sidelines for the next majors to come around, our puppies and young dogs are on the front lines competing with the pros’ best dogs for those hard to win points. There’s no resting on laurels and waiting for the easy pickins…………………nope, it’s full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes as we have 100% confidence with each and every dog that we feature as each has the conformational type to be in the winner’s circle at any show they compete at. 

 

March 23rd

There is more to the pie than meets the eye

Reviewing dog show results from outside the state, I see where dogs that come to compete here in Florida, do very well in other states and yet don’t win with the frequency that they do away from the super-charged competitive Florida shows and dogs.

A really great, top-notch special’s dog…………..in fact under consideration for our breeding program…………wins at a 60 to 70% of the shows that he travels to with his pro handler when competing in areas where our dogs are not present…………..meanwhile the same dog has a 25% win percentage against the Chambray dogs in head-to-head competition for the year! That’s 75% for our dogs and 25% for that dog in the BOB competition where we coincide at the same shows.

The above in response to an email suggesting that our dogs win so overwhelmingly because “the competition is just not there!”………………well, that same dog mentioned above that sometimes meets up against our dogs dominates the areas that it travels to…………areas attended by plenty of upper level competitive dogs. Right now in the NC area, he has justly taken back-to-back BOBs against formidable competition………………….yet a month ago against our lineup of dogs, it was  1 for 4 (25%) and one of those 3 Chambray BOB’s one was a Chambray class dog!

It was further pointed out by the same observer/commentator that some Chambray dogs competing at those out of state shows were not faring well…………………..what has to be addressed to that observation is that Chambray’s high winning percentages are based on Chambray’s Handling & Management Program with the winningest Labrador handling team in the country doing the handling and not by the owner/handlers or other handlers on the Chambray dogs. There are other statistics that cover owner/handler dogs or other handlers on those dogs, so in reality, those winning percentages are neither in the same ballpark nor league.

There is a ‘whole’ picture that needs to be looked at and it goes way beyond the dog itself! The exact same dog with a bona fide handler looks and acts entirely different than it does with hobbyist amateurs at the helm. The total performance package can be as different as night is to day and the results between who is on the dog will also take a polar opposite, 180 degree difference.

Of course the ‘behind’ the scenes preparations………………..which I have covered in too numerous to remember articles and blogs…………….the training and conditioning is what makes or breaks a dog even before it walks into the ring……………then it is the individualized and custom-fitted handling strategies for each individual dog, implemented by certain levels of expertise is what makes the cream rise to the top……….that being the higher percentage of winning when all other things are considered equal.

In Florida and to the out of state shows we have traveled to lately, the level of competition is at an all-time high. Years back, less than 20% of the total entry of class dogs was upper tier dogs, which of course meant that the winning exhibits would come from that small segment of the dogs competing.

Now, more than 50% of the Labradors entered at any show I have been to in the last year, can come up with the wins! What a huge rise in quality! From 20% just a scant few years ago to over half the class entry have the potential to win the points.

PLUS………………….the percentage of ‘pet’ dogs used to be around 25%..............pet dogs being those dogs that just don’t have what it takes to even be bred…………………..now, there are less than 10% of those conformationally undesirable dogs entered!

So, the high end of the spectrum, the top quality dogs, has more than doubled and the low end has been reduced by the same, doubly less the undesirables!

That means that the quality overall has risen by leaps and bounds, making winning those coveted Winners Dog and Winners Bitch points all that much more difficult to accomplish.

This past weekend at the Davie shows…………………….there were 5 Chambray champion dogs in for Best Of Breed competition……………………any of those dogs would have been in the Top 5 in the country just 10 years ago!!!!!!!!!!! Any of them are now twice the caliber that our own champions were back in 2007.

This was the conversation I had with Hogan’s owner at ringside at these Davie shows. She offered that observation of Florida’s first-ever Best In Show winning Labrador………………Florida’s top champion producing sire, ever…………………….ranked in the USA Top 20, two years in a row………………………more Eukanuba Invitations (7) than any other dog ever and forever (Eukanuba used to be by invitation only and for about the last 5 years has been open to any dog, so the ‘EVER & FOREVER’ will be a claim that only BIS BBE CH Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan” can ever make!

All the preceding and now there are 5 dogs that were present on a lineup at a dog show that surpass the conformational qualities that were the highest just 10 years ago……………………………PLUS, there are another 4 or 5 Chambray champion dogs that were at home with their owners that could have very well stood shoulder to shoulder with those 5 dogs in the spotlight at the Davie shows……………….and possibly taken some of those 4 BOBs that were awarded to 2 of our champions for the weekend.

So, for those ringside observers and commentators, there’s more to the pie than meets the eye and the only way to get a good taste of the ‘fixins’ is to come sample the ‘cookin’ we have down this way.

 

 

March 22nd

There Is no hope for some!

Although I am involved with 100's (1000's over the years) for the Betterment of the Breed and know without a doubt that my time and energies are well served and rewarded by the great positives that arise from my contributions.......................there are those cases/folk that do crop up from time to time, as part of human nature's weapons of mass confusion/delusions that will just be ass-backwards no matter how much educating, enlightening, leading, showing, nurturing I do or anyone else for that matter does.

With all the great good evolving and revolving around all that is Chambray................there is always the maelstrom lurking about causing disturbances and distractions.................such is the world we live in. 

 

This past weekend at the Davie shows, with 4 shows in 3 days, it was a bit hectic to say the least, so I am sure that some folk fell through the cracks and others got lost in the shuffle.

One particular case had a couple at Saturday’s 2 shows that approached many of the owners with females that were there. It seems they owned a yellow male that they were procuring stud service for.

By the time they were directed to me, they already had a bad taste about ‘show people’. According to the man, “Show people seem to be a little snooty!”

Of course, this couple not knowing the ins and outs and procedures at this endeavor usually causes such a ‘turned off’ disposition. Especially when what they were offering was not what the doctor ordered at a dog show!

Giving them the time of day that I really didn’t have………………………..thinking that maybe there was hope that they could be enlightened enough to see the difference in what the breed should look like and then go compare to what they had………………I had them watch the Labradors in the ring for show #1.

Once we finished showing Labradors and one of our dogs was awarded Best Of Breed, I took a moment to show them what a top of the line, champion specimen of the breed looks like, so I displayed Ch Chambrays Shining Diamond Dazzle to them.

Immediately the woman said that her male looked exactly like Dazzle, except that their dog had a bigger head and was a bigger dog. The man followed up with “Zorgon can beat all these Labradors, easy and he could jump over these cattle fencing without a running start!”,(Zorgon, their dog) the man pointing to the rodeo arena 6-foot barricade gates.

Walking outside with them towards the parking lot, yep, sure as tootin, from a distance of 200 feet out in the middle of the parking lot, I could easily see why their dog was not allowed inside the rodeo grounds besides the fact that un-entered dogs are not allowed at any AKC dog show………………………..the dog was going ballistic barking at every person or dog within 50 feet of where their truck was parked under a tree…………the dog at the end of a 10 foot rope being held by the man’s brother.

Nope……………….not at all did he look like Dazzle, other than he had 4 legs, a head and a tail and was yellow…….in fact, he looked nothing like any other Labrador that was competing at the dog show………………..long, tall lanky……………….all legs and yes a huge long-muzzled pointed head, with a tail the shape of a sickle, curled prominently over the back………………………red-nosed (disqualification by the breed standard) and green eyes…………………………totally out of the parameters of the breed standard……………probably too tall (another DQ).

I actually stopped just outside the gate of the arena, way before I got close to the dog, because there was no sense in even proceeding with the couple because as we walked out that way, they made the statement that they really didn’t see any Labradors there at the dog show that they liked!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????????????

Right there in front of them were some of the top Labradors in the country and they didn’t like any of them???????????????????

The man even pointed out that the one I was handling at the very end had a puny head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dog that won Best Of Breed at the Royal Canin week of shows over 120+ Labradors from all over the USA………..not just any 120+ Labradors, those were the top Labradors in the country!!!!!!!!!!

At that precise moment, upon stopping and letting them know that there was just no sense in going any further with them, the woman offered up that they would just buy their own female and that they would breed their dogs that were REAL LABRADORS!

 

March 21st

The Race HEats Up For The Next Title!

With the most recent dog shows here in South Florida, first the WPB shows and most recently the 4 shows at the Davie rodeo arena, we now add several more dogs to that precipice where one more successful step forward from any of them…………………… they each leap up to becoming a Champion, or a Grand Champion or a Bronze Grand Champion!

Yes sir, celebration time is just a lunge across an imaginary turnstile, which affords any of the dogs the right and honor to sport a status surname in front of their AKC given registered name.

Within range of Chambray’s 8th Bronze Grand Championship is BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard. We already own the national & state record with 7 Bronze Grand Champions crowned in the 8 years that the AKC instituted the Grand Championship titles. Tank’d needs 2 more BOB’s and he adds to our existing front runner status at the Bronze Grand Champions marquee. Gr Ch Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness is now 21 points behind Tank’d for the Bronze Grand Champion’s title and could very well close that distance and rise to his Bronze title within the next month of showing.

Ch Chambrays Shining Diamond Dazzle needs 1 more grand champion point and he becomes Chambray’s 20th Grand Champion, also the nations and the state’s record Grand Champions for a breeder.

The contenders for an AKC Champion’s title create a bottle-neck&neck horse race. All of the following have the ability and potential to become the next Chambray champion, the 57th home-bred dog………..leading the state by leaps and bound............with 2nd place, literally light years away.

Chambrays Triple Play “Sonic” 16 pts 1 major
Chambrays Galactic N Counter “Gayla” 19 pts 1 major
Chambrays Black Diamond Out The Ruff “Bandit”  16 pts
Chambrays Magnum N Counter 10 pts 2 majors
Chambrays A’Hankerin For Trouble 10 pts 1 major
Chambrays Ole Miss Zeta Lady 9 pts 2 majors
Chambrays Southern Magnolia 8 pts 1 major

With Magnum just needing 5 singles and heading out to 4 shows in the next 2 weeks, he rises to the odds on favorite to cross the finish line first. Hank and Beau both head out of state where majors are easy to come by, so both of them could conceivably stretch out and lurch ahead of each other and Magnum to become the 57th Chambray champion. The 3 front runners, Sonic, Gayla and Bandit now have to wait for there to be possible major-pointed shows for them to have the opportunity to outpace the competition and garner those wins to reach the requirements for the title.

So much going on and we are just finishing up the 3rd month of the 2017 year and this coming weekend we introduce the latest addition to the betterment of the breed with some of the 2016 puppies from the summer and fall litters…………..can’t wait until the Miami shows in 2 weeks to see a whole bunch of 6 to 9 month old puppies debuting for Chambray.

 

March 19th

Just When You Think
"It Can't Get Any Better than this"

IT DOES get better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The great AKC experiment came and went at the Davie shows this past weekend and the verdict from Camp Chambray is……………………………drum roll maestro……………………………….actually we will let Tony The Tiger do the pronouncement………………………….Greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, 2 AKC shows in 1 day will work well for Chambray! That’s exactly what we shared with both the Ft Lauderdale Dog Club and the South Dade Kennel Club that were the hosts of this past weekend’s 4 shows in 3 days. Their officers came and asked and we said ‘A-Okay” for future shows that these clubs will hold right here in Davie.

We had several suggestions that could be implemented that would aid our organization since we bring the most dogs to show here in Florida and both clubs were more than receptive to our whims!

 

So, as Arnold once said, “We will be back!”

Yes sir, the powers that be at Chambray were extremely happy this past week with the way it all went down! Of course winning has a way of making things look peachy keen and rosy to boot! Then you add ‘dominating wins’ and the elation goes through the roof!

Taking all 4 Best Of Breeds really seals the deal for happiness!

Looking around the breed ring and seeing the extreme caliber of Chambray champions lined up, 5 world class champions……………………..then  having 3 of the judges offer that exact sentiment to me……….totally unsolicited…………………..well, strap on the boots, slip into the high heels and let’s go boogie downtown and party like there is no tomorrow.

Through the years, our champions have dominated the Best Of Breed wins from Florida. We have had very strong lineups of great champions…………………but never before have there been this many at the extreme high levels…………..in fact, one judge going so far as sharing that any of our 3 top champions would be top dogs in every region that they had judged at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Talk about a proudful moment for me, me the impresario…………..the breeder to hear that, yep proud and bursting at the seams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s a lollapalooza, wowzer and yipekaye moment all rolled up into one!

Besides the breeding acumen, which is paramount to be able to ascend to where these dogs are today………………………..getting the job done……………the final frontier…………….their performance is what puts them over the top to go in and be able to dominate and be recognized and then bestowed that designation of being the very best of the breed they represent!

That winning is what those watching in the bleachers and around ringside see is but the small tip of the proverbial iceberg!

Yep, that is the tip top pinnacle that is obvious to all watching at a dog show…………………….one dog leaving all the others behind and taking the coveted prize from each breed ring…………………….BEST OF BREED!

Best Of Breed……………….BOB………..or just “BREED”……..no matter how you slice it, dice it, say it or sling it………………………it means the same…………………………..BEST LABRADOR FOR THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, seeing one dog gallop away with 3 of those ‘to kill for awards’…………….trust me, there are some folk whose entire essence revolves around the anointment of a BOB for their POOCH!

Don’t believe me………………..watch how some folk react when their dog doesn’t win that “BREED” designation!

Those 4 BEST OF BREEDS were won by the existing 9th generation of Chambray-lined dogs with the addition of AKC BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan”, plus the addition of Bronze Gr Ch Summithills Joshua’s Battle At Jericho……………….both those dogs today, share being Florida’s top champion producers ever…………………..each boasting 8 champion offspring.................both of the Best Of Breed winners were Jericho sons and great grandsons of Hogan!

To be there and savor the thrill of victory…………………to see the final product of all these years mastering the whole kit and caboodle and then be validated by the awards plus the verbal acknowledgements, well, shivers me timbers and let’s rock and roll because it doesn’t get any better than this!

But wait a ‘darn picken moment’……………….I just got an email from one of the top field trial people in the whole country, Tammy Cook of Hilltop Kennels……………………………………….she informs me that a Jericho son, Alder from a Hogan daughter just won his HRCH this past weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next week, he runs at an AKC Master Hunter trial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alder’s littermate, Trout has his HR plus his JH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How is that for our dogs being at the top of the conformation dog show world and true blue to their true calling of field, hunt trial working dogs???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the 9 generations of Chambray dogs……………the addition of AKC BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff ‘Hogan’ to those lines and the aggregation of Bronze Gr Summithills Joshua’s Battle At Jericho to make these the winningest dogs in the country today in both field and show!

WOW, I have goose bumps with all this news!

 

March 19th

Practice Makes Almost Perfect

 

 

Invariably and by and large the question most asked at dog shows by owners of dogs being shown is “Why didn’t my dog win?”

From a mathematician’s point of view……………………………it is most logical for an exhibitor to ask that question because those on the losing end of the plank far outnumber those who can brag that they were winners. Since winners don’t care much about who lost, they don’t ask at all.

For instance, this weekend at the WPB shows there were 5 Chambray champions competing for the coveted Best Of Breed award. Each dog’s owner was there anticipating the high that comes when their dog wins the big breed prize.

Logic would dictate that 1 happy camper; the BOB dog’s owner would be giddy with excitement, proud as a peacock without a concern for the other 4 dog owner’s plight. That would mean that the other 4 owners whose dog did not win that one and only Best Of Breed, were left wondering why their dog didn’t win.

In fact, 3 out of four of those owners whose dogs didn't win, asked the exact same question.

The problem is that there is no answer that will really suffice because the only person that can provide the right perspective is the judge and there isn’t a protocol for owners to go ask the judge why their dogs are not winners.

So, we are left to surmise and conjure the ‘why’ because the most visual explanation is that the other 4 didn’t win………………………………….because 1 of them did!

Now, in reality there could be a myriad of reasons why one dog wins over the others, or it could come down to the judge actually flipping a quarter for the win (actually happened once in the Sporting Groups)………….the judge got a 6-month suspension for the ill-conceived faux pas!

If all the dogs are champions and grand champions, then they are therefore great examples of the breed………………..which means that they all have the ‘right stuff’ and it then becomes a ‘you pick’em’ situation and the ‘you’ in this case is the judge for the day…………………………….which, would be a different ‘you picker’ the next day and probably would end up picking a different dog.

From my point of view as the overseer of the operation of managing and ultimately making the decision of showing most of the Chambray dogs…………………out of the 5 Chambray champions this past weekend at WPB, 4 are under my direct supervision, which means that I design the training and conditioning for each……………..I decide which handler will be in the ring with which dog……………………..I even will cover with each of my handlers on what handling strategies and techniques to use while in the ring with their assigned exhibit.

I also make recommendations for each owner on the things that they need to do to aid their dog physically and also those procedures to have the dog in a show mentality.

Those that do my bidding will have the best chances of success………….those that don’t will be asking the inevitable question asked by those whose dogs didn’t  win……………………..“Why didn’t my dog win?”

Case in point…………………..this weekend one of those champion dogs won 3 Best Of Breeds out of the 4 days. 2 weeks ago his owners asked me “Why isn’t my dog winning?”…………….this after 20 straight shows of not winning didley!

I took the time and drew up a list of the things that were needed to eliminate a couple of bad habits, also a regimen to trim off some loose fat and to get him to move out without rearing back. Bottom line, dropping him off to us a day before us driving off to a show was not cutting it any longer!

Two weeks at Camp Chambray and the results speak volumes……………….plus, no contact with him until we are finished showing him for the day!

It’s the old professional handler’s mantra of ‘removing the owners from the equation’………………….job done and the payoff very evident.

I tell all my owners what it takes to give their dogs the best chances of winning. Those that follow the game plan will have less opportunity to ask “Why didn’t my dog win?”

One of the other champions won 1 of the 4 Best Of Breeds. He came to us from up north totally cold turkey without any of our training, none of our conditioning and no real ring strategy other than what we were able to see from the first show and put into play at the 2nd show and so forth………….meanwhile he takes the 1 Best Of Breed and a spectacular Group 2, plus takes 2 of the Select Grand Champions awards to the Best Of Breed winner.

We are all talking about him right now and so were a bunch of other people around ringside, including half a dozen Labrador breeders interested in using him in the breeding program……………………we can imagine what he could accomplish with 2 weeks at Camp Chambray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, bottom line, we never ever know what a judge is thinking as they go about selecting their Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best Of Breed………………….but, it sure as heck makes a great big difference when a judge tells us……………………”Your dogs were the best examples of the breed, the best conditioned and the best presented and therefore the easiest to give the awards to!”

That lets me know that our programs for the betterment of the breed is cutting edge and those that do what it takes will revel in the success, that those that follow the program are enjoying.

The same thing goes for all the other Chambray owners whose class dogs were there as well as the champion dogs and owners.

 

Those that follow the script will have more ‘winning days’ than those that don’t.

I know a fellow that perfected the art of flipping a quarter and he could call it correctly 9 out of 10 times……………………..that’s practice makes as close to perfect as can be done. With dogs, we can increase our chances just the same………………….practice and repetition!

 

March 18th

It's HErzonism Time

 

 

From time to time, I get requests for Herzonisms………………………..those off the cuff sayings that flirt in the inner sanctums of my mind……………why anyone wants to know what lurks hidden in those recesses of the little grey matter that I have left, leaves me further dumbfounded than when I have a migraine.

However, I aim to please because I figure that if some of the blokes that read my blogs have nothing better to do than to read my blogs, then I have to come up with more entertainment to keep the lonely and disenchanted content for them to wait for another day’s offering.

 

Rolling stones gather no moss…………..inversely, I will add to that old time saying……….cobwebs form when idle minds rest on their derrieres.

 

Say it loud and say it clear, because invariably the fools that hear no evil will speak like devils!

 

Just when you think that there is hope, some dimwit comes up with some BS that leaves even the dullest mind scratching their butt!

 

 

There’s nothing like the gears working smoothly on all cylinders, firing off in perfect synchronicity!

Yep, the well-oiled machine purred like a pacified and contended kitty…………………. as all the players, all the dogs and all the pieces fit snuggly without a single grind or hitch.

That’s the way it is supposed to work according to the plans……………those plans are the prior scripted song sheet where every dog in every class, in every ring at each moment that they are supposed to be waltzing into their place at the appointed times……does happen………where every assignment is covered, where backups at the wait and call were covering all the eventualities………………………..and just like a Stradivarius………….every note a maestro’s symphony.

Then, it all happens……it all comes together……..every award, the rarefied Trifecta is the bestowment of all being perfect……………the breeding program………………….the training and conditioning………………….the masterful handling…………………….all the work by the owners…………………….the management program as good as it gets…………leads to the perfect harmony of great works and great achievements going hand in hand.

 

 

 

 

The lyrics from Eminem are fulfilled!

‘What happens when karma comes around and bites you’

Just like that, as predictable as the lyrics in the song,  the surrealistic scenario unfolded before a real life stage without a score card, props or song sheet to follow……………..rather  a grandiose manifestation of what goes around comes around.

It was a thing of beauty to behold in its naturalness and simplicity………………………………..naturalness because to this end, no man had a hand in its design and evolvement, on the contrary the many cast of characters seemingly playing along, all on cue, all accepting the melodrama unfolding right before their very own eyes……………………simplicity because even though a tremendous amount of time had lapsed from the ground zero moment to the now coming full circle moment, the beauty is how all loose ends were tied up in a colorful bow of ‘it doesn’t get any better than this!’…………………..when things fall into place and karma is fully satisfied, it is prime real estate poetic justice............... and then it does happened, the climax just as it had occurred the very first time around and now this last 360 degree karmatic moment of coming around all over again and karma doing its bidding and biting too!

You would think that I would be ecstatic and hooting up a storm…………….on the contrary, it’s a sad closure to what should have been a flight of fantasy instead of an ordeal to have had to navigate through. Hopefully, it’s one of those situations that are now past and behind and smooth sailing on calm waters will prevail.

 

 

So, tomorrow is another day, where we will be challenged to wake up in the morning and do all the things needed throughout the day and end up as whole at the end of that day as when we started at the beginning of that day……………………if you were able to follow this last ditty, then you need to get a real life!

 

March 16th

The Big Picture Comes In Bits And Pieces

 

The size of the ‘big picture’ is determined by the vision of the person’s ability to ‘see’ what they are looking at!

There are thousands involved in breeding and showing Labrador Retrievers and the vast majority of those have a tunneled, very short range vision of what they are doing and where they are going with that endeavor.

How I explain the Chambray ‘big picture’ depends on who is in the audience…………………no need to delve into quantum physics with 5th graders or playing classical music to acid rock addicts……………….so the dispensary is by prescription only………………….. ‘need to know’ is the mantra hummed.

For beginners, those taking their very first steps with a show dog, no need to burden them with all the ‘overload’ that eventually saddles most that stay long enough……………..it’s exactly the same with every other endeavor that people get into and partake of.

There is nothing like naivety when first getting started with a puppy! That is as pure a feeling as there ever will be one because learning the ropes can get a bit rough on the hands and emotions the further from shore a person paddles into the realm of competitive dog showing.

So much comes into play the deeper a person goes with their dog in the dog show world. Somewhere along the way, emotions assuredly will cloud the realities that are occurring and there are many that forget that the whole involvement is about the dogs…………..personalities have a predictable way of coming into play, sooner than later and many lose sight of that fact and instead make it about themselves or their agendas.

With the Chambray Labradors Owner’s Programs……………….it is 100% about the dogs, although the name of our movement clearly states ‘Owner’s’……………..maybe it should be renamed, ‘Chambray Labradors Programs For Further Development Of The Best Dogs Produced Incorporating Their Owners To Provide All The Assistance/Time/Energy/Backing As Prescribed By The Master Of Ceremonies To Assure The Absolute Best Outcome In The Dog Show World’…………………….whoa, that is quite a mouthful, yet as true-blue a heading and destination as has ever been charted by anyone involved with Labrador Retrievers in Breeding, Training-Conditioning, Handling and ultimately, Winning.

There is a huge ‘big picture’………………..way too encompassing to even detail in a short essay or blog, in fact one that takes about 10 years or so of participation to even begin to fathom the depth of the endeavor. As the originator, implementer and eventual overseer of the immense program for the betterment of the breed, I impart to those that come on board what is needed to get to the next junction along the arduous way with their dogs.

For those involved, layers of expertise come with following and correctly executing the tasks assigned which ultimately leads to a successful campaign for the individual dog. The same tasks for one dog may not be what another dog needs………………..so applications are very specific, much as medicines are specific for maladies.

The above paragraph is the biggest reason why there isn’t an Owner’s Manual given out with each top show puppy placed. Each puppy is as unique as the next and what is good for the goose may very well sink the gander……………in other words, what may take a particular dog to the promised land may be exactly what will scuttle another dog, even a littermate.

Our working protocol is to take each individual dog and owner on a day to day basis. Developing each participant as needed for that crucial point in time………both dog and owner are taken into account with this process.

With our vast experience and successes in mastering the Owner’s Program for over 3 decades, we know full well that dogs can only assimilate what each is equipped to do…………………the exact same thing goes for the individual owner. No need to teach a first grader Algebra, nor a 12th grader finger painting, so too do we address each dog’s physical and mental development and what each needs to advance…………..so too with the needs and abilities and resources of each owner that is part of our collective.

 

The preceding blog in answer to an inquiry to describe the ‘Big Picture’ for Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed.

PS: I think that I will stick with the preceding name and forgo the real, real long name mentioned previously up above somewhere.

 

March 15th

Is mentorship dead?

You be the judge!

 

 

The Lost Art Of Mentorship

I much prefer to spend any of my ‘prose time’ writing upbeat and super positive quips that either bring about some ‘learning’ for those thirsting for ‘first-hand derived’, good old fashion know-how or those others that sense my thrill for the hunt and enjoy the fast-forward-flowing diatribes and tongue lashings that I occasionally will dole out!

I am not much of a maudlin type……………the staid and melancholy themes really don’t suit me well and writing about them is not a natural for me……………………but there are those areas that are a negative that irk me enough for me to spend some time thinking about them and then sharing that plight with those that will listen.

The whole Chambray Labradors Owners Program for the Betterment of the Breed is built around mentorship………………….educating as many as have the desire to learn………..and learn it from the source…………….where real, honest-to-goodness & God-to-honest mentorship, the most positive of all forms of communications because those that listen will have the capacity to pass it forward to those that come after yearning to learn the correct ways.

I make that last statement because the art of mentorship may be dead!

Real mentorship is gone, finito, non-existent………..R.I.P……………………done in by the myriad of false gods…………………….disingenuous  gurus…………………………….endless conveyor belt of ‘fake news prophets’………………………………………….hordes and hordes of blokes spreading falsehoods, misinformation and other malignant code about! It seems that what was once a Golden Rule to follow has become a road with a detour sign for those searching to keep right on searching………….that very road fraught with bushwhackers, way layers, boogiemen, quicksand, bogs, denizens of all types and treacherous currents and we are not even in the shark infested waters yet!

What is even worse than the preceding paragraph is that there are millions and millions that are followers of all that Mount Trashmore of debris and hubris that is being spread like Helman’s mayonnaise.

In our breed alone, a breed that sports, minimum three times the number of puppies born annually than whichever other breeds comes in 2nd………………………………25 years in a row……………the #1 breed in the USA and the world……………over 200,000 a year registered alone with the AKC………………who knows, maybe another 200,000 that either get registered with TDH (Tom, Dick and Harry) or that don’t ever get any ink or papers…………………………all those unbelievable numbers and nary a mentor of the breed to reign supreme over all of them……………….don’t believe me………………name one, just one!

Oh, there are a couple national parent breed clubs about…………………..however, truth be told, they only tend to a smidgen of the mass Labrador population………………..I dare say, no more than .001% of the sheer volume I mentioned previously. That of course leaves 99.999% of the quadrillions unaccounted for; wallowing in the Sargasso Sea where nothing moves and no one knows their name!

Most breed clubs become a social clique for whoever happens to be the Queen Bee or Court Jester of the region……………….it’s more like ‘follow me and my ways or else be outside the circle of fellowship’!

How do I know all of the above that makes me so sad?

Here is a little sampling of what I have heard that kind of sours me to no end…………firsthand from those that should be the ones carrying the torch for their breeds and a few that could be on the front lines with our breed……………..each having the capacity and knowledge to be mentors.

 

A longtime and very influential Rottweiler breeder ~ “It has always amazed me how you have managed to keep your organization going for so many years. God knows I have tried being patient with numerous owners throughout the years, but ultimately each and every one of them tested my resolve and I find myself always back to just doing the best that I could with my breeding program without the dead-weight of all those malcontents.”

A Chow breeder that routinely keeps the best, places those other good ones locally on spay neuter limited registration and ships off to Siberia, Outer Mongolia (figuratively writing) and other faraway places any others so as to not have to contend with them in the area………….in fact, maybe never having to run into them in the first place.

The top Pug breeder that confided to me that there are just enough people to count with the fingers in one hand that he would ever consider placing a top dog from his breeding program because inevitably all those that that he has taken in under his wing have turned into 'nightmarish disasters' and in some cases total ‘nausea's episodes’….his words!

The longest running Boxer breeder and handler from this area who swears that the best way to create a mortal enemy is to place a great dog with someone just starting out with the breed………………….in her words, “The creation of Frankenstein’s monster is a kid’s fairy tale compared to the ordeal with a new owner once the dog reaches its fullest potential………………………the very potential that I, the breeder am totally and 1000% responsible for!” She went on to describe several such scenarios where a top placement turned into the worst possible situation with someone not knowing anything, overnight becomes more knowledgeable than her with almost 50 years at the top with Boxers!

I then took the opportunity to share with her about the Dunning Kruger effect and my newly minted ‘Dumas Knoeshitski syndrome’ (remember, Dumas rhymes with plumb as) and she laughed her arse off and thanked me to no ends for sharing that with her……………….laughing some more she stated “Now that you tell me these things, it all makes perfect sense!” …………………..she then added that I myself was suffering from both diseases because I have been running ‘this stupid owner’s thing for 30 years’……………her words!

 

Then there’s the nationally acclaimed Golden Retriever breeder with not many at her level of show champions over a 30 year period. She constantly admonishes me for not keeping my best puppies and for taking so many people on and then letting 'the wackos loose*’ with the breed……..she knowing that most of them will ‘screw*’ everything up along the way……………with most not ‘acknowledging*’ where they got their dogs from, in fact they will mistakenly believe that they somehow had something to do with the dog’s greatness! All of them are ingrates and few if any will ever appreciate what has been handed to them………………..*all the preceding in a gist, all her very words about mentoring anyone!

 

The Labrador breeder that has been into the breed almost as long as I have that still to this day shakes her head when she sees the newest Chambray puppies with owners taking their first steps into the breed. If she hasn’t stated the following 100 times, then I don’t know squat………….. “I just saw that puppy with So & So, I can’t for the life of me understand how you can place such a phenomenal puppy with just anyone………………….that’s a 'to kill for puppy' and some arsewipe off the street, who has no idea what is at the end of their lead will assuredly ruin that puppy!”

Like I said, time and time again for the last 25 years, I have heard the same criticisms of my mentorship program with new people coming into the breed!

Assuredly, when one of those placements goes tragic……………like when the owners become obnoxious, obtuse, ornery, odious, off-color and all those oh-oh exclamations that come to mind and tongue, she will be the first to rush to me at the next dog show that we coincide at and say “Oooooh, I told you so!”

 

So, when things go off course and go through a lament-full episode I then wonder if all the trials and tribulations, toils and travails are worth the trouble going through………………….it is then that the same, déjà vu epiphany emerges and the vast number of successful ventures becomes the beacon that brings back the vision of this pay it forward mission which leads so many to the Betterment of the Breed promised land!

Mentorship may seem long gone and extinct…………….but as long as I am breathing, I will keep the embers glowing, hoping that others will keep blowing life into it!

 

March 15th

It Could be Hoot & Holler Time at The Rodeo Arena

 

 

So the suspense is building among our owners like I have not witnessed before in the many years that we have had a bunch of dogs at the stretch with the finish line plainly in sight and none are making that charge to be the one to cross the imaginary line that ascends it to the heights of an AKC champion!

Close but no bananas, not once not twice……………….11 times in recent months there has been the distinct possibility that all the pieces had come together, that the right planet, moon and distant stars aligned and whoop there it was for us to grab and celebrate like there is no tomorrow……………only to have it snatched away by unforeseen eventualities that were lurking about ready to rear their unpredictable heads and once again, we were left with the possibilities for the next time!

Chambrays Triple Play ‘Sonic’ and Chambrays Galactic N Counter ‘Gayla’ have had that once in a lifetime thrill dangle before them more than 4 times each and here we are now waiting for major-pointed shows to become attainable to even enter them for those shows. Each of them needs just one major-pointed win and they each will join the ranks of the state record setting other 56 Chambray champions that have that immortality as part of their life attaining achievement. Gayla now has 19 points and 1 major having missed on 5 different occasions to cross over for that major win. Sonic has had 4 distinct opportunities dashed by 1 dog being absent for different reasons.

Chambrays A’Hankerin For Trouble and Chambrays Black Diamond In The Ruff ‘Bandit’ have faced that same tune themselves a couple times lately with just that one win that day and they too would have been the first Chambray champion for 2017.

 

Meanwhile, there are several new comers and youngsters making a bid of their own with major possibilities for them to gallop past the front runners and lurch across that coveted finish line and lay claim to becoming Chambray’s 57 home-brewed champion.

Leading the charge for the newcomers is Chambrays Magnum N Counter who recently joined our starting day roster and has rocketed to 10 points, both majors and a Best Of Breed against top ranked champions. With all the shows coming up in the next 3 weekends of shows, Magnum has become the odds on favorite to race away with the AKC title first before the pack-leading dogs have a chance at major-pointed shows.

Our newest AKC Grand Champion, Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady became the first Chambray dog to achieve an AKC title for 2017, by achieving the Grand Championship at the Pensacola dogs shows, sweeping two days’ worth of  Best Of Breeds, catapulting her to become our #1 Best Of Breed Winner for 2017.

The newest Canine Chronicle USA Top 20 Grand Champions just came out and Chambray has 2 of our dogs in the Top 10! Coming in 8th place is Gr Ch Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness and #10 Gr Ch Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady.

The up and coming 3 weekends of shows with a grand total of 8 shows between them will give our young dogs the chances to add to their point totals since none of these Florida shows are major-pointed and the dogs needing those majors will be left home until we head out of state for those larger entry shows with lower point counts to add up to majors.

Here come the 4 days of shows at Davie Fl this weekend and our horses are chaffing at the bit to kick some of the rodeo arena red dust into the air and make their presence known……………..who knows, this may be the weekend………..right in our own backyard that we hoot and holler a brand, spanking new Chambray champion!

 

March 15th

Varying View POints To The Exact Same Story

Points Of View

It is always fascinating how many points of view there are for any one subject or occurrence. The old, ‘two sides to one story’ needs to be totally revamped and brought up to snuff……..actually brought up to the speed of light because nowadays a story has umpteen sides depending on whose toes are being stepped on, whose pocket is being picked, whose coffers are being filled, whose acquaintances (at the moment) are being affected or what side of the fence is being whitewashed or graffitified!

Of course, I won’t even cover this newly created phenomena of ‘fake news’ that now has become the scourge of society………………where people are more interested and swayed by what isn’t real………………what has been fabricated, truncated, collated, masturbated, adulterated, elongated, masticated, urinated and otherwise made as not real as real can’t get!

There used to be a destination called as ‘Far From The Truth, USA’…………………..now it’s more like ‘Good Luck Finding Any Truth, ANYWHERE’. There is like and OMG moment every single time that I read any news and then it leaving me wondering what is real and what is hadda schmeal!

Okay, enough of my worldly views! Back to the matter of dogdom ‘real news’…………..well at least from my viewpoint!

I had a great, long conversation with an old timer Rottie top breeder/exhibitor/AKC judge and major advocate of anything that crosses her mind……………………like Howard Cossell, tells it like it is even if the audience doesn’t want to hear it………………..no holds barred, in your face up close and personal, take it or leave it and generally revered and feared all at the same time person!

“I have to hand it to you for being the truly great master of ceremonies for the last 30 years that I have known you…………………….with all these owners that you take on, guide and mentor!”

She would continue on by congratulating me for sticking with my owner’s developmental programs and then sticking it to all those that have been waiting for me to fail! She says that she revels in the fact that not only have I kept it going, but that it succeeded to the point that all those that said I would ‘fail miserably’ have been trampled over by the successes, silenced totally or are now converts because they have no other choice…………………………………………….and she wasn’t even talking about anyone in the Labrador world!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She admits that there is no way that she could conduct an ‘owner’s program’ with her breeding program…………no way that she would ‘trust’ ANYONE with one of her top produce…………………..in the last 40 years of her breeding Rotties, the times she thought she had someone that she felt she could work with……….it turned into the worst case personal scenario! She states that her worst enemies today in the dog show world are people that she thought were friends that she placed great dogs with!

Sitting next to us was another very outspoken person, the top Chow breeder from our neck of the woods………………..just as successful with her breed, if not even more!

She concurred that with her……….her best dogs were always kept home and if any good ones were to be placed for show…………………that they would end up at the other end of the country or in foreign lands! “No way Jose would I ever place any of my better dogs anywhere nearby where those dogs and their owners would be exhibiting anywhere nears where I go to!” she would blare out in her usual, ‘now here this voice’!

She also went on to say that her worst mistakes made in breeding Chows over 40 years were the ones she placed locally with people that she thought she knew. All friendships and dogs placed being lost and having bad PR from the people for years……………….she went on to say much more and naming names………….but after a while listening to so much negativity and drama, I tend to smile and tune most of it out.

The above two ladies put things in perspective from a non-Labrador outsiders point of view because it actually answered a question from a Labrador enthusiast from the day before………………at the time, I didn’t have their point of view to have given the right answer!

The old timer Labrador breeder, not having seen me over 18 months and having had health scare in the interim (like I have every once in a while) was overjoyed in us having the opportunity for us to meet up once again…………………….she from the NE area……………………commented on the fact of seeing so many new wonderful Chambray owners with new dogs that she hadn’t seen the last time she was down this way.

“It always marvels me how you manage to bring in so many new people and place your best dogs with them!” she genuinely gushed about.

She continued on telling me that everywhere she travels to, other Labrador breeders and exhibitors ask about ‘that Florida breeder with all those dogs’ and she takes the time to tell them what a great experience she has coming down to Florida and seeing, meeting and talking to those people that own all those dogs! She confessed that most people that she speaks to have no concept of what I do with the breed, other than the grapevine fodder that those with envy and jealousy spread out of spite and not being able to win against the Chambray dogs.

She asked me, “How do you do it?”……………………I really didn’t have an answer.

While at the recent Mississippi week of shows 3 different professional handlers and a Labrador breeder took the time to converse with me………….something that none had done in the last 25 years of coinciding at hundreds of weekends of shows………………………and this past weekend at WPB, one of the top pro handlers from this region, having never said more than “Hi, how are you?”………………….took a moment from his busy agenda to let me know how impressive it was to watch the way we managed the Labrador ring at every show that he sees us at…………………….that was a great point of view from the consummate pro handler from our area.

All of the above folk, now, after 30 years of my time and influence with Labradors………………………..all have a different point of view……………………..enough for all of them to let me know, in different ways how different they see today what was exactly the same for so many years.

Of course, success has a way of making folk look at things differently………………………..it makes converts of those that have enough vision to see beyond the few feet that most folk look at before they step. It does create a different angle for the scene……………..even if the scene and story are exactly the same for years on end………………………winning puts on a different spotlight that illuminates the way, giving a different, clearer perspective, thus a different side to the story even though it is the exact same story that I have been telling all these years!

 

March 14th

A Valid Point IS Brought Up

Someone wrote in stating that I ‘fail’ more dogs from outside kennels and breeders than I do the Chambray dogs.

 

This information, they claim, they were able to ‘glean’ from all the blogs and articles I have written over the years!

First things first………… ‘thank you very much’ for being an avid reader of my blogs and other musings and offerings!

How true, so, ‘way to go’ to be able to see that information from all the different times that I have covered the subject of evaluations.

Yes, more dogs from outside kennels get poor reviews than those that come to me with my own dogs!

There are reasons for the preceding. The biggest reason is that the vast majority of breeders keep their best and sell off the rest…………………..then, those same breeders take their 2nd in line dogs and place those with their associates, other breeders that they have working relationships with……………….by the time they place a puppy or dog with a ‘walk on’ or an unknown, which is mostly what comes to me for these ‘make it or break it’ evaluations……………………………..those dogs are the tail end of the litter with the top puppies not even being shown so that there are no comparisons.

So, what are the chances that one of those culled out dogs are going to rise to the top like cream? I would say that you could buy lotto tickets and have a better chance at winning the big one than these folk that bought a dog somewhere…………..it may have been a pet breeder or a mass producer or they have come to me from other Florida breeders that haven’t produced a champion in decades, let alone any winning points lately.

At Chambray, with the evaluation system in place right from the time they are 7 ½ weeks old and we perform the puppy’s  first conformation evaluation……………..done correctly with all the knowledge of the breed standard and with the undeniable best winning record at the dog shows and the most champions produced in the entire country in Labradors in the last 10 years……………….that’s an incomparable track record to even think about besting………………………..Chambray dogs that come for evaluations come already having gone through a gauntlet that other breeder’s dogs have never had to navigate through……………..so those that come to us, more than likely will receive a ‘good’ review because those Chambray owners who have pure pets know that already and they are not likely to ask for negative news!

Now, setting aside the logicalness of the preceding, there is also the ‘whom’ a dog comes from. Here is an analogy……………………if you want to find gold………………..you don’t walk into a salt mine and start digging!

Well, I am sure that some of the Dunning Kruger affected have and will continue to do just that………………….so ultimately their take will always be salty! Whereas those that really, really get it and rise above the Dumas Knoeshitski syndrome will end up knowing what they have and DON’T HAVE and do their prospecting at the right geological locations that could provide a good yield for their pan handling efforts.

So, yes, there are a markedly higher percentage of the Chambray evaluations that receive the higher breed conformation verdicts.

 

However, that doesn’t mean that they will be joining the ranks of the top Chambray show dogs. Nope, that’s totally another set of hurdles that any dog must clear and that is a mighty tall order because the best of the best are already on the front lines at the dog shows for our programs and there is a B-Team waiting their chances to make it to the starting team.

For every dog showing for Chambray, there are 5 more on the sidelines to take their place. If for any reason a dog is injured, set back or leaves the program, there are more dogs and owners willing and able to take their place and maybe even surpass their accomplishments.

That is a total validation of the ability to evaluate and select the true-blue top conformation dogs that deserve to be the ones showing and the ones chosen to perpetuate the great qualities of the breed as prepotent contributors to the breed by producing the next generation of superb Labradors. All of which will go through the arduous evaluation process.

PS:The person that responded has had 2 of the outside kennel 'NO GO' evaluations over the years.

 

March 14th

Two Two Thumbs Up Evaluations

Dog evaluations for conformation most often turn out more like week old soured milk and the folk that come to me with those dogs end up wishing they could kill the messenger……………….me!

Well, I have been spared with the last two, the ones that brought dogs to the WPB dog shows for me to look at and make Nostradamus-like predictions for their show and breeding future.

The rarefied air occurrence of just one dog passing the muster to be given two thumbs up for breeding and showing is less than one in 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is less than 5%!!!

 

Yep, they have come with their heads high and then after my pronouncement, they leave beheaded!

 

That has been the plight of more than 80% of the evaluations that I have made as the master of ceremonies.

Now here is the clincher to prove me as the Gibraltar of all rock star prognosticators……………………..all of those ‘naysayer’ evaluations…………………of all of them……………….NONE PROVED ME WRONG!

 

All went the way of the dinosaurs, gone, finito.............what I decreed, cast in stone and not one single one from the hundreds that have stood before me that got the ax as far as conformation and the possibility of being considered for the betterment of the breed...................not one single one proved me wrong,

The majority of those ‘madder than hell’ owners left my presence feeling jilted, scorned and in the case of the fairer sex owners with the ‘hell have no furry as that of a scorn woman’! We all know how determined those folk were to show me how wrong they thought I was.

Of course my intentions are never ever to make people mad or spiteful…………………..those emotions are the furthest from what I want to happen when I evaluate any dog. I wish that every single dog brought to me would be home-run hitter and that they would be able to pass on their great attributes for the Betterment of the Breed!

 

It would be in my best interest if that were to happen as well because I would invite them to join of Owner’s Programs where the dogs could be managed by my system of showing at the dog shows and also the breeding program to pass on those admirable traits to the next generation.

However, the truth is undeniable since there isn’t any fake news operators allowed in Labradors. No sir, none of that when it comes to this precious breed………………………….here we only deal with the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God………………….just the facts ma’am and anything else is gobbledygook!

I call it as I see it and spades are spades, hearts are hearts and that’s until death do me part! Then after that happens, well, the rest of all of you will just have to figure it out all by yourselves.

So, we just had the first ever, back-to-back two thumbs up evaluations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hip hip hurray and shivers me timbers!

A true blue ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat’ moment……………….I had to pinch myself beaucoup times to see if I weren’t still sleeping in my comfy bed back at Chambray Acres.

But alas this was for real! Two hours apart and two dogs that I can sing the blues to the owners about and that’s exactly what I did! Both dogs worthy of breeding and what is even more astonishing both can show and be competitive in the Florida Labrador ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, now it is up to each owner to step up to the plate with each dog and do what’s right for the breed with each. Whether they join Chambray’s Owners Programs or they hire another entity is totally up to them.

I did go over many different scenarios with each owner………… mainly that their dog’s main competition at the state’s dog shows was going to be the Chambray dogs!

 

That means that if they hire our competitor handlers, that more than likely they would be standing at the opposite side of the ring……………as that is how most professional handlers insist their clients to comport themselves!

 

That of course is the ‘then against us’ mentality………………………which there is some truth to that because human nature tends to see things as personal competitions and when in the ring, there is the ‘human competition aspect’ involved.

If they join our ‘for the betterment of the breed’, there is still going to be the competitiveness, but in this case it is truly between which dogs are better for the day and that then takes on a different human element and that is that the person standing in the ring, the judge is human. However, with our management system, all we care about is the dogs. The dogs come first and foremost as we remove all the messy human laden drama that I feel gets in the way with the task at hand and that is showing each of the dogs in our programs to their very best.

I have no time, no space and no use for the negative human element………………the pettiness, the jealousy, the envy, those that don’t know didley…………….nope none of that with me..................it’s all about the dogs, the job that needs to be done with each and all else is totally behind me when it comes to show time.

So, now with that education, we will see where these two GREAT EVALUATIONS end up at. We will see the decision making abilities of those that own these dogs because the majority of the time, what sinks a dog is not the dog itself, it is the human nature of the owners to load themselves up with all the prior mentioned human elements.

Let's see if these two owners are as much as a breath of fresh air as their dogs are and let's see if they do the right thing for their dogs!

Any wagers?

 

March 13th

March Madness

‘That Was The Week That Was’, was a TV show way back in the late 60’s…………….. ‘What a whirlwind of a weekend at West Palm Beach’ was the name of this past weekend!

Now hold on to your seats because that was only 2 shows in 2 days………………………………….the up and coming Davie shows is 4 shows in 3 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Whaaaaaaaat?" I can just imagine if running semi-ragged was the nom de jour at WPB, what will happen at Davie? Especially our first-ever 2 AKC shows in 1 day……………..OMG, my nerve-o-meter is pulsating past cardiac episode level and it’s only Monday!

Okay, okay before I suffer a stroke, I have to look back and see that we just put together our 151st consecutive winning weekend and it went off with just a few minor hitches. Not bad when we had 10 times the owners present……………each wanting their own piece of our attention……………..droves and droves of visitors………some of them dog owners and other breeders coming to see the stud dogs for them to use in the future……………………some of them old time Chambray owners coming to pay their respects and cheer on the home team……………………some interested in having a Chambray puppy placed with them and going through the interview process and even a couple with dogs purchased from other top breeders wanting information on joining our owner’s program for the Betterment of the Breed…………………..plus the usual non participating Labrador owners that actually are part of the competitors group that also want the usual exchange of information……………………..so, the old saying about my ‘plate being full’, you can add ‘my cup runneth over’ and maybe throw in ‘biting off more than I can chew’…………………all those adages and several more that haven’t been opined and penned yet and then add what we are there to do………….SHOW DOGS!

Yep, show dogs……………not one or three as most pros do……………………nope, we have 20+ Labradors to handle……………………….that’s called a ‘tall order’….more of a Paul Bunyan task! I dare say and would lay a substantial wager that no other professional handler’s group could pull off what the Chambray Team does…………..not just at one weekend of shows…………………weekend in and weekend out.

I know the above to be true because the top pros tell me that! They readily admit that there is no way they would even attempt at pulling off the Herculean feat of handling the number of dogs we do and to do it so flawlessly or close to it with some many dogs sauntering in and out of the ring! However, the pro’s greatest platitudes comes from us being willing and able to work so many of the dog owners……………….something they are adamantly opposed to doing………………..remember that with the pros, it’s removing the owners from the equation.

Of course, boo boos do occur when so many things are occurring simultaneously with so many people and minute changing variables to take into account…………….especially the unpredictable placements from each class…………first of all, which handlers go into the ring with which dogs……………….then keeping up with which dogs won a 1st placement………………which means they need to go back into the ring for Winners, which may mean that you may very well end up with more dogs going back in that there are handlers……….which means that backup handlers have to be on standby……………………….enough to make a grown man ‘twist and shout’ and not to the Beetle’s song.

However, our let’s move forward attitude when things go awry, leads us to be moving in the right direction even when there are bumps in the road.

So, we now cover our bases, go over the entire weekend’s adventures, the great, the good and the mishaps and we then lay a course for smoother sailing with the up and coming Davie’s 4 shows in 3 days!!!!!!

Does, ‘mad house’ come into focus when planning such an extravaganza! You bet your sweet BP that it does, but the show must go on and we now use all our know-how, our accumulated acumen and time-gathered expertise………….then hold our breath and cross our fingers and hope that all goes as well as on the paper that I put all the dogs, handlers and eventualities and plan for these 4 shows in 3 days.

With all that I in mind and in hand to do, we also look forward to the Miami shows in April and get all our duckies in a row for that weekend right here in our own backyard…………….so deadlines to meet for entries, roster to fill and new dogs and puppies to work with to get up and running and that weekend is still 3 weeks away!

 

March 12th

Feeble Foibles!

Boy do I have tonnage to write home about..............."Whoa Nelly" never sounded so good or appropriate!

I had well over 20 Interviews......................the most ever for 2 days of shows!

 

Now Here This.......................the majority who came to visit and interviewed were totally sold on becoming the next wave of happy Chambray show owners!

 

That is a wow-mazing thing because with each succeeding litter for the betterment of the breed........we have more and more top show prospect-phenoms and the way, we have the willing and able new owners to place those great puppies with!

Most of our tried and true Chambray owners were able to see the 4 brand spanking new BPUP puppies with their owners that joined us for the weekend.

 

Wow and OMG! All 4 of the Walter X Bella puppies rocked the house! 

Now we make plans for all 4 to continue on with the Betterment of the Breed program by coming out to play against the big boys and girls of Chambray and do head to head battle with the other breeders, exhibitors and professional handler's dogs!

There is so much to share with all of you and I am a beat horse worse than a dead horse, so I will just give you one Feeble Foible snippet that transpired at Sunday's show!

The little old lady, she could very well have been my grandmother back when I had one, came and stood right next to me as I watched our 6 to 9 month old puppy enter the ring.

Of course truth be told..................when the opening bell for show time clangs, I would rather not be bothered with small talk, back talk or even talk of the town stuff.........................my job as overseer is ongoing and I want to be able to watch each and every Chambray dog that is under my management program so that we can improve each and every time they show.

So, Granma Moses edged closer to me and chimed in with, "If you don't mind me making a suggestion!" now me being courteous, professional and non-adversarial while performing my job description, I allowed her to continue on.

 

The old-timer standing next to me holding one of the 'Tollers' (since I am a young man and she much older than I, she must be an old-timer...lol moment) seized the moment and proceeded with, "I have been watching the Labradors for some time and see you and your people win over and over again and the other breeders and exhibitors get very upset and disappointed!"

 

Repeating her intrusion, oooops I mean her introduction salutation, "If you don't mind me making a suggestion, that your group not enter some of the shows so that these other exhibitors can finally win some and keep them coming back!"

 

"Merci beaucoup mon ami!"  I offered as genuine as sanguine is red.

"Oh, no you misunderstood!" she seemingly was correcting me.

"Au contraire mon cherie, encore merci!"  I replied.

 

"Oh my, I thought you were latin!" she answered with a queried tone in her voice!

My final answer to the oldster "There are no compromises made to the betterment of the breed, no padding, no fillers, no holding back on any dog nor show...................we bring the best we have to offer and want the other breeders to do the same and then we will ply our trade in the ring and take our chances with the judging................if that produces a preponderant amount of wins for one breeder, then that's the benchmark set for others to best....................that's the only way that improvement is going to take place.................merci beaucoup!" 

Just then the judge awarded the Chambray puppy in that class his 2nd first place win in 2 days............losing myself in the moment, losing her as well as I went to congratulate the brand new owners of that puppy that were ringside cheering their puppy on.....................that's what I am talking about and it ain't French!

 

 

March 11th

The Well Runs Deep

Watching the little puppies in the ring competing for the very first time in the AKC’s BPUP 4-6 Month Old is comparable to when my kids first set foot in their favorite sport’s spotlight as little tykes themselves.

For Jessie, it was her love for volleyball and Ryan’s insatiable passion for baseball, provided Johanna and me those anxious, yet prideful ‘Kodak’ moments that parents feel and agonize through.

While I intently watched Chambray’s newest contribution to the betterment of the breed puppies take their first tiny infant steps into the dog show world, an old-timer bystander from another breed watched me incessantly prance the sidelines.

“You would think that with your achievements and successes through all the years in the Labrador world that watching little puppies and being so unnerved just doesn’t seem to go together!”

Well, truth be told……….actually after 47 years of doing this with my dogs and their owners……………I have probably re-told the following a millions times………………………. “The day that I don’t get excited, that the thrill of seeing something that I created is gone…………………then that’s the day that I too will be done!”

Earlier in the morning, we, Team Chambray…………………….the dogs, the handlers, the owners had just posted our 151st consecutive winning weekend at AKC’s shows……………..a record well-noted by the other folk in the Labrador world and apparently in other breeds as well because the same old-timer from the other breed quipped that now these little puppies will be the ones that in a few months old be adding to our weekend winning streak!

Well, I hope so because that’s the design and plan! Yep, what to outsiders may seem to be a random collection of owners and dogs, is a ‘well-crafted, well-oiled machine in action’……………these the exact words today from one of our die-hard owners!

This one of a kind owners program has been in the making for 27 years and today we, all of us involved in its inception……………those early owners through its deployment, those later ones through its continuous tweaking………………..all those that have lived the successes and achievements with each reaping the rewards and benefits from being included………………..that have basked in the glow of the platitudes that come with such an avant garde and leading edge concept that now stands heads and shoulders above what anyone could have imagined…………………..all those know what the Chambray owner was referring to about a ‘well-crafted and well-oiled machine in action’!

Yes, to the old-timer bystander…………………..yes the passion in the well still runs deep regardless if it is leading the pack at the Labrador ring or watching little puppies in this BPUP puppy event…………………pride is something that comes with knowing ‘how good it is’ and the legendary commercial says it best…………….. “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Of course me being me and seeing a good thing and having the endless drive to make it better will create an addendum to that adage…………………… “Better is what you make it…………watch us how!”

 

March 9th

March Madness

One of our Chambray owners is headed out to a specialty where there are 154 class dogs/bitches!!!!!!!!!! For Labradors, that is a ‘nice’ sized entry compared to some that have fielded over 1000 Labradors…………regardless of the size entry…………all of them to choose one Winners Dog, one Winners Bitch and one Best Of Breed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recently one of our owners and dog went to a Labrador specialty where there were around 20 total dogs………………then there have been the LRC-supported specialty connected to the previous Eukanuba National Championships and the now newly named Royal Canin sponsored LRC specialty back in December that have drawn between 120 and 150 Labradors each year.

So to my owner going to this specialty my email response to her was that ‘receiving any placement from any class was a real big deal’!

Now, the realities of specialties and even the all-breed dog shows………….just as there is a wide variance in which dogs are awarded what at the all-breed dog shows, so too is the standard fare at specialties. It all boils down to what one person, the judge for the day, what that judge ‘sees’ to be the best example of the breed in their estimation.

It follows suit that if the judge breeds Labradors and her/his type is the more ‘overdone’ dogs, then more than likely her/his choices for placements and for points and for Best Of Breed will resemble the type that they breed.

Likewise if their vision for the breed is moderate or if they prefer the more athletic types…………………there is always the ‘like draws like’ and then there is the ‘birds of a feather’ phenomena where those exhibitors that breed the same type of dogs that the judge for the day is known for, will flock to those shows in larger numbers knowing that their dogs have the 'inside track' with the judge's 'inklings'.

The same thing happens at all-breed dog shows…………after a while, certain all-breed judges will have developed a ‘dozier’ of what they have been putting up for the wins and exhibitors will then decide whether to enter their dogs according to what those judges have been awarding wins to in past shows.

Although we frequent just about every dog show in Florida, there are certain judges that we will not show our dogs to………….this after 3 or 4 times previously showing to them where a certain ‘feel’ comes off that judge, be it for the type of dogs that we have or more of a personal agenda and that is also grounds for entering or not entering dogs at a dog show.

I tell all my owners that the more the dog participates in and performs well at, the better acclimated the dog becomes to different venues and circumstances………………….for me, it’s not about the color of the ribbon a dog is awarded, it’s more about how well the dog performs so that when it truly comes times for them to be winning points, they will rise to the occasion and perform their best!

Of course, my owners listen to what I have to say…………….but living that is a total different reality because everyone wants those blue ribbons and those elusive Winners points even if their dog has not fully developed as planned and if they act like banshees while in the ring!

 

March 8th

One For the road

Performance is paramount in increasing the chances of winning a class……………winning points and winning Best Of Breeds!

With all things being equal in breed type and conformation, it will then rest on the individual dog’s performance to stand out and be counted, which more often than not, will make the difference in winning anything!

I preach the preceding to all that will listen, be it Chambray owners or the multitudes that seek my advice.

Poor and unpredictable performances from a dog will lengthen the time and the shows needed to accumulate the needed points for a dog’s championship. Making the title campaign more arduous, very frustrating and beau-coup mucho expensive

Judges do not have much time in the ring to make up their minds between one exhibit and the next and sometimes, just one errant or unwanted move or gesture by the dog will be enough to tip the scales in favor of another dog that is equal in breed type yet performed better when the judge was looking at it.

The above is something that I deal with on a daily basis with the Chambray dogs, since none of them are in ‘show environments’, rather all of them live the pet’s dog life with their owners………………meanwhile the majority of our competition at the dog shows are dogs that are with their professional handlers 24/7……..in a total show environment with none of the ‘spoils’ afforded to by the owners to their dogs.

The professional way……………………….the dogs are primed and ready for the show ring with every day show training and conditioning………………no fooling around, no playing rough and tumble games, no excursions of wild adventures to dog parks…………….no faux pas and foibles for them, no sir everything is precise and concise for the moment they walk into the ring and then it is all show time!

The pros arrive early to ringside with their dogs, creating that ‘show environment’ and acclimation that is so necessary to get the best out of the dogs when the time comes. The dogs are brought out of their crates minutes before they are to perform and then when in the ring…………..they perform……which is what a dog show is and what show dogs must do to have the best chances of winning.

The exact opposite is what we deal with the Chambray dogs, which all of them are part of the Owner’s Program……………….all of the dogs we handle at the dog shows are in a home, pet owner’s world and we must do everything that we know to take them into the ring and compete against the pros with their professional environment and pro-trained dogs!

Getting the job done and winning at a higher rate than all the pros put together that we compete against has been a formidable task since we come into the competition behind the 8-ball as far as show training and show mentality is concerned, however rising to the occasion and going beyond is our forte and rise and go beyond we have done!

 

March 8th

It's showtime..............Almost!

The countdown for the WPB dog shows is on, minus 3 days and counting!

Come Saturday morning, bright and early……..ring time is 8:15 AM, in ring 6 in an ‘outer building’ right next to the South Florida Expo Building in West Pam Beach FL………………………Labrador male puppies will strut their little stuff for the designated judge and that will officially kickoff a whirlwind of three weekends of dog shows out of the next four weeks in the South Florida area.

This weekend will also be our biggest entry of the year, with almost 2 dozen of our adult Labradors, aspiring youngsters and top champions vying for the top prizes of Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Best Of Breed, Best Of Opposite Sex and the Select Dog, Select Bitch awards that are all worth points for AKC champion’s titles, for Breed/All-Breed rankings, and for Grand Champion points.

Expectations are running high for several of our pointed dogs to make a dash across the mythical champion’s finish line……………….one of them just needs one win, one major pointed Winners Dog and it reaches Canine Nirvana…………….a brand new AKC champion will be born! Others need a couple of wins or a combination of circumstances to leapfrog into stardom!

Last minute preparations……………….grooming, grinding nails, trimming, thinning, sprucing……………some need ‘just in time’ show training, with 3 days left, some need some PDQ conditioning, all those being dropped off also need ‘mommyitis’ being removed with back to the future Real Deal Show Mentality steamed in……………..at Chambray Acres, whatever it takes to present the best foot forward will be served from the ala cart menu!

Extra hours added to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night classes make for Late Night News……………………Thursdays during the day now become a full day of conditioning with it being Jessie’s only day off from Med-Vet School………………..which means that the treadmill is at full throttle most of the day, roadwork and physical workouts late at night are on the slate, all in play to have each of the dogs on the Show Roster at ‘razor’s edge’ shape and mentality for the opening bell at the dog shows.

Our work credo is ‘Train Hard To Show Best…………………..our show credo is ‘Show Up To Show Hard’!

Although this will be our largest show roster of the year, each and every dog on that starting lineup is there because it is expected to win! There are 12 class males and each has the potential and expectation to come out with the Winners Dog award…………….half of them have AKC champions points to their credit, yet the ones without wins have just as good a chances to take those coveted points. Of course, that is an impartial assessment made…………………asking each of their owners would reveal a totally different prediction of which one should be the winner!

We have 6 class females and only two of those are pointed, so another situation where any of them can emerge as the Winners Bitch.

From the champion’s class, three of our boys will be representing Chambray when the Best Of Breed dogs are called into the ring. Any of the three can lay claim to the top award from the breed ring.

Now we fine tune whatever can be done and anxiously await Saturday morning to showcase our product and our services.

 

March 7th

Appointment of the Week

Great, right on time! Yep, I like it that way when a scheduled appointment makes it at their set time!

Not so great………………..dog is still outside the gate and I can tell that this appointment is going south right away!

The emails that were exchanged told me that this was a first time Labrador owner and that they had been going to training classes in Ft Lauderdale where they were told that the dog was ‘as far away from show quality as there is’………………but to go ahead and hear it from the ‘Labrador man’……..that would be me, that the trainers and a handler at the class were directing this new owner to.

It didn’t take much of a look, no need to pose the dog, no need to gait the dog………….in fact, the dog would be DQ’d if it ever entered an AKC show ring……………….not one DQ………………….3 of them!

Way too tall…………………..a female is allowed maximum 24 inches at the withers……………this one towered over 25 inches and the 2nd DQ was a full Dudley nose………………………………nose has to be black on yellow dogs, this one had a pure pink nose and the 3rd DQ was no eye pigmentation and pink pigmentation on the lips where it should be black.

So, the news was as bad as could be for any hopes of showing………..or breeding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, the owners were incensed! Now here’s where the whole kit and caboodle goes off the tracks………………………..they were upset with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seems that they were under the impression that because the sire of the dog had the Chambray name, that the puppies it produces should be show quality!

NOW HEAR THIS……………………………..the KENNEL NAME DOES NOT MAKE THE DOG!

The sire was a dog placed with potential show possibilities…………….however the owner never took advantage of the vast offerings of the Owner’s Program…………..in fact, I never saw the puppy again after having it placed and now 7 years later I am looking at one of its produce.

The visitors had photos of the sire and also photos of the dam. Now, the sire had potential to show as it seemed to have grown into the show conformation that it displayed as a puppy. The dam was another story altogether, in fact it actually looked like a different breed of dog………….tall, lanky, roach-backed, long nosed and curled over the back tail…………..NOT WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED!

My question to the couple standing in front of me was, “Did you see the dam when you bought this dog as a puppy?”

The answer was “Yes!”

My reply, “Did you buy it as a show dog?”

Their reply, “No, we didn’t know anything about showing then.”

So, in a long and detailed, educational dissertation, I let them know that they got exactly what they paid for and that their dog was actually a much better dog, resembling the breed a lot more than the dam because the sire did improve their dog’s lot quite a bit! Or course, it still was miles and miles away from the high standards seen at the dog shows, especially those in Florida.

In fact, I even tell them that there are Chambray dogs, some with AKC champion points that do not make the Stud Dog A-Team and won't be considered to participate in the perpetuation of Chambray Labradors Betterment of the Breed Programs.

Now here is where the waters get murky and Dunning Kruger and Dumas Knoeshitski come into play!

After that exhaustive and educational diatribe was completed, they proceed to enlightened me of their obtuseness!

They had already left a deposit with another Labrador breeder for a ‘pick of the litter puppy’! This from a non-show breeder, in fact, never heard of their kennel name!

So, now the Mickey Mouse song comes into play………………… “Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company………………….see you real soon” because no matter how much a person tries, pig’s ears will never ever make silk purses until the day that pigs can fly!

  

 

March 7th

Okay, cooking with olive oil here

The Kennel Name Doesn’t Make The Dog

 

Oh boy, did that I get a rise or what! An outpouring of whale blubber and mouth blabber to say the least.  

So, listen up homeys…………………………….you breed to a particular dog, YOU DON’T BREED TO THE WHOLE KENNEL NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just because you breed to any dog from Sasquatch Labradors doesn’t mean that you will be getting little big foots!

It doesn’t work that way as each individual dog comes loaded with goodies particular to them and they could pass on those attributes to their progeny just as probable that they may not pass on those attributes; meanwhile their littermate/kennelmate may or may not possess those admirable traits of the first Yeti.

There are hundreds of Chambray males lurking about in people’s homes and also in breeder’s stables and yet, I only advocate the use of less than 18 that are part of my Chambray Labradors Stud Dog Program………………………..the others, while nice loving companions, have been more or less put on the back shelf or totally removed from the breeding program as not being up to the high standards in place for the Betterment of the Breed.

It is a pure chroma situation, as black and white as it gets……………….the dog either has it or it doesn’t…………….it doesn’t matter the kennel name………………it doesn’t matter about friendships or associations……………..it’s either ‘in’ on its merits or ‘out’ because of the lack there of!

There is no smudging or hedging the facts, no going backwards for any reason…………….we either breed for the Betterment of the Breed or we DON’T BREED! There’s no middle ground, no shades of gray…………….solid as Sears used to be…….BLACK OR WHITE………….TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT!

When there are compromises made, the breed suffers and I will call it a spade when presented with one, even if it is a Chambray named dog! In this case I heard from the Chambray owner, the sire of the lanky dam that got a real bad review………………the same Chambray owner that I had not heard from in 7 years.

I have had my own phenome-looking champions that ended up producing zilch, so after 2 or 3 litters of poor production, they were set out to pasture. In fact, one of the most awesome Chambray champions back in the mid 90’s, first Chambray dog to qualify for Westminster and attend and make a great showing there was exactly just that……………..all looks and no produce! Two dismal litters to his credit and vamoose to Siberia (figuratively speaking) from the breeding program!

The one thing that a true blue, real deal breeder cannot be is wishy washy, namby-pamby or flip-flopping with the breeding program. A true north heading is set and there are no deviations made for any reason……………….forward is the goal and anything else is hogwash as there are way too many out there already bathing porcine!

You breed to a dog and not to a kennel name!

This also goes for obtaining a puppy or dog……………….it doesn’t matter the kennel name, it does matter the individual dog from that kennel.

Some ‘puppy producer/wannabee breeder’ obtains a puppy from the ‘kennel name of the month’, the one that everyone is kissing buttinsksi to on Facebook and in person as well…………………problem is that when sighted, it looked more like what the cat dragged in! So much for a kennel name!

Another needy-souled lackey brings a ‘named-kennel’ puppy to a dog show for socialization. Problem is that the dog had less life than road kill and looked as homely as a homeless hoot……………..yep, let’s throw those kennel names around!

But, don’t be throwing kennel names around me, because names don’t mean a dang thing……………..not even my kennel name………………it’s all in the individual dog!

A litter of 8 puppies may have 2 or 3 stellar puppies that will go all the way, the rest will be good to show but may come up short…………same litter, same sire, same dam, SAME KENNEL NAME and yet from the top puppy down to the tail end puppy, the differences can and will be nocturnal vs diurnal!

Anyone that says or believes any different is afflicted with this new-age delusional effect…….Dunning Kruger……….not knowing their ‘arse from a crevice in a crevasse’ (I just used that one in an email today)………..however deep down from that mired fissure, those that don’t know crud, will go about spouting off to others that know even less and those that know even less will gobble up the whole line, hook and boat anchor, which leads us to Dumas Knoeshitski all over again!

So, sharpen your acoustics and listen up……………it’s all in the dog and not the kennel name!

  

 

March 6th

If You Lead A Horse To Water, will it drink it?

It seems that I have led a herd of horses to a large watering hole! Let’s see how many now will drink the life sustaining water before them?

I am thinking that what I have been drumming about lately is sinking in because so many have communicated with me that they actually get that each dog must be treated 100% differently according to its needs, it shortcoming, its deficiencies and also its strengths!

Yes, yes, finally a breakthrough……..makes me think that there is hope after all!

Of course the loudest praises are coming from those that I have personally attended to with unique and specialized training, conditioning and even handling regimens and programs for their dogs!

There’s nothing like seeing something to then believe it! Yep, if it looks like a dog, gaits like and dog and barks like a dog…………………….plus digs holes and chews everything in sight…………..it must be a Labrador!

 

So, if I tell you it will work for your dog and then…………..then like in ‘presto and alakazam’, it does work.....then a believer is born!

Much as the Colonel’s secret 11 herbs and spices make up the success of KFC………….so too does what it is we do at Chambray to be successful………………….the only difference between KFC and Chambray is that I freely share with any and all that will listen by putting on Judge Judy’s ‘listening ears’ and actually listen to what I have to share!

EXAMPLES:

A direct competitor for the exact same ribbons, prizes and coveted Winners Points at the Labrador ring asks me what she is doing wrong in the ring handling her dogs……………….at almost every dog show that I attend and compete at………………….each and every time I take the time to let her know from my ‘time put in 4 decades plus’, from my major trials and errors………………………from my wizened expertise with the breed………………….what she needs to do to the ‘fix’ or to implement the next time she goes in the ring.

Then there is the old, seasoned breeder, with as much time in the breed as I have………………………who seldom even acknowledges my presence…………………….who publicly admits she has no use for me………………in a once in a blue moon moment, actually engages me in a worthwhile conversation and even asks for my opinion on a problems she has been having……………….I more than gladly give her my 2-cents worth which she readily admits that it will definitely will work……..only to have her not even acknowledge my presence the very next day!

The old time professional handler…………….my most direct ring competition with Labradors for almost 30 years…………………….who openly berated my efforts with the breed, my dogs and my ‘soon-to-fail owner’s program’ (his words dating back 27 years) of course that prediction hasn’t come to pass, yet today  today we are as close as if he was part of our programs……………..he now, a believer in what I had implanted, that I stuck with and today it is the prime director in the Florida Labrador ring.

Goes to show that you can judge a book by its cover all you want, but to get the real deal, the pages of that book are well served being open for any and all to come and read the bold, large print inside! With me, Chambray and what we have going…….it is what it has been……………..it is what it is and it is what it will be as long as I have my say and way about it!

At least the horses now have a choice to drink the water or not!

 

March 7th

Where's The Logic?

Logic and the AKC’s championship points system are as far away from each other as the philosophies and orientations between the GOP and the Democrats in our country!

Never in my 67 years have I ever been so befuddled by the current polar opposites in trains of thought.

Here is a prime example. The point schedule for males in AL, MS, LA and AR:

2 dogs 1 Pt
7 dogs 2 Pts
10 dogs 3Pt Major
11 dogs 4Pt Major
12 dogs 5Pt Major

Point Schedule for males in FL GA SC

3 dogs 1 Pt
10 dogs 2 Pts
17 dogs 3Pt Major
23 dogs 4Pt Major
35 dogs 5Pt Major

Is it me or do others see the glaring WTF?

To make it simple, in Sweet Home Alabama, you go to 4 days of shows and your 6 month old male puppy wins 3 Winners Dog over 11 other males competing and just like that he is a brand new AKC champion!

Wahoo and whoop-dee-do, all in one weekend, he goes over the same 11 dogs and he accumulates 15 points and more than the 2 majors needed under 3 different judges and there it is……………..no blood, no sweat and no tears………………………….and more than likely, no real competition to speak of and the little puppy now carries with him………….for life and until death do it part, it has its AKC champion’s title!

Now, right across the Florida Georgia Line, there’s another 4 days of dog shows going on, say about 100 miles from the Alabama shows……………………………………..there are 16 male dogs competing and the same dog wins all 4 days, beating the same 15 dogs each day…………………to make this narrative spicy, let’s say that the total of 16 dogs present are much, much better in type and in conformation…………………..so that one dog that took Winners Dog each day over formidable competition……………….4 times beating 15 (4 X 15 = 60) other dogs and all it has to show for that feat is a total of 8 points………………..whereas the puppy 100 miles away only beat 9 other dogs 3 times (3 X 9 = 27) and that puppy is now a champion and the Florida Georgia Line dog is nowhere nears the title because after beating so many dogs, he doesn’t even get a major from all those wins!

Yes, yes, there are way less dogs competing in those states, so theoretically it would be very difficult for the breeders, exhibitors and handlers from those states to field a large entry………………..however, even with my failing eyesight, it is very obvious that a championship there can be seen as a ‘cheap’ one versus the arduous navigation needed just a scant 100 miles away where the peach and oranges play!

Now, truth be told, I pack up the van and head north by northwest to the land of ‘easy pickins’ 2 or 3 times a year and sure as tootin, I would make the trek much more often if it were not that I am situated at the southernmost locale of any Labrador show breeder in the contiguous 48 states…………….so the hike up the pike is always more than half a full day…………..minimum 12 hours for the mathematically challenged.

Yes, I whoop and holler and celebrate like there is no tomorrow when we descend in the land of cotton and never forgotten………………love the Southern Magnolias, the Azaleas in full bloom and my favorite flower, the Day Lillie’s that abound in those AL, LA and MS states………………………I whoop and holler even more, every single time we have been there and come home with the lion’s share of the booty and bounty of those lowered point system states.

Of course, as soon as I traverse the famous state line and I am back in the land of sunshine and hanging chads……………..I resent the fact that there are so many really good dogs here and it takes way, way more dogs to make majors and it takes 5 to 10 times as many shows to finish one of those ‘better’ dogs.

Is it me or do others see the injustice here………………….the inequities and the inequality between a champion made there and one made here? But, as long as the opportunity is there for picking the ripe fruit from the lower branches………………………….I will be savoring those ‘easy pickins’ as often as my old, frail and aching body will make the ride up the pike!

 

March 6th

"Names" are not the name of the Game

I have read and re-read just about every page at all three of your websites……….just when I thought I had seen it all, I found a way to access close to 100 more pages and articles and publications you have at your old Chambray site! What a tremendous wealth of knowledge that doesn’t exist in all of the books published for Labradors! Wow many times over!

I am totally fascinated by your involvement and your total outlook of the breed. Everything you do and have accomplished with Labradors sets you totally apart from other Labrador breeders. I would love to know what you feel is your greatest award or achievement with Labradors. Emily Dayton

 

I used to single out one particular record, win or award, but now with 47 years of involvement with the breed, I would have to say that the creation, implementation, realization, successes and now the industry acknowledgement of the Owners Program has to take priority over all the records set. Going to a dog show and seeing dozens and dozens………….maybe hundreds at the local South Florida shows just as the one coming up in WPB, followed by the weekend of shows in Davie where a total of over 100 owners annually come to be with us and share our love for our dogs and for the breed………………………..so those hundreds and hundreds of Chambray dogs since 1970 that have given so much love to all those owners all those years, that would be #1……………..NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO THAT!

If something more tangible is something you want, then here is a list starting with number two.

#2 USA #1 Top Champion Labrador Breeder ~ 4 years

#3 25 Chambray Full Service Dogs (bred and trained)

#4 #1 State Record Lifetime Champions (w56  thru March 2017)

#5 #1 Record Best In Show winners (w2)

#6 USA #1 Ranked Top 100 Lifetime Grand Champions (w7)

#7 #1 Gold Medallion Bred By Exhibitor Champions State Record w/10

#8 #1 USA Record 19 Grand Champions

#9 2015 Eukanuba BOB Bred By Exhibitor

#10 159 Consecutive Winning Weekends

 

 

Having researched breeders from all over both at the dog shows and especially on the Internet, each time I ended up at your website, I am totally overwhelmed with what your group participates and accomplishes. There is no other Labrador breeder in the country that even comes close to all that your kennel does for its owners or for the breed in general. Most breeders that I speak to have no understanding of your practices and programs, you would think that with your overwhelming results for so many years that some of those other Labrador breeders would take a page from your book. Lori M

 

Yes, I am very proud of all those things that you mentioned in your email. One thing you didn’t mention is that our programs for the Betterment of the Breed are in place for ALL LABRADORS…………..not just those from Chambray Labradors or for those just from our Owner’s Programs……………EVERYTHING we do is wide open for any and all Labradors that are an asset to the breed! I am just as proud with those Labradors that have contributed to the Betterment of the Breed that don’t have a Chambray name, that came from another kennel as I am those proudly sporting Chambray as their origin’s name!

I boast and brag and give credit for the great producers that Chambray has incorporated into our breeding program……….the list is long and all of my owners, as part of my mentoring about the breed, are educated about the great foundation dogs that sit pretty in Chambray’s pedigrees!

Receiver Of Cranspire-the most influential English import ever. (plus many of those that he sired that became names to throw about)
Ebonylane Aslan-the most influential Canadian dog ever.
Monarch’s Black Arrogance-the most influential American dog ever.
Langshott’s Gale Force From Kimvalley
of more recent acclaim
Windfall’s Pipe Major
Lobuff’s Bobwhite At Chucklebrook
Ghoststones Louie Downtown

Gateways Nothin But Trouble

And many, many more that pedigree name droppers love to spew about.

However, it should be noted that ‘names’ are NOT THE NAME OF THE GAME when it comes to KNOWLEDGEABLE BREEDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those that know what I am referring to, need no further education on that subject, those that don’t know what the preceding capitalized, bold text lines mean…………..well, those will be the ones that criticize a breeding program…………more likely directed at the Chambray breeding program because they don’t ‘recognize’ flavor of the month names………………..the popular stud dog that everyone is drooling over……………the most recent Best Of Breed at Westminster, the Potomac or at the Dipsey Doodle Labrador Specialty in Katmandu!

The true mark of a breeder’s knowledge is the produce that is evident and valued and validated at head-to-head competitions where over a period of time and under an overwhelming number of adjudicators, that a consensus is decreed by the awards, achievement and titles attained…………………all adding up to a preponderant display of that breeder's level of expertise and acumen with that breed.

 

March 5th

DWIT

I have lived all my life with the following working mantra humming in my mind, ‘If you are going to be doing something………..do it right by doing what it takes!’

I do my absolute best to pass that gem of advice to any and all that join in with the mission of the Betterment of the Breed for Labradors.

Along the way through 47 years of involvement exclusively with Labradors, especially in the dog show realm………………..I have taken the standard ways of doing things and honed them to the most practical and most productive practices possible, taking those aspects that work really well and casting out those that pay off with little dividends.

On top of that most efficient use of time and matter, I have additionally innovated methods, techniques and equipment that facilitate and or accelerate the learning curve and development of the dogs that are in our charge and in our show dog management program.

The old adage, ‘the proof is in eating the pudding’…………………….for us the results of our endeavor, the achievements, awards, certificates and titles all speak volumes for the value of all that we incorporate for reaching those goals and mission with the breed.

Doing What It Takes……………DWIT!

 

DWIT..............that’s the charge call, the battle cry, the working credo for success.

I cannot express that enough to those that expect a positive payoff. Those that do what it takes have a much higher chance of succeeding than those that dilly dally about and more or less spin their wheels and get nowhere fast.

Showing a dog at a dog show is the final proving grounds, it is the center stage moment for that dog. It is what is on display for all to witness, for the judge to go over and examine and make a decision as to that dog’s value is when compared to the other exhibits.

What is not readily obvious is the tremendous amount of time, energy, work and expense that it takes to be able to walk into that ring under the spotlight’s glare.

Time and time again, those that follow my programs, protocols and practices will realize greater returns than those that don’t do what it takes.

Since Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed incorporates the dog owners as working partners for the development of the dog………….. doing whatever it is that they have as an asset…………….be it as those the supply the conditioning at home……………to those that have the knowhow to put into play actual show training……………or those that don’t have the time nor energy and rely on us to get the whole job done………………………all those that follow the game plan drawn out specifically for their dog………………….those will be the ones reaping the rewards at a much higher rate.

Those owners that dawdle, that make excuses, that do their own thing without rhyme nor rhythm, those will be the ones that take much longer to achieve the projected level of success or simply drop out because they didn’t do what it takes.

If a Chambray dog has been chosen to be in the top levels of the development and show program……………..then all of those that explicitly follow my program and procedures will achieve the ultimate goal of attaining their champion’s title………………………..those that half-ass-it, hit or miss, dicker about, do their own thing not knowing didley, can expect less than average results if any at all, even if the dog itself was a born champion.

I have the statistics to back that last statement…………….dozens and dozens of ‘could have beens’, turn out to be ‘has-beens’ because of poor decisions and choices made by their owners calling the wrong, ill-timed and misinformed shots.

Meanwhile the long list of lifetime champions (state record), Grand Champions (national record, #1), Top Breeder of the Year (national 4 times) and many more records, benchmarks and milestones……………..validate the whole program beyond any question.

 

DWIT gets the job done……………..PERIOD!

 

March 3rd

The Good now!

the bad and the ugly are behind us

Dialog is absolutely great, especially when those engaging in that two-way conversation are one of those that finally sees the light and gets the gist!

So, it has come to pass………………finally………….that the ‘many’ get it…………………get what we have been doing with Labrador Retrievers, with the Betterment of the Breed as the mission and goal all these years.

Oh sure, there will always be the myopic, the obtuse, the resisters for whatever reason that shun change, that turn their backs on advancements made, that poopoo whatever it is that they don’t understand…………………..those are some of the foibles that I mentioned recently that human nature is mired with. No need to stop the train for those…those won’t even know that the train left the station long ago and they still sit there waiting for the ship to come in………………problem for those is that ships don’t arrive at train stations.

Any hoot, dealing with positive seekers keeps the agenda moving in the right direction………………..dealing with naysayers and bellyachers slows the procession and burdens my mental circuitry…….needless to say, I choose the first and now a days I don’t bother with the latter in order to maximize the time I have left for positivizes and not get riddled with all the negative noise that abounds by those that will never get it.

As of late, the atmosphere around the Florida Labrador ring has taken a dramatic change for the better. The walls of animosities have become penetrable and there seems to be more back and forth chatter that didn’t exist a short year ago.

This past weekend, away to another state for dog shows also brought about a realization of this newly accepted ‘norm’ about our unique endeavor from several that in the past seemed either miffed or reluctant to accept or deal with us as an entity to be considered ‘legit’!

For me, having dealt for decades with the exact opposite, ‘either/or way is fine by me because with either/or it is still business as usual in implementing our procedures and following our definable protocols. However, I take delight in the newness because I foresee that for the rest of those that steadfastly have supported and accepted our ways……………..that their way will be a smoother journey as each of them go forth using whatever ‘good’ they derive from our associations.

 

March 2nd

Feedback To Recent Blog

 

In a recent blog, I covered in a ‘tongue in cheek’ expose the differences between what the professional handlers, the typical owner-handlers and what we at Chambray Labradors put into play at the dog shows for the dogs that we all handle.

I have received numerous retorts and a lot of positive feedback………………lots of ‘pro and con’ and even more asking for more info.

Interesting enough in an ironic twist of fate, the cons have come from the pros and the pros have come from those that didn’t know any better and are just now realizing what has been transpiring around them at the Labrador ring where we have been plying our methods for almost 3 decades.

Several folk that use professional services to handle their dogs took exception that I somehow thought that we are better than the pros! Well, truth be told, I went strictly by the results over a long haul, the last 10 years of showing in Florida and surrounding states that we travel to. It is extremely difficult to argue against and negate cold hard facts and statistics that are easily proven by independent 3rd parties’ e.g., results at www.infodog.com , championships and points progression at www.akc.org and not so independent, all the show info and winning, awards and achievements plastered all over the www.chambraylabradors.net site.

One person went on to state that maybe the reason we win at a higher rate than the pros that we compete against is because the level of breed type competition isn’t all that great!

The bucket that claim comes in is totally full of holes and holds absolute no water! The professional handlers that work the region where we show our dogs are hired by some of the top Labrador breeders in the country.

It would be totally asinine to think that someone would spend their hard earned money, lots and lots of it to send dogs to Florida to show with the pros and those dogs not be their top dogs! So, the dogs that we see at the dog shows from the 15 to 20 different kennels and breeders that make up the entries here in Florida represent some of the best Labs in the country.

Tell all those breeders that ship dogs down for the Florida Winter Circuit and those Top Ranked Labradors that come for the Eukanuba/Royal Canin week of shows in December in Orlando……………..yep, tell them that their dogs are not top of the line!

Even the local Florida Labrador breeders whose dogs are with the top pro handlers are the better ones from the 100’s that are Labrador breeders in Florida.

One of the pros that did touch base with me, admitted that there was no way that he or his brethren would ever consider adopting our ‘working with the owners’ method. Insisting that there are way too many variables dealing with all the owners and that using the ‘establishment way’ of removing the owners from the equation has served the fancy extremely well and that no matter how successful Chambray was with our ‘polar opposite’ ways (his words), that it would never come to be. In fact, he pointed out that there was no other group of handlers using anything remotely similar to what Chambray Labradors has in play.

 

Truth be told again……………..that is true!

One competitor that occasionally communicates with me shared that all along most that have been breeder/exhibitor competitors at the Labrador ring have held on to the belief……………..time proven ‘erroneous belief’…………………that eventually our breeding program would falter because no breeder can maintain a winning tradition for too long and that our methods of working a large collective of owners would fail because no one else had ever succeeded in keeping such a system going more than a couple of years.

Well, 3 decades and going stronger than ever has proven that there are exceptions to the rule when the product and service are well-founded and rise to the top of that endeavor. In this dog show business and trust me, it is a business with lots and lots of money involved………………those that don’t win, don’t last………….be it handlers, exhibitors or breeders. Winning is the name of the game and those in the winner’s circle get the acclaim………………….losers have a way of getting ‘lost’ in the shuffle!

As Joe Nap always says, “It’s good that they talk about you, because no one talks about the losers!”

 

March 1st

Creating Psychological Advantages for winning

 

Yes, professional handlers win more often than amateurs with equal conformation dogs……………..yes, top ‘known’ breeders with ‘face/name’ recognition will get the nod over the ‘unknowns’ with ‘Even Steven’ dogs!

It is what it is and crying over spilt milk, chronic complaining and griping makes no difference or a zilch of an iota to the whole big picture!

It is the way it is, the way it has been and the way it will be until there’s no tomorrow.

Human nature is predictable and those that recognize the patterns that invariably will repeat themselves will be the ones that are better prepared to take advantage of those human foibles.

Why do professional handlers win at a higher rate than amateurs with equal value exhibits? Simple, if the judge is in doubt over which dog to pick for the win, familiarity then creates a mental connection…………you go with who and what you know!

Why does Chambray win where ever we go at a higher rate than even the professionals, weekend in and weekend out, year after year?

Well, having great conformation dogs sure as heck gets the major nod…………….but there are always dogs competing at the same venues with equally superb breed traits…………………..sure conditioning and training that we insist on also makes choosing our dogs a safer bet, but the top pros also condition and train their assignments too…………………..here’s where the psyche comes in for our ‘better’ results!

We bring the judges a ‘full roster’ of top of the line breed conformation, which then creates ‘name’ and ‘face’ recognition. The name is the one that comes about from success and overwhelming achievements.

If a breeder or a kennel spouts to be the #1 champion breeder, the #1 grand champion breeder and/or the winningest from an area or state and the judges then come to see for themselves and it is obvious that the proof is in eating the pudding…………..if those exhibits truly stand up to the claims, then there is ‘familiarity factor’ in play and ultimately weighing in heavier for ‘favorable’ results than not.

The exact opposite occurs with those that boast and brag and have nothing to show for all the brouhaha. Those then pay the price when a judge comes looking for the goods and it quickly becomes evident that hot air holds no substance!

Now, there’s a price to pay for claiming to lead the way……………………judges come expecting more from those that are at the top, so there better be a ‘heads and shoulders’ of a difference if the hoopla is not met with actuality.

I have always said that ‘expectations can very well lead to disappointment’, so if the judges hear all the noise coming from a breeder or exhibitor………………that leads to a bigger expectation from the judges and if the delivery falters, then the payoff will also be nil.

The above was from a conversation I had at the Mississippi dog show this past weekend with a very successful top pro that works the Texas, Central States and Southern States regions and once in a rare while ends up seeing our dogs and our operation. Those were his observations!

Of course, I know totally everything we talked about because I rely on all of the above for the end results that we enjoy.

What most pros, breeders, exhibitors or competitors don’t ‘see’ is our total commitment to the breed and to each individual dog in our management program. What some of those present at the Mississippi shows did see was exactly that……………………….we were the only handling team at that show to actively work all of the dogs in our show roster, each and every morning a couple of hours before show time.

The above was something that was commented to me by more than half a dozen of the handlers and exhibitors there that witnessed our early morning routines.

Several of the handlers present there also complemented about our team’s timely execution in having each exhibit ready to go into the ring on time and of course on the actual show presentation of each dog while in the ring.

These are all ‘visuals’ that judges take into account and that all go into the decision making process that either makes it or breaks it for coming out successful.

It is what plays on ‘human nature’, becoming the ultimate factor in deciding between equal values, where one has to be placed over the other……………it is what tips the balance in favor of one exhibit over another. It is the psychological advantage that makes winners and negates those that don’t have it.

 

March 1st

What's On The Menu?

The month of February was a gadabout month for Chambray Labradors with our dogs being showcased from one coast to the other and back and I am not talking just Florida’s east and west coast, I am traversing this great country of ours………………from our sunny state of Florida all the way across to California and up the Seaboard to the biggest apple of all, New York and then across state lines through Alabama to Mississippi!

So just how did we do? So glad you asked!

A fantastic showing at the ‘Gardens’……………that’s dog lingo talk for the really, really big kaboom, the annual, like in 141 years of the Westminster Dog Show in Madison Square Gardens, in New York, New York, the Big Apple.

Our 2016 Top Dog, Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard…………..USA Top Ranked #18-Breed………USA Top Ranked #20 All-Breed…………….USA Top Ranked #13 Grand Champion all three for 2016……………..Chambray’s youngest champion ever at 10-months of age………………Sporting Group 1 winner at 8-months of age and Best In Show Puppy, traveled up the east coast to NY and was truly a super star at the 141st Westminster Dog Show. With Jessica Herzon handling, he made all the cuts and ‘seemingly’ was awarded the 3rd Judges Award Of Merit. We are all so proud of Tank’d, Jessie his handler and his owners Cindy Ceballos and Yessie Munoz……………….way to go Team Chambray!

Clear across the country in California ‘Here We Come’…………………..one of the whippersnappers from the awesome Class of 2016 Puppies………………………Chambrays X-Factor PR Charles Xavier takes a Winners Dog, Best Of Winners and a BEST OF BREED……………becoming the first puppy from 2016 to score a BOB! Congratulations to Charlie and his owner Danna Mosely.

Back in Florida, Team Chambray racked up the 149th consecutive weekend of winning! There are no superlatives that can describe this record…………….none before and probably no one there after to ever reach this amazing winning streak. That’s winning at every weekend of dog shows starting at the Florida Winter Circuit on January 2012…………………straight through with no interruptions through thick and thin………………at every Florida Winter Circuit since then………………..every Eukanuba/Royal Canin week of shows starting on December of 2012…………………….every dog show weekend in Florida………………every weekend of dog shows that we traveled to in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia and Puerto Rico to boot…………………..every specialty weekend that we competed, 8 of them…………all of the preceding from January 2012 to February 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then to punctuate all that jazz………………we just returned from Mississippi’s 4 days of show weekend, winning there all those 4 days, taking the supernova winning streak to 150!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February has seen a total of 7 Best Of Breed wins, besides the one by Charlie in California…………………Ch Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady has racked up 3 Best Of Breeds, 2 at the Lakeland dog shows, and 1 at the Tallahassee dog shows………………Gr Ch Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness takes back-to-back BOBs at the Hattiesburg dog shows in Mississippi and Chambrays Magnum N Counter scored a 5-point major from the Open Yellow class at Hattiesburg and then also took a Best Of Breed for good measure.

The debutants from the newest offering from Chambray for the Betterment of the Breed………….the Class of 2016 so far this year in 2 months of showing have already made their mark in the AKC Points Progression, the Race For The Finish Line for their AKC Championship.

Chambrays X-Factor PR Charles Xavier is the first to score a Best Of Breed, so he has a Winners Dog, A Best Of Winners and the BOB.

Chambrays Royal Queen Of Miami is the first puppy to take a Major-Pointed win for 3-points.

Chambrays Blazing Saddles Of Southern Palms was actually the first to enter the race with a Winners Dog.

Chambrays Southern Magnolia’s Beau leads the youngsters with 6 points and 1 major, that being a 5-point major at the most recent show in Mississippi.

There are 3 or 4 puppies from 2016 that have not won points yet, however any or all of those can surge forward at any show coming up and throw their hats in for the race to the finish line.

Now, we are back in South Florida for back-to-back weekends of shows right in our own backyard with the WPB shows coming on March 11th and 12th and then the Davie 4 shows in 3 days starting on March 17th, 18th and 19th.

There is also a 3rd weekend with shows right here in our neighborhood, the Miami shows on April 1st and 2nd.

Excitement is running high to see which dog brings in the very first title for 2017. On the docket we have Ch Chambrays Midnight Lady on the verge of winning her Grand Champion’s title, maybe this weekend coming up at the Pensacola dog shows. She just needs a Best Of Breed this weekend and she crosses that threshold to add to Chambray’s grand total of Grand Champions, becoming the 19th Gr Ch which is a USA record for our kennel. We also hold the #1 spot in the USA Top 100 Grand Champions marquee with 7 of the top ranking Lifetime Gr Chs.

Eager to add to the Florida champion’s record of 56 homebred champions are several dogs that are busting at the seams to achieve their champion’s title. Both Chambrays Triple Play ‘Sonic’ and Chambrays Galactic N Counter ‘Gayla’ each need 1 major pointed win to lurch across that mythical finish line.

Several other dogs vying for that could stretch across and finish with a combination of wins are Chambrays Black Diamond Out Of The Ruff with 12 points now needing 2 major-pointed wins , also, Chambrays A’Hankerin For Trouble with 10 points and 1 major. Chambrays Ole Miss Zeta Lady has 2 majors and 9 points is headed out to dog shows this coming weekend and could conceivably add to her count.

So, as March ushers in the new spring, we too are eager to show off our top champions, our stars in the making and also our newest little guys, the Class of 2016 to all of our loyal South Florida owners that will be visiting and cheering on the home team at the coming 3 weekends of shows right here in our own bailiwick.